Eviction is the safe, legal way to rid yourself of a tenant who doesn’t respect the terms of their tenancy agreement, regularly makes late rent payments or fails to care for your property the way they should. Keeping a bad tenant around can severely harm your bottom line and can even strain your relationship with the property’s neighbours.
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When can a landlord evict tenants?
When can a landlord evict tenants is a question that most landlords wonder about.
Tenants also wonder when a landlord can evict tenants so as to determine if certain evictions are lawful.
There are various reasons why a landlord can evict a tenant. The question “when can a landlord evict tenants?” deserves a response based on the country’s laws.
When can a landlord evict tenants in this particular article does not refer to calendar timelines as the landlord can evict the tenant any time of the year. Therefore, in this article, when can a landlord evict tenants seeks to address what should have happened for a landlord to evict the tenant. The reasons given below seek to advise on when a landlord can evict tenants.
- When the tenancy agreement has expired, and the landlord does not wish to renew the same
- When the tenant is in breach of their contractual obligations
- When the tenant has failed to pay rent
- When the tenant is in breach of their statutory obligations
- When the landlord sells or disposes of the property
- When the landlord requires their property for other reasons
How do I serve a tenant notice?
As a landlord who intends to serve a tenant notice, you may have asked yourself, “how do I serve a tenant notice?” If not, note that it is important that you ask yourself, ‘How do I serve a tenant notice’ as if the eviction notice is not served correctly, it may be considered invalid.
A landlord who is concerned or asks themselves, ‘how do I serve a tenant notice’ is a wise landlord.
“How do I serve a tenant notice” is a question that should be answered from a legal perspective. At law, there are different ways in which a person can be served with an eviction notice. The question ‘how do I Serve a tenant notice’ is answered by looking at the methods of service of an eviction notice as set out below.
1. First class post or other service which provides for delivery on the next.
When you serve notice using this method, the deemed day of service is the second day after it was posted, left with, delivered to, or collected by the relevant service provider provided that day is a business day; if not, the next business day after that day.
2. Document exchange.
When you serve notice using this method, the deemed day of service is the second day after it was left with, delivered to or collected by the relevant service provider provided that day is a business day; or if not, the next business day after that day.
3. Delivering the document to or if it is delivered to or left at the permitted address.
A permitted address is either the tenant’s usual place of residence, last known place of residence or business place. When you serve notice using this method, it is deemed to be served on that day if it has been delivered before 4:30 pm and on the next business day before if it was served any other time.
4. Personal service.
This is when the notice is handed over to the tenant. When you serve notice using this method, it is deemed to be served on that day if it has been delivered before 4:30 pm and on the next business day before if it was served any other time.
How much notice should a landlord give?
“How much notice should a landlord give?” sounds like a question that tenants would ask in a search to know if they have been given adequate notice.
It is also vital that landlords ask how much notice a landlord should give, as this will determine if the notice is valid. How much notice a landlord should give depends mainly on what kind of notice was served and on what grounds.
A section 8 notice is a notice that is mainly used when there are rental arrears. However, a section 8 notice can also be used based on other grounds, such as damage to property. We summarise the grounds for a section 8 notice as follows:
|Ground 1||The landlord requires the property in order to use it as their main residence. This ground can only be used if the landlord used the property as their main residence prior to the tenancy beginning.|
|Ground 2||The mortgage lender on the property has served notice to foreclose. In this case the mortgage in question has to predate the start of the tenancy.|
|Ground 3||The property was previously used as a holiday let and is required to return to the status of holiday let. For the exact conditions that apply to this Ground please see the Housing Act 1988.|
|Ground 4||The property is being let by an educational institution and is now required by students of the educational institution. Written notice that this may happen must be served before the tenancy begins.|
|Ground 5||The property is owned by a religious body and they require possession for a member of their church i.e. a Minister of Religion.|
|Ground 6||The landlord wants to demolish and reconstruct, or redevelop all or part of the property. The tenant needs to have refused to live in all or part of the property while work is carried out for this ground to be feasible. If granted the landlord is required to pay all reasonable moving costs to the tenant.|
|Ground 7||The current tenant is a tenant heir and is not named on the original tenancy agreement. The landlord must serve a Section 8 notice within 12 months of the death of the named tenant.|
|Ground 8||The tenant has failed to pay more than 8 weeks rent in the case of weekly payments, 2 months in the case of monthly payments or 1 quarter in the case of quarterly payments. Ground 8 is often cited in conjunction with Grounds 10 and 11 so that a partial payment by the tenant just prior to the court hearing doesn’t render the possession order obsolete.|
|Ground 9||Suitable accommodation of the same type and quality has been offered to the tenant and refused. The landlord is required to pay all reasonable removal costs if possession is granted.|
|Ground 10||The rent is in arrears but by no more than 8 weeks in the case of weekly payments, 2 months in the case of monthly payments and 1 quarter in the case of quarterly payments.|
|Ground 11||The tenant is repeatedly late with payments or repeatedly fails to pay their rent until prompted by the landlord.|
|Ground 12||The tenant has breached any of the terms listed in the tenancy agreement.|
|Ground 13||The tenant has neglected or damaged the property, or they have sublet the property to another individual who has neglected or damaged the property.|
|Ground 14||The tenant is considered a nuisance to neighbours or other tenants and has received complaints concerning their conduct.|
|Ground 15||The furniture listed on the property inventory has been misused, damaged, broken or sold by the tenant or any individual living with them.|
|Ground 16||The property was let to the tenant as a condition of their employment but the employment has now come to an end.|
|Ground 17||The property was let on the basis of false information provided by the tenant or one of their referees/ guarantor|
Therefore, how much notice a landlord should give is based on which ground the notice was served on. If the notice was based on grounds 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17, the landlord should give two weeks’ notice. Grounds 1 and 2 require a landlord to give two months’ notice.
A landlord who has served a section 21 notice, which is a notice served on the tenant on a no-fault basis, must give the tenant a notice of 2 months.
You may need to give a more extended notice if you have a ‘contractual’ periodic tenancy. The amount of notice must be the same as the rental period if this is more than two months. For example, if your tenant pays rent every three months, you must give three months’ notice.
What to do if a tenant refuses to leave?
“What to do if a tenant refuses to leave” is every landlord’s concern and nightmare.
Every landlord who has had to evict a tenant has asked themselves what to do if a tenant refuses to leave. Various comments and advice on what to do if a tenant refuses to leave have been given to landlords. The law has given landlords clear guidelines on what to do if a tenant refuses to leave. It governs the process so a landlord will never have to crack their head on what to do if a tenant refuses to leave.
After serving an eviction notice, a landlord can issue a possession claim with the county court if the tenant refuses to leave. The court will hear the same, and if it grants a possession order, usually the court orders the tenant to vacate the property within 14 days. Should the tenant not comply with the court order and still refuse to leave the property, the landlord can apply for a warrant of possession and have the bailiff remove the tenant forcefully.
How much does it cost to evict a tenant through the courts?
Many landlords ask how much it costs to evict a tenant through the court. Evicting the tenant through the court is the most effective manner of evicting the tenant.
The court’s fees for issuing a possession claim are £355. If the matter is defended and moved to the fast track, you may be required to pay more, and the eviction costs will increase. Once an order for possession has been made, the costs for a warrant of possession is £130.
As to how much it costs to evict a tenant through the court, the total court fee will depend on whether the matter will be transferred to the fast track or not. If you decide to use solicitors – which is advised as this may reduce the time spent at court – solicitors’ fees will be added to the court’s fee. We offer fixed fees for this service.
Who pays court costs for an eviction in the UK?
Who pays court costs for an eviction in the UK is a question that the tenant and the landlord would want an answer to. So, it is no surprise when both parties ask who pays court costs for an eviction.
When the tenant has been ordered to pay court costs, they may be in the predicament of who pays for court costs for an eviction. For a landlord, whilst going through the process of issuing court proceedings, you may wonder who pays court costs for an eviction. The court process answers the question of who pays for an eviction’s court costs.
The claimant (usually the landlord) must pay the court’s costs when issuing the claim. The claimant may, however in their claim, ask for an order for the costs of the claim, which may or may not be granted by the court depending on several factors. If costs of the case are granted to the claimant, this will see the tenant reimbursing the claimant for the court’s costs for the eviction.
How much does it cost to evict a tenant in the UK?
How much does it cost to evict a tenant in the UK is a question on every landlord’s mind. The cost of evicting a tenant in the UK depends on which method of eviction is used and how long the court process takes.
In a county court, the initial cost of issuing a claim is £355.
A warrant of possession in a County Court costs £130.
However, you can get a ‘writ of possession’ if you transfer the warrant from the county court to the High Court. This means a High Court enforcement officer can evict your tenants. You might get a faster eviction this way. Before you transfer, you’ll need to apply for permission from the county court if you do not already have it.
How to evict a tenant without going to court
How to evict a tenant without going to court is simple, but it can be costly if you do not follow the appropriate processes.
How to evict a tenant without going to court legally is where most landlords make an error. If your tenant is on an Assured Shorthold tenancy, the question of how to evict a tenant without going to court should not cross your mind as you cannot forcefully remove a tenant on an Assured Shorthold tenancy without a court order. Unless you negotiate a surrender.
If your tenants have an excluded tenancy or licence, for example, if they live with you, then How to evict a tenant without going to court is a perfect question for you. You only need to give your tenant ‘reasonable notice’ to quit. The reasonable notice usually means the length of the rental payment period, so if your tenants pay rent weekly, you can give them one week’s notice. The notice does not have to be in writing. After you have given your tenant the required notice, you can change the locks on their rooms, even if they still have belongings. You may also look for the bailiff to forcefully remove them from the property.
FAQs on Tenant Eviction
How do you get rid of a tenant who is not paying rent?
If your tenant is not paying rent, the section 8 notice is the best notice you can serve your tenant with.
You will serve the tenant with a section 8 notice based on grounds 8 10 and 11, which state that the tenant is in rent arrears of more than two months and has persistently not paid rent when it is due. This notice will give your tenant two weeks’ notice. After that two weeks’ notice, if your tenant has not left the property, you can issue possession proceedings at the county court by sending a claim form to the court or via the court’s possession claim online portal. The court will then hear the matter and grant a possession order. If a possession order is granted, you may apply for a bailiff to remove the tenant from the property if they still have not left the same.
How quick can a landlord evict a tenant?
This will depend on the reason the landlord wants to evict the tenant. And what type of tenant is to be evicted. If it is a commercial tenant and the lease agreement has expired, or in terms of the lease agreement, the landlord can evict the tenant after giving notice. The landlord may evict the tenant once the notice period has expired.
If the lease agreement is for a residential lease, the landlord is bound by the Housing Act and has to go through the process as given by the court. Depending on how long it takes to get a court hearing date and bailiff appointment, as well as whether the defendant decides to defend the eviction proceedings, the eviction process can be as fast as two months to more than a year.
How long do bailiffs take to evict a tenant?
Bailiffs usually have 14 days after the court order before they are involved in evicting the tenant. How long it will take after a warrant has been issued to issue an appointment date is dependent on certain factors such as the amount of court orders at the bailiff’s office. However, a bailiff does not usually take more than two months before evicting a tenant after a warrant of possession has been granted.
Can a landlord evict tenants without a court order?
It is highly discouraged that a landlord evicts a tenant without a court order, as eviction can be considered unlawful. A landlord cannot evict a tenant on a residential property without a court order, or it is considered an unlawful eviction.
However, if your tenants have an excluded tenancy or licence, for example, if they live with you, you do not have to go to court. You only need to give them ‘reasonable notice’ to quit. Reasonable notice usually means the length of the rental payment period, so if your tenants pay rent weekly you can give them one week’s notice. The notice does not have to be in writing. You can then change the locks on their rooms, even if they still have belongings.
A landlord can also evict a commercial tenant without a court order. The commercial lease terms will state how much notice a landlord should give. After the landlord has given the said notice and the notice period has expired, the landlord will have the right to evict the tenant by looking for a bailiff or simply changing the locks.