Are you a residential landlord who is having difficulties with a tenant? If so please read on…
We know how difficult it can be when you have decided to enter into the realms of letting out your property. Did you know there are a number of things you need in place to comply with the Housing Act 1988? If you have a tenant you want to evict it isn’t as easy as just saying you want them to leave. There is a legal process you have to follow in order to gain possession of your property. There are also a number of pitfalls if you don’t have certain requirements in place.
For instance, if a tenant has paid a deposit this has to be registered with a tenancy deposit scheme. If you have not done this and you attempt to evict your tenant, the tenant can ask to be awarded 3 times the amount of deposit in damages. It is also important to have up to date gas and electrical safety inspection certificates and that you have given your tenant the leaflet on ‘How to Rent’ supplied by gov.co.uk. If you are without any of these evicting your tenant can be an uphill struggle.
What if they owe rent arrears? Can you pursue your tenant for this? Of course, you can.
The Housing Act 1988 provides that you must serve your tenant with either a Section 21 notice requiring possession or a Section 8 default notice. Both Sections have different requirements and different processes and timescales. A Section 8 notice is commonly used when the tenant owes rent areas of more than two months’ and with a notice period of 2 weeks’ this can be the most effective notice for any landlord but be warned, the risk with this notice is if the tenant then pays the arrears in full and costs then you are unlikely to gain possession of the property for rent arrears. If the tenant remedies the breaches relied on in the Section 8 notice, the tenant is likely to stay.
If you serve your tenant with a Section 21 notice then if they pay the rent arrears in full you can still apply to the courts for a possession order. The notice time with the Section 21 is 2 months and the last day of the 2 months must be after the fixed term of the tenancy has ended.
If you just want possession of your property and you are not claiming rent arrears then you can use the Section 21 accelerated procedure. However, you must have a number of documents in place ready to submit to the court to achieve this. All in all, the process can be lengthy, however, it must be done correctly, otherwise, a court can simply strike out your claim and you will have to start all over again. That is why it is so important to speak to a professional who is well versed in residential possession claims to successfully achieve possession of the property in the shortest time practically possible whilst keeping costs proportionate.
So, if you are a residential landlord and you are experiencing problems with your tenant, please get touch with Louise to discuss ways in which we can help you.
T: 01756 700200