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Make sure you evict your tenant legally Fri, 18 Jul 2014 14:28

You might have gone to every effort to avoid it, but sooner or later, whether because of the expiry of the tenancy or heavy rent arrears being incurred, you may wish to evict your tenant. However, there are certain steps that you will need to take to accomplish this legally and successfully, and so that you do not need to sell your property with a tenant still in residence.


First, it will be necessary to give notice of eviction of no less than two months, in accordance with section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. However, you will only be able to serve such a notice - known as a Section 21 notice - earlier than any fixed term if there is provision for this in the tenancy agreement. Although valid forms of this notice vary, it will need to be in writing in addition to specifying the date that possession is required.


However, the tenant may not move out in response to a Section 21 notice, necessitating the landlord seeking a possession order via the courts. A possession order can't be made by the courts in the tenancy's first six months. In the case of an assured shorthold tenancy, not only do there need to be grounds for eviction, but the proper notice will also need to have been served on the tenant prior to possession proceedings commencing.


Another option for landlords who may otherwise be forced to sell their property with a tenant is the accelerated possession procedure. Although the lack of a court hearing makes this a suitable proceeding for gaining possession more quickly, a fee will still need to be paid before action can commence. Those interested in this means of possession will need to find the County Court for the area where their property is situated, before completing a Form N5B claim for possession (accelerate procedure), which can be obtained from HM Courts service.


It isn't always possible for a tenant to have a notice served on them due to their refusal to answer the door. By taking a witness with you and putting the notice through the letterbox prior to 5pm, you can be assured that the notice will be deemed served on the following day. If it is too difficult for you to make a personal visit to the property or you fear a confrontation with the tenant, you could use a professional process server, using the subsequent certificate of service at court.


Alternatively, you can - of course - simply choose to sell your property with a tenant to Dream House Buyer. We are renowned cash buyers of property in any condition, and with any problems, such as long tenancy agreements or tenants in arrears. 

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