How Landlords Can Evict Bad Tenants

How Landlords Can Evict Bad Tenants

Oh dear. If you’re here, there’s a good chance you’re currently dealing with problematic tenants, and now you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get rid of them. Right?

If so, you may have landed in the right place!

This blog posts covers the options and processes available for landlords to evict tenants with an assured shorthold tenancy in England or Wales, including HMO tenants.

Ahh, the underbelly of being a landlord, dealing with an eviction, or even just the prospect of it. It’s worrying.

I’ve been there, I’ve done it, and I’m still haunted by the experiences, because it’s never nice. But sadly, it is part of the business. In fact, most landlords will probably eventually have to flirt with the process at some point, particularly because of the current economic state, which is forcing more and more people to rent!

The reality of tenant evictions is that it’s not always a case of trying to get rid of bad tenants, it’s also a necessary process to get rid of well-intentioned tenants that have fallen into arrears due to a change of circumstances. In any case, it’s never a nice process, but it’s often the only choice.

An “eviction” may sound daunting, and particularly aggressive, but it’s an extremely common process and can be relatively easy…

Evicting Tenants

An “eviction” is a legal proceeding by which the landlord seeks to reclaim the rented premises, causing the tenant to vacate. It’s always best to be prepared, so be assured that the process can often be costly, lengthy and complicated.

A landlord only has a right to evict where the agreement with the tenant contains such a right, and/or where the landlord is able to rely on one of the ‘statutory grounds for possession‘.

It’s important to follow the proper procedures!

I get it. Trust me, I do.

It can be terribly tempting to take matters into your own grubby little mitts, especially when you’re dealing with an asshole tenant that is being overwhelmingly unreasonable. It may require super-human strength and discipline to remain calm and refrain from pursuing your primal instincts, but I urge you to do exactly that. Fight it.

The most common urge is to turn up at the property and physically grab the rat-bastard(s) by their scrawny neck(s) and remove them and their belongings from the premises. While that may feel like progress and the course of justice, it can actually be catastrophically damaging for the landlord, and it may not only substantially delay the entire eviction process, but also make it a shit tonne more expensive!

The key point to remember is that a tenant has statutory rights, which includes the right to quiet enjoyment (which means the landlord is not entitled to turn up at the property as and when they please) and those rights do not magically disappear, even if the tenant has breached the terms of the tenancy.

If you decide to impede on your tenants right, your tenant may have grounds to counterclaim, which could result in your tenant gaining the rights to remain in your property and entitlement to financial compensation, which will be drained from your already light(er) pockets!

Yes, it may seem unfair and totally unjust (which it usually is in both cases), but it is the law.

So the most important aspect of ‘tenant eviction’ is to follow the proper procedures, because it’s the most effective and safest means of eviction- using improper methods could make you prime for criminal prosecution. It can typically take anywhere between 14 days to several months to evict a tenant, but it can take even longer if there’s foul play by the landlord.

Steps for Evicting Tenants (yourself):

Step 1 – Ask yourself, is eviction actually necessary?

Depending on your circumstances, eviction may not be necessary, but more of a knee-jerk reaction (frequently out of frustration and fear!).

The process of evicting a tenant shouldn’t be taken lightly, so if there’s a chance of avoiding it, it’s always better to do so (well, usually).

For example, if your tenants are good tenants but have fallen into financial difficulties, a better solution than eviction might be to put them onto a payment plan to help recover any arrears and/or keep on top of rent. But obviously, don’t let your generosity drag you into debt you can’t manage!

From my experience, evictions can be necessary, but they’re also often used under the wrong circumstances. It’s important to note that evictions can be stressful and expensive, so when it makes sense to avoid, do exactly that – avoid!

Step 2 – Ask nicely

If eviction is the only sensible option (which it often is, sadly)…

Before going in all guns blazing, it’s always worth trying the diplomatic approach. Simply ask the tenant to leave and explain your reasons for your request.

You could be surprised, your tenant might be willing to vacate your property willingly. If your tenant agrees, make sure he/she signs a document clarifying the agreement.

Step 3 – Look into the different options available to end a tenancy

There are several ways of ending a tenancy, some methods are more elegant and straight forward than others- it doesn’t need to be a messy or an aggressive affair.

Here’s a more in-depth article on how to end a tenancy agreement, which runs through a few of the options available.

Step 4 – Serve a valid possession notice

Failing the diplomatic approach, you may now want to consider serving a possession notice, either a Section 21 notice or a Section 8 notice. It may make sense to serve one over the other, but it will entirely depend on your circumstances.

To determine the most suitable option, you may want to have a look at the Section 21 Vs Section 8 blog post.

A section notice is typically enough to force the tenant to surrender the tenancy, so court action is not required. Approximately 80% of tenants leave after being served notice.

Please note, failure to serve this notice correctly may delay the repossession, so if you feel out of your depth, it might be wise to consult a professional eviction company to advise you or do this for you.

Step 5 – Issuing a court order

Once the notice has expired, and if the tenant has not paid the owed amount or moved out of your property, you may apply for a hearing at a County Court. For more information on arranging a hearing at a county court, please go to the County Court HMCS page.

Step 6 – Bailiffs

Having won the repossession order in court, most tenants will vacate your property as instructed. However, if they do not, you can apply for a Warrant of Possession (a County Court Bailiff).

It’s important to note that landlords can’t use any run-of-the-mill bailiff to remove tenants from the premises, it must be a court bailiff.

Once a request for a warrant has been filed at court, the court will issue a warrant number. The warrant number then goes into a queue for the court to make a bailiff appointment.

Professional Eviction Services

If you need advice, or if you’re not feeling confident about the whole eviction process (which is completely understandable and normal for most landlords), my advice is to use a specialist tenant eviction company. They will know the most efficient way of evicting tenants, and it’s often the most cost-effective solution (they’re not as expensive as people assume). Here’s a list of professional eviction companies.

The reality is, many notices served by landlords are actually invalid, which end up causing major delays in the eviction process. Yes, in many cases, tenants vacate once they receive notice (invalid or otherwise), but in the cases where they don’t vacate and the case goes to court, it’s common for Judges to throw cases out because of invalid paperwork, which can cause several months of delays. Getting the notice right is critical, so that’s why it’s often cheaper and more reliable to use a specialist company.

Please note, I will always recommend a tenant eviction specialist over a general high-street solicitor. Eviction companies are often much cheaper than solicitors, and they specialise in evicting tenants, whereas most solicitors practise multiple areas of law, and therefore don’t have specialist experience or knowledge.

If you don’t want to go for that option, you can follow the eviction process independently, but make sure you follow the proper procedures (for the reasons already mentioned)…

Extra notes

  • If your tenant has fallen into arrears, and providing that you win your case, you should get what is owed, including the costs of going to court and possibly further compensation. However, if your tenant is not working, you could well find that he/she is permitted to pay the money back over some ridiculous length of time, with the potential for further defaults along the way.
  • If you decide to use a professional company to evict your tenant, make sure you are aware of the ALL costs before proceeding. Most eviction companies operate under a “fixed-cost” policy, which is advisable to avoid any shocks!
  • Make sure that you serve written notice correctly and that you follow all the correct procedures. If there are extenuating circumstances, like the property is in poor order, this may weaken your court claim.
  • If you are in a position where you need to evict a tenant, you should consult a solicitor or legal body before taking any action. Even if you are relying on one of the grounds for possession that entitle you to a possession order as of right, the court will expect you to follow the correct procedure.
  • Judges dislike evicting tenants and will not do so if the landlord has not got his paperwork in order. It is very easy for someone who is unfamiliar with the process to misunderstand the rules and get things wrong.

110 Join the Conversation...

Showing 60 - 110 comments (out of 110)
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twattybollocks 13th May, 2011 @ 16:37

Diane - are you for real?

The only probablility will be YOU following your bro off to jail as you are conspiring to commit fraud by living in a property you are not entitled to.

If you fess up to the council your Bro is liable to taken to court for fraud

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Gringo 11th September, 2011 @ 09:18

I dont know where to start... my tenant has defaulted and owes me some £2k+, I am having some of the money for rent paid monthly by the housing association but he has now defaulted again, and i want him out. The house is a complete sty and he has wrecked my garden. What do I do now? I want to get him out but i think hes going to make it hard for me, i went there yesterday to talk to him and he rang the police today and told them i had brooken in. Please help

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stephen ashford 27th September, 2011 @ 21:52

could you please help me i have had no problems with the rent so far from my tennant but she has broken a few rules on the tennancy agreement, she has got 3 dogs and 3 cats plus rabbits and i dont know if she has anything else, the neighbours have complained and they have faile to keep the back garden clean, the dogs have upset the neighbours and they have failed to keep the property clean ect ect, i have an agreement which she signed and so far has broken some of the rules, but her rent has been paid and she has not defaulted on this at all, what can i do as i do not want to lose a paying tennant.

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helpmeplease 9th October, 2011 @ 15:25

Can someone help with any advice? A family member has his own house and another family member and husband wanted 2 live there and pay the ownwer rent, but, no contract was drawn up and they paid cash in hand. the amount agreeed was £350 but the family tenants had some money troubles so rent droped to £250, anyway 2 cutlong story short, the family tenents have said they can't afford 2 pay ANY rent and they R NOT going to pay any because they can't,. The ownwer of the house needs 2 sell his house as he has just had his work hours cut from full time to 17hours a week so needs 2 sell house 2 pay off debit. How can he go about getting the family tenents out? Any help or advice will be really helpfull please.

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nana 28th October, 2011 @ 22:29

hello, i am renting two rooms out in my flat. i am not living there. how can i evict the two tenants who have decided not to pay my rent? i have given one notice to quit as there owe me two week's rent. please help.

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James 26th August, 2012 @ 11:21

My tenant is refusing to leave my property after seeking advice from the council and the CAB, and them telling him to stay put. He is not paying his rent, for which he claims housing benefit. I am angry that he is using his benefit money to spend on other things apart from his rent. I want to contact the benefits office and inform them of this but i'm under the impression that they will not appear interested in this fraud and it would be a waste of my time. Does anybody know if this is true, or wether it's worth contacting the benefits office for whatever reason

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mike flynn 20th January, 2013 @ 21:15

my brother inlaw is in my wifes flat. he told us he had to move out so we asked him to be out by jan31st. we have no tenancy agreement, all verbal and now he does not want to leave. can i change the locks when he is out..?

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Dawn Estall 14th July, 2013 @ 19:18

Please can you advise me on how long a court evition can take, my Landlord is doing this independently through court without a solicitor.

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p.robert 6th October, 2013 @ 12:43

Dear Sir's
Anyone can give ma a good advise before I decided to proceed with please?
Due to circumstances and or so pure health decided to rent my house privately to another person/s.
We prepared a tenancy agreement (that was 2011 march)
for the period of 12 months and obviously with extended date if apply means they can stay longer if wanted. They r living until now at my house but during this period they had made so loots of troubles so decided now that I m done and had enough.
-my house was occupied several times by persons not mentioned in contract for long term - over a month (or longer) etc
-they had done loots of damages at my home - promised to repair but that never happens
-they missed payments until today 11 times lol
once they paid one day before the next payment.
Finally the main tenant now is in the prison cos has been some international letter issued against him and
has been deported to his country. At my home left his partner with 4 kids and basically She stop making the payments.
My question is in this situation what period
I have to give them to leave my house
( She is not on the contract but we made an separate note that She is added to the tenancy agreement) and to who I have to hand in the notice if the main tenant is in the prison.

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boby 11th October, 2013 @ 00:47

Quick question can some1 advise

I rented out my house about 5 years ago to a woman with 2 kids
With written tenancy at the time which has been lost
I have a most recent AST

I want to evict this tenant when her current tenancy expires
In january 2014

Its very likely i will go to court

Guys what are the chances of getting a court.order mind i dont have the tenancy from 5 years ago?

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Tim 6th November, 2013 @ 08:26

Most eviction cases start with your tenant failing to pay to the rent, which is one of the biggest struggles of buying rental property and becoming a landlord. If you decide you can evict and want to move forward, get very familiar with the Landlord and Tenant Act, which explains the legal process for evicting a tenant. Many states require you to give the tenant written notice before you even start filing for an eviction. Then start the eviction process by filing for a court hearing.

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Greg 15th November, 2013 @ 21:58

I have a 6 bed HMO which has recently been let out to a group of first year students in September 2013. All tenants paid 1 months rent up front plus a months rent as a deposit.

I carried out credit checks on the tenants guarantors and all were fine except one who had CCJ's. I asked this tenant to provide another guarantor although I was told the only other person he could use was away on business until November. Due to only finishing the renovation of the property in September, the academic term about to start and the tenancy due to commence in 3 days I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Octobers rent was not paid. I tried to phone him several times although kept getting his voicemail. I contacted another tennant and was told he had lost his phone.. I continued to frustratingly contact this tennant via the other tenants although he was rarely with them and he would often chose to ignore my requests to return my calls. I have also tried contacting his temporary gaurantor over the last few weeks however I am just get false promises that I should receive the money in the next few days..
I sent a letter on the 7th day his rent was overdue advising that he will be £25 if I fail to receive payment in the next 7 days.
I sent another letter on the 17th day after his rent was due advising that if I have not received payment within the next 7 days I will visit the property to discuss his unpaid rent on a set day and time (giving him plenty of notice in advance).
When I visited the property all the tenants were there except for the one not paying.
I then contacted all of the other gaurantors to make them aware of the situation and that he hadn't paid.
I have been in close talks with the universities accommodation office and they have met with the tenant with his course leader and offered him cheaper accomodation in halls although he refuses to leave.
The other thenants have even written him a joint letter asking him to leave by today although he still refuses to go. I have also been chasing him for another gaurantor which he is reluctant to do, although I have given him a deadline of Sunday to provide a suitable gaurantor else he will be asked to leave. I have also been advised that he is smoking in his room and has advertised a house party on Facebook against the wishes of the other tenants.
All the other tenants and gaurantors want him out although I am unsure if we legally can throw him out with it being a joint tenancy. The other gaureantors are even threatening to move their children out of the property if he stays. The university has suggested that I write a letter to him on Monday giving him until the end of the week to move out due to not providing a suitable gaurantor, paying his rent on time and failing to meet me and return my calls. When the week I would change the locks and give him his belongings on his return to the house. Maybe arranging with the uni to take him to student halls. Am I legally allowed to do this?

Also having spoken to the gaurantors and other tenants, even if he pays his rent next week and finds a suitable gaurantor they are not happy for him to stay in the property as the trust is no longer there.
Any advise would be much appreciated.
Thank you

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Kat 20th November, 2013 @ 00:11

I am about to issue a Section 8 notice to a couple I have as tenants in a second floor flat in a converted house as they have pets (dog, cat, and a large fish tank of terrapins)when the 12 month AST contract they both signed says "no pets" -and they failed to mention them to me or ask permission.
I do like the tenants and they have been good for the 4 months they have been there and I have met the lovely pets too but it is not fair to the animals and definitely not to the neighbours when the sound proofing is minimal.
For Section 8, Ground 12 it states I should give them 2 weeks notice. As Christmas is coming (from both our point of view) I would like to instead give them till the end of the 6 months...which works out as about 2 months, and a week.
Is this okay to offer them a longer period to leave by?
Or am I giving myself more problems with the court if they still don't leave then and I didn't stick to the official(?) 2 weeks only?
Thanks in advance for any advice.
I need to issue this Section 8 tomorrow!

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Sandra dee 17th December, 2013 @ 02:10

Over the past 4 years we had a tenant at our upstairs flat. She was not necessarily been a good tenant as rent was late every month by 2 to 3 weeks and deposit remained unpaid during the second lease term after she asked if she could terminate the lease and gave notice then got her deposit back then asked to re-let the property from us and then did not pay deposit. However, we took pity on her as a single mother. Further, as the market rate increased for this flat we kept the rent very low at approx. GBP1000 below the market rate as she pleaded and told us she could not afford to pay more.

By August 2013 we gave her notice and said we needed to rent it out for what it was worth t avoid s falling into debt. As we were temporarily residing outside somewhere else due to work relocation, and rarely used our home downstairs over the past 12 months -the tenant asked us if she could move out from upstairs and rent this smaller flat. We agreed at least for 12 months with a 6 months break clause.

Since she moved in early in October, she has not signed the contract which I sent for her to review and send comments. When I reinitiated the process to move ahead with signing she said she would not sign due to a minor issue that arose after she moved in - we installed a new boiler through well known National supplier when she moved in . They seem to have fitted a wrong valve that does not allow the hot water to come on separately from the heating i.e both come on together, so that they need to fit another one. The valve is not stopping the flow of heating or hot water and although the engineer came to assess the issue straight away and is sorting it out

Up until Friday 13th Dec, she insisted that she will not sign a contract , or pay a penny until this issues is sorted. The week before that I sent her an email and text suggesting that I write a list any works in progress and completion date and attach that to the contract as an addendum so we are legally bound to complete. She never responded.

Now we are telling her that we no longer want to have her in the property as the contract has not been signed and rent is late/unpaid again She has refused was insulting and accusatory. However we are adamant that we will not be moving ahead with the contract and we need to move back to our home as a result of difficulties etc.

Over the weekend she has started texting incessantly, being even more aggressive and insulting on email and text and demanding that me or my husband bring the contract and she will sign for 12 months and is not leaving our home before then . She sent me a series of abusive, threatening and ranting emails over the past 2 days

It has got to the point that we are scared for the property. We need our home back ASAP and also we need to move back in as we are having difficulties paying both mortgage and rent elsewhere. As we has never rented out this property before how do we approach evicting her from our property ?

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mattersarising 10th January, 2014 @ 18:52

All these cases on here, and in all honesty it is a minefield. Although I am not qualified, I do seem to know the Housing Act 2004 pretty well, and am expert on the Localism Act 2011(protection of deposits) Also Protection from eviction 1997 covering illegal eviction, trespass to goods, possessions and correspondence and all the other bits that seem to be attached.
will help if I can but as stated not qualified, but have acted for myself in county,criminal (against landlord) and High court so not as daft as I look.

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Linda 3rd February, 2014 @ 08:31

I followed the procedure, issued the section 8, paid the court fee, got a date. She hasn't been back to the house so hasn't seen the possession order court date letter, so she didnt attand, and is adjourned til after the date her contract finishes.
I'm left with £1750 owing and a room full of her crap.
The legal system sucks if you're the landlord.
No idea what I need to do next and the court can't even be bothered to answer my emails.

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A.M. 26th February, 2014 @ 19:06

I have a tenant who is renting two rooms from me, he pays rent, but has broken the lease agreement several times. How do I go about properly getting him out of my house? I am a truck driver so I am not home on a regular basis. However, I am looking to be home more by attaining a local job, and wish to no longer have to deal with my tenant and his 17 year old son.I am in the state of Florida.

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suraj 27th February, 2014 @ 03:21

My lease with PNB is going to expire in a week. I have sent many letters and e-mail regarding emptying my premises but, i have not received and reply. The bank has decided to shift its premises to some other place but, it might take 2-3 months extra after lease period with shifting and all. So what shall i do to empty my premises if the bank is not ready to enter into a new agreement for 2-3 months and not showing any signs of shifting...

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aray 27th February, 2014 @ 22:46

We have had tenants in our house for 1 year the contract was only for 1 year and they were issued with the proper notice through our agents. But they have refused to go on the grounds that they can't afford to go anywhere else. I gave them another month but they still refuse to go. Now I have got a solicitor involved who issued them with a notice to leave the house within seven days. Or court action would be taken. They have stated that they still will not leave as they have 2 young children with nowhere to go. He earns 35000 a year and pays us 750 a month. But he says he can't afford to move. My flat has been sold so I will have to get out within a month. And I will be homeless. I need to get back into my house. How long will the legal process take and how expensive will it be. Can I reclaim the costs from my tenants deposit. They have continued to pay rent so far . But I have no contract with them now. If the courts rule in my favour will they have to get out straight away. Or will I have to get ballifs to remove them. Thanks ray

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Meg 5th March, 2014 @ 13:51

Can ur landlord give you a notice one day and evict you the next day to be out at five

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Nick 21st March, 2014 @ 12:30

@Sandra Dee - if she hasn't signed a tenancy agreement and has refused in the past you are in a bit of a pickle. She isn't squatting as you allowed her to move into the property without a valid AST and where aware of her there. The council will advise her to stay put, I would recommend contacting a solicitor but as a turn around you are going to be looking at 4-5 months before she is out ... unless the police happen to pop by after an anom tip and find a large amount of canabis in the entrance hall.

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Rosie 21st March, 2014 @ 12:39

Hi there, looking for a bit of advice. Me and my partner where due to be moving into a house my parents where renting privately. They served notice to the tenants to have them out at the beginning of March, however a day before they where due to be out, they phoned the agency and said they wanted to be evicted by bailiffs.

We are now having to stay in a hotel we cannot afford with our 7 month old baby as we moved out of our previous property. What sort of turn around are we looking at and how long will it take for them to be evicted / is there any way we can speed up the process?

My parents have been good landlords to them for 5 years (they are paying 800pcm rent on a 3 bedroom house in an area of London where market price is 1600), because they have not needed the extra money and are nice people and are being repaid with this.

Are we actually looking at 5 months in a hotel? What is the likely hood that they will appeal any letters received from the courts as they are after a council house.


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Karen 21st March, 2014 @ 12:43

Aray - Even though a new AST has not been given the previous AST stands and is now a periodic one. I presume a s21 notice has been served? You can act on this immediately. Has a deposit been taken, if so, has it beeen protected with a Government Scheme? It will take about 4/8 weeks to evict the tenants especially if they are looking to be rehoused by the council. Give Landlord & Eviction a call on 020 8420 5419. They are experts in this field.

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Karen 21st March, 2014 @ 12:47

Rosie - Was it a s21 notice served on the tenants? They are obviously looking to be rehoused by the council, hence the 'bailiff' comment. Once the notice expires (so long as it is valid) then proceedings can be issued immediately with the court. If everything is in order with the paperwork then the judge will grant possession between 14/18 days and give a 14 day order. Once this expires, the tenants will wish for you to instruct bailiffs, this can take a matter of days or weeks, depending on how busy the court is. Call Landlord & Eviction Services on 020 8420 5419 who are experts in this field...

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Rosie 25th March, 2014 @ 09:30

Karen - yes it was a s21 served on them, they signed this at the start of the tenancy via the agency so not anticipating any problems as far as that goes, will def give the number a call though if anything goes wrong!

If they are after a council house, are they likely to appeal the possession notice if the judge gives them 14 days, or accept it and go back to the council once a bailiff date has been set? The last thing we need is an extension giving them 60 days and drawing the process out any longer!

I think it's outrageous that they are advised to go through this process, quiet disgusting how the courts seem to treat landlords, and side with the tenants all the time. They put a lot of people out - hence our extended stay in a hotel with a baby. I wonder if we can take them to a small claims court for the costs! ...

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Daria 2nd April, 2014 @ 13:33

Hi Rosie, we are at a similar situation with my husband. We were supposed to buy a new flat this week, but the tenant said he doesn't want to leave unless he gets housing benefit (he obviously got advice from welfare adviser to come up with something like that). I think now we are sending eviction notice which judge is supposed to sign, but I was told it might take up to 6 weeks. After the judge issues the order, the tenant can go to the council and ask for a flat. If after 2 weeks he is still there, we can call bailiffs, but I'm not sure how long it would take:( It did screw our plans completely, starting with moving out of our current place, needing to find a new place, cancelling holiday plans, asking our friends to visit us not in June but in September, and so on, and so on.

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Sanj 7th August, 2014 @ 19:12

I need some advice - I served my tenants a section 21 several months ago and it expires next week. I have completed the n%b form for submission in order to gain possession. However, my tenants have told me that they will not leave even after the court order, as they want a council flat and will not get one until the bailiffs arrive. I am anticipating the process will take at 3 or 4 months.
The last rent payment I received takes them up to the date that the section 21 expires - my question is whether I can continue to accept rent while the possession process is underway, or will the courts view this as my acceptance that the tenancy will continue?
Ay advice would be gratefully received. Thanks!

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Arthur Kitson 4th September, 2014 @ 09:49

My tenants have refused to move out - after agreeing to the move-out inspection at the expiry of section 21 notice. The managing agents clearly didn't check them well enough - they are Armenians with a 'shady' history connected with drugs, prostitution, illegal immigration scams etc but are really smart, so have avoided criminal prosecution (though people around them have not).This was my family house, market in Hastings was slow, so I let it & took a mortgage on my new home in Suffolk.Tenant was slow payer (three weeks late each month!) until last month, when he paid nothing.Court rejected my N5B form for accelerated possession a\s they decided I needed to give them an extra copy to deliver to the wife! It seems that everything is against the landlord, no matter how good he has been.I have a buyer for the house - he has sold up, is in an inadequate flat pro tem & has been undergoing chemo for non-huntingdons lymphoma - really needs the security of my house which was well designed for someone with a disability. Meanwhile the tenants (who own several properties I now understand) can lord it over us all & just don't give a damn. I used a professional Managing Agent to find the tenant 7 to manage the property. They don't admit to having failed to carry out adequate & thorough checks & just thought they'd move out - right up to the last day of the notice.They then decided that they have no further part to play & we were on our own to sort out the mess.
How do we influence Govt to make the playing field more even, stop demonising landlords - & are there any come-backs on the so-called 'Managing' Agents?

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Ash 27th September, 2014 @ 18:43

i cant believe how much injustice there is (for landlords)the law needs to change.
at the end of ther day, we are merely offering a product/service and expect payment on time and our property to be taken care.
more over, i think councils needs to get themselves sorted as they are promoting tenants to stay in house ass ths is the only way the tenants will get a council flat/house.

This is a poor do. i too have/is being stung!

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Sarah 30th September, 2014 @ 21:40

I'm after some advice please.. We have Been in our rented house for over 3 years have had some finacial issues prior to moving in but since moving into this property have never missed a rents payment council tax etc.. Have been model tenants never asked for a single repair always treated the hous like it was our own then 2 months ago was given a section 21 we have 3 children so contacted the relevant housing association we are both working so thought it wouldn't take too long however only this week have we been given a house the problem is our section 21 is up and the landlady keeps harassing is to move out the house isn't ready until at least the end of the week we have paid our rent until the end of October.. Can she kick us out or do we have right to stay in until at least the 21st October? Another issue is that when we gave our deposit she didn't put it in a government bond my understanding is that she can't kick us out until she has either given us the deposit back or at least come to an agreement Am I right? I feel so frustrated by all of this as we have done nothing wrong have been model tenants but have been treated badley by the landlords


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Nick 1st October, 2014 @ 04:42

@sarah - if your landlord is in contact with you, she is harassing you. If she comes by the house, tell her this and say you will contact the police. The system is very tenant sided so no worries there. Mention expired 21, eviction process and harassment and they will be all over her. If your landlord has not put your deposit in one of the three government backed schemes then you are in a position to ask for it back in its entirety. She can be sued for 3 times the deposit amount, for every year your tenancy has been ongoing and she has not registered it, so tell her to pay up, wait for you to move out and stop harassing you. Don't make yourself voluntarily homeless or the council will not help.

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Nick 1st October, 2014 @ 04:55

@ash - always make sure you have a rent protection policiy in place. Sorta you for rental payments if tenants can't pag, and eviction costs through the courts. Also, as much as most landlords seem to hate them, lettings agents can be miracle workers when you find the right local agent.

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Nick 1st October, 2014 @ 05:01

@sanj - if you are evicting on an expired section 21, i.e you want the property back after tenancy is up, And not for rent arears (section 8), then receiving rent will not hold up an application and does not factor in with the judges decision. If they refuse to pay the rent, you can take them to small claims court, although I would wait until they are are Out if this is the case.

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Arthur Kitson 1st October, 2014 @ 10:28

I've done everything properly & when section 21 expired I served papers for rapid possession. After 2 weeks for 'defense' the Judge considered in Chambers & granted 14 day possession order - on 22nd September. I now find that the Court has hardly any clerical staff & are nearly a month behind in processing the orders; they don't know when they will get round to my case & when they do the 14 days will start running from delivery of the order to the tenants. Meanwhile my overdraft grows (no income from house/outgoings on mortgage etc) and the family who want to buy the house are stuck in an inadequate flat - and husband is wheelchair-bound! When can a good landlord get a decent break?

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JEC 7th December, 2014 @ 16:12

I own a studio flat in west London which I'm currently renting out to a Polish couple with two young children. They didn't have the second child when they first moved in but now have a little baby and are complaining that the mould in the flat (having so many in a small flat causes condensation and black mould) has made the baby asthmatic.
I told them before the baby was due that the flat was too small for a family of 4 and gave them a section 21 letter (with 2 months notice) to leave. They couldn't find anywhere affordable to move to so stayed in my flat for the next 6 months and continued to pay rent, even though I didn't renew their tenancy agreement.
They now want me to get a Court Order to evict them so they can take it along to the council and get a council flat. Just wondering if it's worth my time and money going through the courts to have them evicted? How much does it usually cost to get the Court Order (through Brentford court)? And how long will it take?
Any advice gratefully accepted.

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Jackie 18th March, 2015 @ 14:04

Can someone help, we have a single mum with 5 kids who rents our 4 bed house. she became separated from her husband after the first year. She picked up with another man, who is the father of number 5 child, she did not inform us about moving him in and she dictates to us when she will pay the rent. she has become in arrears but she wont pay the arrears and keeps it as a balance just below 2 months. We have had every door closed to us and cannot afford a solicitor!! we also feel that the court will be in her favour because of her 4 month baby? There doesn't appear to be any help for landlords, this was suppose to be our retirement fund because my husband is self employed. the thing is, if she doesn't pay us rent, then we cannot pay ours, so her ignorance and complacency will make us homeless and she sits pretty!!

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Nick 18th March, 2015 @ 14:31

Hi Jackie. Your situation is not unheard of, but unfortunately you are right in thinking that the system is very tenant sided. What I would advise is conducting a Google search for solicitors who deal in property law and section 21s online. They will be able to review your original contracts, and issue notice on the tenant. You are probably looking at around £150 for this service. The notice will be valid for 2 months, after which if she doesn't move out - which I would assume will be the case unfortunately, you are able to start court proceedings for eviction.

If she moves out the property, happy days, and at a later date you can try small claims court to recoup any lost rent. What you will probably find however is that she will require eviction by the courts and bailiffs. This way, the council would rehouse her in social housing. If she moves out the property before, she makes herself voluntarily homeless and will not be rehoused. This process through the courts will cost you a few hundred pounds in court fees. It is possible to do without a solicitor as the forms are relatively easy to complete, but you will find that the process will take up to 6 months, during which I would anticipate not receiving any rent from the lady.

Again, afterwards you can either take her to small claims court to try and recoup the unpaid rent, or you can make a joint claim with the eviction, however if you do this ensure you are clear that you are evicting on a section 21, and not rent arrears. Again, unfortunately you are likely to find that the outcome will be a court ordered payment of 10 pounds a week for 20 years or something silly but it sounds like you will have to take the plunge. The alternative to leaving her in the property will be years of uncertainty, and if she is maintaining the 2 months arrears you won't be able to evict her on rent arrears as if she ends up going 5 pounds under the case is thrown out.

Sorry there isn't a more direct route, but I would estimate a total loss to yourself or between 3000-7000 depending on your monthly rent. Going forward, I would strongly recommend avoiding any DSS tenants, and going via a letting agent. They can provide a basic tenant find service if you do not require management, but you will end up with stronger caliber tenants who have been fully referenced, and you will have the option to purchase a legal and rental warranty which would cover you for 6 months unpaid rent and 50,000 in legal costs if this situation arises again giving you the financial piece of mind needed for retirement.

If you have any more questions, reply, and I will try my best to help. Nick

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Davina 4th May, 2015 @ 21:20

So, but different as it is commercial property not residential, but hoping the basic principals should be the same and someone can offer a bit of advice. My dad was evicted by bailiffs from his shop in October last year. At the time he said the landlird had been quite agreeable and they parted on good terms, even though he owed him £2000 unpaid rent. My dad left a shop full of stock which the landlord presumeably sold off to recoup some money. This January my father passed away. This month we have heard from the landlord asking for the debt to be repaid. My question is can he do that? The rental agreement was between my father and the landlord so is it not now terminated? There is no money on my fathers estate, in fact there are other debts which need to be paid too

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Abid mahboob 23rd November, 2015 @ 09:34

I have a property that is rented out , now the tenants haven't been bad or anything,but my issue is that I gave them a shorhold tenancy for a year and this was several years ago. They are still there under the periodic tendency ,same terms and conditions as when moved in .
When they moved in it was made clear that we wanted to sell the property in the near future.
My point is ,I served them a section 21 notice at the end of last November which requested my property after the 17th of Jan ,but the the property they were going to move to, fell through ,not sure of the full details. I am charging well below the market rent namely £700 rather than £1100 and paying their service charge .
They say they are still looking but nothing seems to be happening .I am not a gready or heartless landlord knowing they have 3 small children but have been patient and now do need to get a move on.
My question is whether ,the section 21 notice served last Nov is still effective and can start proceeding to county court or do I have to reissue the notice and at the end of this start
proceedings through county court.
Please can someone help with advice.

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Nick 23rd November, 2015 @ 10:47

Hi Abid,

As of October, section 21s are now only valid for a period of 6 months anyhow, so one you issued last November will not count. You will have to re-issue the notice. It is probably worth checking out the site on 'how to evict tenants' as a lot of regulations have changed at the begining of November. If the tenants do not move out and you need to speed things along with court hearings, you will need to ensure you have issued a section 21, section 48 (landlords address issued with sec 21), can prove you have provided them a copy of the EPC and most recent Gas Saftey along with the PDF 'how to rent guide' which is now required to be issued to tenants.

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Landlady M 15th April, 2016 @ 12:05

I am in the process of evicting a non-paying tenant. I didn't bother with a section 8 and went straight for accelerated posession.
I served notice in October 2015 and we have finally been given a bailiff date of 26th April - so the whole process has taken just over 6 months (3 months quicker than my previous "accelerated" posession ordeal).

Unfortunately there's absolutely no way I can make it down that day, so I've asked a relative to attend the eviction on my behalf.

Does anyone know what I need to give them - a letter saying they have my authority to attend and take posession on my behalf? a copy of my ID? Or is there something else I need to give them? My heart will be absolutely broken if for some reason an excuse is found not to proceed with the eviction just because I can't attend personally.

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Nick 15th April, 2016 @ 12:40

If it's your actual eviction then it shouldn't matter too much. The bailiff will greet whoever turns up at the agreed eviction time, they do not tend to ask for ID's or anything.

Defiantly give the person attending a key as they will knock and try the key first before resulting to other methods, and for piece of mind I'd give them a letter signed by yourself with authorization, but it's very unlikely the bailiff will need any of this, or even ask the name of the person turning up! Once you have the date, this is final (unless the tenant makes a last minute appeal but you would be informed of this before hand).

If you word the letter to say the person attending is your managing agent, you will not have any problems on the day. Hopefully you will have your property back soon!

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Landlady M 15th April, 2016 @ 12:43

Thanks Nick, you've helped put my mind at ease! I'm literally counting down the days now...

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Joanne 18th August, 2016 @ 13:48

Dear Nick,
We have rented our property to a person, who on the surface seemed the ideal tenant from 9/16, we have not used an agency as was a friend of a friend, and to be honest we found the previous two agencies not great.
It has just been brought to our attention that she and her four teenage children ( she is pregnant with the 5th) have been making life a living hell for the neighbourhood since May. We have spoken to her, and explained that I need to move back into the house, we haven't mentioned the complaints as yet.
She has responded by saying that we have two options, either pay her £7,200 or let her stay until Sept 2017, she also informed me that she has more rights than I do.
We have been very fair landlords, we agreed to pets (didn't for tenants previously) and as SHE didn't find the decor in the house to her taste we paid 50% of the redecorating costs even though it didn't need to be done.
The neighbours are in the process of perusing an ASBO and Racial harassment with the police. We assumed the process of getting her to leave would be tricky and expensive, but wonder is it best to just cut our losses and pay the money?.

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Nick 19th August, 2016 @ 08:32

Hi Joanne,

Sounds like you are in a bit of a pickle! Firstly, can you confirm what you mean by 'ideal tenant from 9/16'? Are you refereeing to the parable of the tenants (which didn't end well for the Landlord!), or a contract starting September 16?

Regarding the options she has presented to you, under no circumstances pay her any money! There is no guarantee that if you do she will leave the property, and from the sound of it she most likely knows what she's doing, so I would assume this isn't the first time she has given a Landlord problems.

Can you let me know a couple of things, what date did the tenancy start, what is the initial contract duration and is there a break clause? If you have a digital copy, feel free to send it to me at [email protected] and I'll review it.

There are a couple of options you have, providing the tenancy agreement is professional, you should have a number of clauses about noise levels, causing grief to neighbours etc. so you will be able to evict her on breach of contract during the fixed term under a section 8, so the neighbours appealing for the ASBO will help in this situation as it builds the case. This process will take 3-4 months however, as if evicting under a section 8 you can only get possession via a court possession order.

Without meaning to stereotype, I'm going to safely assume she is in receipt of some sort of housing benefit if she is living with 4 children and currently pregnant (even if she hasn't told you this), so if she starts to withhold the rent, you can get in touch with the council and enquire as to whether your tenant is receiving housing benefit payments. If she is and isn't paying the rent, then you can request the council pay the amount directly to yourself rather than her.

I'd also recommend avoiding verbal communications with her. Make sure everything is in writing, or over email so you have a paper trail.

Final points I'll leave you with for now, as of September last year a lot of new legislation came into play with regards to AST's and you must now provide the tenant with a copy of the properties EPC, current Gas Safety certificate (if applicable), and the governments 'How To Rent Guide'. You can find the guide by performing a google search, and downloading the PDF. If you have not provided the tenant these, I'd recommend emailing them to her ASAP so again you have a paper trail, as part of the eviction process nowadays requires the Landlord to prove that they have sent these items.

Email me a copy of the contract, and I can advise on the next steps in a little more detail.


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Joanne 24th August, 2016 @ 17:14

Hi Nick,
Thank you for your advice! It was a great help. As we feel the whole situation may get a lot more complex, we have decided to enlist the help of the professionals, a gentleman called Andrew providing us with guidance we are hoping to have all issues resolved in the near future! Lesson learnt!! Never let to a friend of a friend, use a good agency!

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Natasha 1st November, 2016 @ 19:48

Hi my landlord gave me a possession notice on august 25th 2016 stating that i needed to be out by the 22nd november 2016. My landlord was selling his house due to having a brain tumour and mounting debts which i explained to homeless prevention team when i signed up with them.The housing told me that the date means nothing and he would have to take me to court for a possession order and then a warrant for eviction. I have been bidding every week and have the highest points due to having a disabled child. I dont owe rent arrears and me and my landlord have got on well for nearly 9 years. However once i told him what housing told me all i had was i cant believe you are putting me through this. I explained that it was out of my hands as this is what i had been told by citizens advice as well do it must be correct. Anyway my landlord continued phoning asking di i have anywhere to which my answer was no not as yet. He last spoke to me saturday 29th oct 2016 and said he would pick up rent on monday and if he had to take me to court then so be it. He didnt turn up for rent on monday. Then today 1st november 2016 i got back to the house and a woman parked her car and said you will fxxking get out of that house you will fxxcking leave and drive off. Believe me i want to leave but cant find any houses that i can afford or that will accept animals plus i need disabled access for my child. I tried to phone my landlord but his number is unatainable so i phoned his friend who he owns a business with and was told that my landlord committed suicide on sunday due to not being able to take anymore. I am devastated as i had told housing all this and didnt want to add to his stress etc. His son popped around earlier to pick up rent and tell me that this was now his house and he would now be deciding what to do. Do i have a tenancy and will housing now find something for me as i dont know where i stand x thanks

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Muhammad14 3rd July, 2017 @ 09:47


I am new landlord and recently let out the property I previously resided in. It is in private gated community with an access road.
I used an agency to find the tenants but I am managing it myself; professional couple with good references, ideal.. however we are currently in a disagreement as they believe they have been mis-sold and that the agent has misrepresented me.

I excluded the garage from the letting. They were informed of this by the agent both verbally and in written correspondence albeit it is not in the actual tenancy agreement.

I have told them I expect 24/7 access to the garage as I have my 2 very expensive super cars parked there. They are disputing access as they believe they should have been informed upon viewing and it is not written in the contract. They are adamant the agency only informed them that I was using it for storage hence the exclusion. Reading the letter the agent sent to them, it simply says SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Garage is excluded.

I still believe I have the right to access my cars as I please as it is my garage and have said that I'm willing to send a text 30 mins prior to notify them of my arrival. Also I've stated that they should keep the driveway clear from their cars to reduce me disturbing them as they can park on the access road in front of the house without a problem. However, they are not happy to do this as the listing included off-road parking which they believe means the driveway; the garage is located on their private back garden only accessible via the driveway.

As the tenancy states: The Landlord shall permit the Tenant to have quiet enjoyment of the Property without interruption by the Landlord. Am I in breach of the tenancy agreement and could I be charged with with harassment or trespassing if I persist?

The tenants have been advised by Citizens Advice Bureau that I am acting unlawfully and that I am only entitled reasonable access to the property which refers to repairs/inspection requiring minimum 24 hours written notice which still needs their agreement. Secondly that I might be responsible for the council tax or at least contributing to it as they do not have entitlement to the whole property which apparent includes the garage and driveway. Lastly that I should be contributing to their utility bills as my super cars are on charge 24 hours in the garage.

Do I have rights to evict them if they don't allow me access to my cars and garage?

Please advise :(

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Mark Pearson 18th August, 2017 @ 16:07

I bought a HMO building through an estate agent with one sitting tenant and it was the biggest mistake of my life. Basically this guy took control of the whole building smashing it up having his mates and son living there. Made it impossible for me to rent out any other rooms in the building as he either stole the doors to the other rooms or simply smash them in ripping radiators off the wall causing flooding. Threaten workmen that had come to lay new patio with physical violence and throwing them out the building and threatening me with physical violence needless to say the police were called on more than one occasion.
Anyway after reading this thread I decided to contact landlord action to get him evicted it all started very well they issued the section 8 notice promptly for £120.
After that they said that I would need to issue a section 48 notice which I couldn't quite understand why but I went along with it which cost me another £48.
I then asked them to start court proceedings for the section 8 notice to which they came back and said it would cost me £1275 which seemed to be considerably more than what they had quoted me originally on the phone.
I emailed back asking them why it had become so expensive but I received no reply for several days so I decided to ring them but all I got was somebody will call you back or email you but they never did. Finally about two weeks later I had a reply saying that's how much is going to cost without any real explanation of why at which point I just decided to pay the money so that they would get on with it and when I sent emails to them enquiring about various aspects of the case I was also met with no response.When I eventually did go to court the tenant who knew how to work the system claimed that he had had no heating or hot water for six months which was complete nonsense butthe judge said they would have to be a second hearing when I then asked landlord action if they would represent me on the second hearing in court they said I would have to pay further £900 which I thought was extortionate I contacted a local solicitor who said they would do the whole thing for £360. All told with landlord action it cost me £1443.00 to get to court and I thought that was pretty expensive and the communication was pretty poor most of the time for the amount of money I paid to them.

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Craig 9th October, 2017 @ 10:38

@Muhammad14. Initially, I would have said, reasonably explain to the tenant of the misunderstanding of the tenancy, and access to the garage. But running straight to citizens advice is not the way to behave, and building a good relationship goes out the window before you even start. The spirit of being reasonable and fair always rings true, and it`s clear the tenant is making hard work out of parking, and a garage which (I assume) does not impede the occupancy of the property. Serve a section 21 as soon as you are able to do so, and let them move on. Time is short, don`t waste it on people who make things hard work.

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Kelley 1st April, 2020 @ 16:56

Jan 1st I rented a room in my apartment that I have lived in for over 10 years. No agreement was put in place in writing to my fault now I see. The first month rolled around for rent to be paid and he was late by a week. Feb 1st gave me written notice that he was vacating as he could not afford after all to live here. Then Covid 19 takes effect so he tells me now I can pay gives me Feb rent although it was late I accepted it. March rolls around and he says now with the Covid virus he does not have to pay rent and will remain in the room. Now he's moving items from his room and cluttering up other living spaces he was not intitled too have items. He has now become nasty and saying he has an attorney when I told him he needs to leave if he can not pay. Says he now will remain till he can and Covid 19 laws back him. Please help I feel unsafe now in my own home.

















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