While buying property for let is a good way to earn extra income for retirement or to live the lifestyle you want now, it also comes with a host of responsibilities. A landlord must keep their property properly maintained, advertise for tenants when people move out, collect rents, and, if problems arise, may have to evict tenants. Here are the steps you should follow to ensure you’re following the law when you need to evict tenants.
Reasons for Eviction
If you have fixed-term tenants, meaning there is a certain period in which they can let the property from you, then there are only three valid reasons for eviction:
- They haven’t paid their rent.
- They’ve committed crimes on your property, such as selling drugs.
- If there is a ‘break clause’ in the lease contract.
A break clause allows landlords to take their property back before the tenant’s fixed-term expires, but the tenant cannot be removed until after six months have passed on their contract. At the end of the fixed-term, a landlord doesn’t need to give tenants notice to evict them, but they must supply the tenant with a proper eviction notice.
If you want to evict a fixed-term tenant, then there are steps you need to take. Depending on the reason for eviction, the notice you give them must be for at least two weeks, but most give tenants a two-month notice. The ‘notice to quit,’ or a Section 21 notice, is a two-month written notice with the date you want to the tenants to move out by.
As mentioned above, you usually cannot give a fixed-term tenant notice to move in the first six months of their contract. To ensure you’re giving your tenants proper notice to leave your property, you can consult with Dorking lawyers who are knowledgeable about housing laws. Once the proper notice has been given to the tenant, you can then apply for a possession order.
Section 8 Notice
If your tenants have broken the terms of their lease, then you can have them evicted by giving them a Section 8 notice. For example, if they have a pet and their lease states that there are no pets allowed or if they have broken the law, such as selling drugs on your property. The Section 8 gives tenants two weeks to two months, depending on the reasons for using the notice.
If tenants do not move by the date on the notice they’ve received, then you will need to apply for a warrant for possession. If it is granted, then bailiffs can forcibly remove tenants from the property on your behalf.
When using a Section 8 notice, you should consult with your solicitor to make sure everything is being done lawfully or you may not be able to evict tenants even if they are breaking their contract. A solicitor can write contracts to ensure your right to evict tenants as needed if they are breaking their contract and help you evict them if necessary.