If you are a buy-to-let landlord looking to evict your tenant(s), it is imperative that you follow the correct procedures.
New figures released today by Citizens Advice indicate that there has been a rise of almost 50% in the number of people asking for assistance, having been threatened with illegal eviction.
Citizens Advice has stated that 2,087 tenants have asked for help having been told to leave their rented property in the year to March 2016. This represents a 47% rise from the same period in 2015.
The charity has said that many tenants were threatened with eviction after missing just one rental payment. Many buy-to-let landlords also moved to change locks and seize some of the tenants’ possessions as a form of bait.
Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords’ Association, noted, ‘people don’t understand that as a landlord they are running a business-there are expectations and responsibilities. They think of it as I’m letting this person live in my home but actually you have a contract, you have a client, you have a service to provide that they’re paying you for.’
Much of these illegal evictions are being blamed on so-called accidental landlords, who have either inherited a property or did not purchase specifically in order to let it out. It is feared that these particular landlords are most at risk of not being aware of or not understanding buy-to-let legislations.
Many landlords are also thought to be feeling the strain of tax alterations, such as the additional 3% stamp duty surcharge and cuts to mortgage interest tax relief coming into play next year.
Should you be preparing to evict a tenant from your rental property, you must abide by the correct channels.
First off, make sure your paperwork is in order. You will need a lot of documentation, including inventories, a copy of the tenancy agreement and landlord insurance provider.
It is also imperative that you know how much notice you have to give for your tenants to leave the property. For assured shorthold tenancies, the notice period is normally two months. Fixed termed agreements can be different.
If your tenant feels that you are acting immorally, then you may have to apply for a possession order through the courts. This is where it is vitally important that you have all relevant details in order. Your tenant will have 14 days from receipt of this order to challenge. Should they not, the judge will provide a timeframe for them to leave your property, normally within 28 days.
The final step, should your tenant still not leave the property, is to apply for a warrant of possession. This will state that if your tenant does not leave by the specific date, they will be forcefully evicted by bailiffs.
A full run down on how to evict your tenants can be sourced through our resource centre. We cannot stress how important it is to follow the legal process. Don’t become another number for a Citizens Advice survey!