Evicting a tenant

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Julian Cole

Senior Solicitor

Phone 01264 353411

Email jcole@bsandi.co.uk

A tenancy is like any other business arrangement. Each party must stick to their side of the bargain and do the things they’re supposed to do. And, crucially, there will be a set way of bringing things to an end if they’re not working out or if one party simply wants to move on.

Landlords in particular will be reassured by having an ‘out’. While a tenancy will give them the security of regular income, things don’t always go to plan. A tenant might become difficult, non-compliant, a nuisance. Or the landlord might decide that it needs the property back in order to develop it, sell it, live in it, or get a new tenant in.  

One option is to issue a section 21 notice (although the government plans to get rid of this). Currently, landlords can issue one of these notices at least two months before an assured shorthold tenancy is due to end and it will trigger a break clause in the tenancy agreement or will allow you to take possession at the end of the fixed term. There doesn’t need to be a reason for issuing a section 21 notice, so it is useful in situations where you don’t have a particular problem with the tenant.

Another option is a section 8 notice, which tends to be used where the tenant has breached some term in the tenancy agreement. (You have to have grounds for eviction if you’re going to take the section 8 notice route.) Not paying rent is a common example.

A section 8 notice lets you bring the tenancy to an end at any point during the fixed term. This sometimes lead to disputes in court, but that is a risk that can be controlled by getting things right at an early stage and following the right process.

Forcing someone to leave their home is a big step to take. While the law offers these specific routes to eviction, you may be able to avoid them by reaching an agreement with your tenant. Where that could be an option, it’s one worth exploring first.

We’re here to help with all property-related issues, including managing the relationship between landlords and tenants. If you’d like to discuss your situation, please call Julian Cole on 01264 353411 or email info@bsandi.co.uk. We will be happy to help.

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