Evicting a tenant
Being educated on the eviction process is a crucial skill that should not be overlooked by Landlords. Not only will mastering this skill save you headaches and phone calls, it will also save you from financial losses.
Let’s take a look at some important points to consider:
When to Consider Eviction
To protect your investment, it’s important for you to know when you can and cannot evict your tenant. Just because you own the property, it doesn’t mean you have the right to throw someone out on the streets without reasonable justification or a violation of the tenancy agreement. Below are some of the more common reasons for evicting your tenants:
- Tenant has not paid rent. Non-payment of rent is by far the most common reason for eviction.
- The tenant breaches the tenancy agreement by breaking the terms and conditions.
- The tenant is posing a health or safety risk to the other tenants.
Evicting a tenant can be an extremely time consuming and an emotionally strenuous ordeal – so it is highly recommended that you move forward in the most peaceful way possible. Warning letters are the best way to start – be considerate, but firm and to the point. This is not an opportunity to send threats.
The final stage required before moving forward with an eviction is known as a notice to quit – which is essentially a letter of notice giving them a time-restricted period to complete various tasks. Failure to complete these tasks i.e. pay the past due rent, will result in them having to leave the property. A notice to quit will almost always fall into two categories: pay or comply. The notices you send the tenant are of a prescribed form and must be issued at certain dates – if a landlord fails to issue notices properly, they can be a complete waste of time.
In the simplest fashion, you will send a notice telling them to pay or leave, or a notice telling them to comply or leave. Regardless, the amount of time between your notice to quit being issued and you filing for possession of the property will be determined by your location (the particular county court you use).
Once this time has passed, if your tenant is still being uncooperative, you can contact the courts and take the necessary action against them. 9 times out of 10 the tenant will move out once they receive a summons to appear in court. In the scenario that they are defiant until the end, be sure to have all required documents and proof ready to present to the judge – this will save you lots of time in court.
Certain landlord/tenant documents you should prepare for the court hearing include rent payment records, any police reports and property damage repair bills, as well as copies of the written notices to quit, including printed copies of emails or transcriptions from the tenant.
Using a quality letting agent who is experienced in dealing with Section 21 notices (a notice ending the tenancy where there has been no breach by the tenant), section 8 notices (a notice ending the tenancy where the tenant has breached their agreement) and applying to court for possession orders can make a landlord’s life a good deal easier in the event that a tenant decides to cause problems.