How do I deal with my problem tenants?
May 25, 2017
The business of letting properties relies on a steady stream of tenants. For many landlords, occupation will be the primary concern; it’s the income generator. But it’s just as important to know how to bring tenancies to an end.
Problem tenants come in all shapes and sizes, and they need to be dealt with. So take action as soon as you become aware of an issue, whether it’s unpaid rent, noise, or the property’s condition. You might find that the situation is resolved fairly quickly and easily, and the tenancy can continue.
But the law recognises that a landlord needs to be able to get rid of a tenant, if it comes to it. There are various options. One is to serve a Section 21 notice at least two months before you want the tenant to leave (assuming it’s an Assured Shorthold Tenancy – the most common type). It is the usual way of taking back possession at the end of a fixed term, and you don’t have to give a reason.
Another option is the Section 8 notice. It’s used where the tenant has breached the terms of their tenancy. Rent arrears is a common example and is listed as a ‘mandatory’ ground; if you can show that you told the tenant at the beginning of their tenancy that possession might be recovered on that ground, the court must grant you possession. Types of anti-social behaviour, on the other hand, would most likely fall within one of the ‘discretionary’ grounds, and can be a less straightforward route to ending a tenancy.
It’s vital that you get the technicalities right and stick to the legal avenue that is open to you. Everything, from timing, to the information you include in the formal documents, to the method you use to evict your tenant, must stand up to scrutiny. It’s all about detail and compliance.
That’s why law firms like ours have specialist landlord and tenant solicitors who take care of the process from start to finish. In fact, we are members of the Landlord Association, working closely with landlords across England and Wales. It means our clients can be confident that they’re going about things in the right way, and that they’ll get the outcome they need.
Contact our Landlord and Tenancy Solicitors today on 01264 353411, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our no obligation online enquiry form and we will be in contact with you shortly to discuss your individual circumstances.
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