Evictions are extremely tricky things, especially as it means that you are effectively kicking your tenant out of their home and taking back your property. This is why most landlords don’t take evictions lightly and only tend to start the process if there are no other options left.
Unfortunately, at one point or another it is highly likely that you will have to evict one of your tenants, which is why we have created this guide to provide you all the help and information you need.
Note everything down
If you have a large property portfolio, it is quite easy to lose track of everything, which is why it is so important to keep a logbook.
Most landlords do this when it comes to their finances; however, it is also a good idea to do this with tenant behaviour as well. This way you can note down every time you have a problem with your tenant, the date, and what action you took such as a warning or a request for them to change.
Whilst it may sound pedantic to note down every time one of your tenants fails to properly clean the property or pay their rent on time, little things like this can soon add up, and having a log of everything can be used as evidence if a tenant repeatedly breaks the rules.
You should also make sure you take a camera with you every time you visit a property for an inspection so that you can have photographic evidence of any damages your tenants have caused in your properties.
When you inspect the property you should also list down everything you are unhappy with, what you expect to be done and when by, and then try to get your tenant to sign it to say that they acknowledge your requests.
All this information will help you if you ever choose to evict your tenant, as it can be provided to the courts when they are reviewing your case.
Know your tenancy agreements
How quick and easy the eviction process can be heavily depends on what type of tenancy agreement each of your tenants have.
For example, if you have a periodic Shorthold Tenancy Agreement that runs weekly or monthly you can issue your tenants a notice to quit (or section 21), which has to be a reasonable amount of time, such as one week for weekly contracts and one month for monthly.
If you have a fixed term assured tenancy, you can ask your tenants to leave at the end of the tenancy, as long as you give them two months’ written notice and they have lived in the property for more than six months. You must also have made sure that you placed their deposit in a protection scheme, otherwise you may find that the courts will refuse your request.
For those with a fixed term tenancy who want to evict their tenants before the end of the agreed period, you will have to provide a ground (reason) for wanting possession, as stated in the Housing Act 1988.
Depending on what grounds you are using, you could have your property back between two weeks and two months. However, the grounds must be something along the lines of your tenant consistently failing to pay rent, taking part in illegal activities, or if you want to move back into the property yourself.
Possession orders and eviction notices
Once you have decided that you want to evict your tenant, you will have to go to the courts for a possession order, which will only be issued if you have given your tenants the right amount of notice and you are asking them to leave at the end of their tenancy.
However, if you want to evict your tenants during the fixed term tenancy, or if they refuse to leave your property after the notice period, you will have to apply for an eviction notice through the courts. Your landlord insurance should be able to cover the legal costs and court fees at this point, and if the court approves your eviction request (which will be more likely if you have noted everything down and provided evidence) then your tenants will be given a date that they must evict the property by, otherwise bailiffs will come and remove them.
Most of the time evictions can be simple, as long as you give the right amount of notice and only choose to evict your tenants at the end of their fixed tenancy periods.
However if you do need to go through the courts, remember that your landlord insurance will help you cover the costs and having evidence will also make the whole thing a lot easier.