How do I remove tenants from my rental property?
Removing tenants from your rental property
requires you to follow specific procedures, including an application to the court for a removal order.
You may find that you need to remove tenants because they are not paying rent, they are a nuisance to the neighbours or maybe they are damaging the property.
Do I need to give reasons for evicting my tenants?
Sometimes, the court asks you to provide a reason for the removal, but if you choose the Section 21 process, you do not need to justify your actions.
How do I terminate an assured shorthold tenancy contract?
Giving a Section 21 notice, or a “no-fault” notice is the first step toward terminating an assured shorthold tenancy (AST). Once the notice period expires, you can apply for a possession order from the court.
You may use Section 21 to remove a tenant when you want to:
- Live in the property
- Sell the property without tenants
You can also evict lodgers and other excluded occupiers without a court order after the contract or notice lapses. For occupiers with basic protection, you do not need a reason to remove them, but you must obtain a court order.
For some tenancies, you can only remove the tenant for legal reasons such as:
- Nuisance or offensive behaviour
- Rent arrears
- Damage to the property
If your tenants hold an assured shorthold tenancy, you must stick to a defined process which includes the following:
1. Issue a Section 21 notice to your tenants if you will repossess the property after the expiry of a fixed term. Give a Section 8 notice to tenants who breach the tenancy terms.
2. Apply for a standard possession order from the court if your tenants owe you rent and they do not leave before the date on the notice. You can also request an accelerated possession if you are not claiming outstanding rent.
3. Get a warrant of possession if the tenants do not leave, meaning that bailiffs can evict them from that property.
What is a Section 21 notice?
A Section 21 notice of possession means you want to take back your property upon the expiry of the tenancy contract or use a break clause in the agreement. You do not have to give any reasons for the termination. A Section 21 notice is invalid within the first four months of the tenancy, except when a clause in the agreement allows it.
What is a Section 8 notice?
A Section 8 eviction notice applies where there are grounds for eviction, such as anti-social behaviour and unpaid rent. You must provide a reason to remove the tenant, but they can contest the notice in court.
How much notice do I have to give tenants?
Periodic tenancies operate weekly or monthly without a fixed end date, while fixed-term tenancies operate for a specific time. Depending on the tenancy agreement, you must follow the specific procedures to give a ‘notice to quit’.
What are the consequences of not following the right procedures?
If you do not follow the correct procedures, you may be guilty of illegally evicting or harassing the tenants.
There are some sections of the removal process that you can do by yourself. However, it is best to allow professionals to handle the process on your behalf.