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How to Evict a Bad Tenant

Unfortunately, most landlords will encounter a problem tenant at some point in their rental journey. Although these issues commonly present themselves as nightmare scenarios for landlords, leaving them with damaged properties and rent arrears to recoup. However, knowing how to evict a bad tenant, can go a long way in putting an owner’s mind at ease.  

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What Is a Section 8 Notice? 

Landlords are able to issue the occupants of their rental property with a section 8 notice if the tenant has been found in violation of the terms comprising the tenancy agreement; typically seeing the tenant be removed from the property from antisocial behaviour, rent arrears, or malicious damage to the property or its contents. It is essential for landlords to keep in mind that their tenants will be able to dispute these claims and should therefore document any reasoning for serving the notice as these would later prove useful in court.

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What Is a Section 21 Notice?   

Commonly referred to as the “no fault eviction” landlords are able to issue the residents of their property with a section 21 notice if they wish to reclaim possession of the rental property. Unlike a section 8 notice landlords are not required to provide any justification for serving the eviction notice, but they will have to wait until the fixed term comes to an end before the tenants are legally required to vacate.  

How long does it take to evict a private tenant?

Exactly how long the eviction process can take for a landlord will depend on the amount of notice the owner is obligated to provide to the occupant of the property, alongside whether or not the tenant wishes to voluntarily vacate the rental property. Typically, if all goes to plan for the landlord, assuming that a section 21 notice is being severed the eviction process will take around two months; however, a section 8 notice could see the tenant removed in as little as 14 days. 

Is It Hard to Evict a Tenant?   

To the frustration of many owners, removing a bad tenant from a rental property is far from simple. The eviction process is often extremely costly to the landlord, with tenants that prove reluctant to leave the property after sufficient notice has been provided only making the process more complicated and expensive for landlords.  

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How to Avoid Bad Tenants 

The most common and widely revered way for rental property owners to avoid encountering a problem tenant is to put each of their prospective tenants through the referencing process. Simply put this series of assessments determines a tenant’s suitability for the rental opportunity, allowing the landlord to gain an understanding of if the applicant will respect the condition of the property, consistently pay rent on time and generally conduct themselves in the manner expected of a tenant. This will see the landlord not only carry out right to rent checks on each of their tenants but assess their current income, employment status, credit history and a character reference from a past tenancy. 

Can Landlords Evict a Tenant Without a Tenancy Agreement?   

In the overwhelming majority of tenancies, both the landlord and tenant will have a written tenancy agreement in place. However, providing that the owner has accepted a rental payment a legally binding agreement will be in place. In the absence of a written tenancy agreement the landlord will be prevented from issuing their tenant with a section 21, “no fault” eviction, and will instead be forced to evict a tenant through the section 8 notice procedure, citing the individual grounds on which the tenancy agreement has been breached.  

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