If your tenants have broken the terms of their tenancy, failed to pay rent, or caused damage to your property; you will most likely want to remove them from your property. This can be a little trickier than you may imagine. Here is a brief overview of what you will need to do.
Before starting the eviction process you must ensure you have fulfilled your legal obligations. These include:
- Yourself and your tenant have signed an assured shorthold tenancy agreement (AST).
- The deposit your tenants provided is held in the DPS or TDS (deposit protection scheme, or tenancy deposit scheme).
- You have a valid EPC (energy performance certificate) for the property.
- You have a valid gas safety certificate for the property.
- The tenants were provided with copies of the above documents, plus a copy of the governments ‘how to rent’ guide at the start of their tenancy.
If the above are in place, you have two options. You can serve a section 8, or a section 21. You can issue one or both notices at the same time.
This notice can be served during the AST fixed term, but you must have grounds to do so. These grounds can include: Tenants are 2 or more months in rent arrears; they have broken the terms of the tenancy agreement; or they have damaged the property.
With this notice the landlord does not needs grounds for eviction. This is the only method if the tenants have not breached their contract. This notice gives 2 months for the tenants to vacate the property, this cannot be served during the fixed term.
What if they don’t leave?
If your tenants fail to vacate following this notice you will have to get a possession order from court. Here are the steps you have to follow:
- Apply for a possession order, online for £325, or by post for £355.
- If you are not seeking rent arrears you can apply for the ‘accelerated possession procedure’, via the County Court. This does not generally require a hearing.
- For the ‘accelerated procedure’ complete the N5B form, from the HM Court and Tribunals Service. This will give the tenant 14 or 28 days to vacate.
- If they fail to leave at the end date of the notice you will have to get bailiffs to evict them.
If this all sounds a bit too complicated, you can approach your local lettings agency for further advice or go to a specialist solicitor. Of course, this will cost you significantly more, but could save you making a costly mistake.