Have you ever had to evict a tenant in the past or are you currently in the process of doing so?
How to evict a tenant
Getting rid of a problem tenant is relatively straightforward in the UK but nevertheless still a frustrating, expensive, and long process. So how does it work? Each type of tenancy agreement follows slightly different routes to eviction so here’s my guide to them.
Fixed-Term Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST)
This is the most common kind of tenancy, which tends to be either six or twelve months long. During this fixed term you can only give your tenant a ‘notice to quit’ for specific reasons including non-payment of rent, illegal activity within the property or antisocial behaviour and even then you must give two month’s written notice (and remember a possession order cannot apply until the fixed term has ended anyway). After a possession order has been granted by a judge your tenant must move out usually after fourteen to twenty-eight days. If they don’t, a possession warrant can be issued by the court and an eviction notice served: bailiffs can then be brought in to evict your tenant. To complicate matters tenants can appeal at different stages of the process causing further delays.
Periodic Assured Shorthold Tenancy (PAST)
These are the same as fixed term AST’s but instead continue periodically rolling forward on a weekly or monthly basis rather than a set fixed term. The process is the same as are the rules and timings.
This type of eviction, which is also referred to as a Section 21 or Section 8 notice, is a more streamlined version of the AST eviction (see above) but removes, usually, the need for a court hearing and gets the process down to two months. However there are legal requirements to adhere to when considering Accelerated possession:
- They can only be applied to tenants on AST’s or PAST’s
- You must have put the tenants deposit into an approved deposit scheme
- You must have given your tenants at least two months’ notice in writing
- You must have in place a written tenancy agreement
If you have the time and the confidence to pursue the eviction on your own that’s all well and good. I however always instruct a solicitor and in my experience, this could save you a lot of money and stress in the long run.
If you do decide to use a solicitor, use one experienced in landlord and tenant work and get a firm quotation upfront. Get your solicitor to agree to a fixed price for the eviction and not just working unspecified hours at an hourly rate.
Director, Green City Lettings
ARLA Licensed Agent