Troublesome Tenants: Your options

14th May 2019 5:04 pm Comments Off on Troublesome Tenants: Your options

If you have a problem tenant in your buy to let property extreme caution must be exercised to take back possession of your investment property. Failure to use the correct procedure can be, and often is, an expensive mistake.

A residential property tenant cannot be lawfully evicted in any circumstances without a Court Order in favour of the landlord. Sometimes this may seem unfair to landlords in cases where the tenant is not paying their rent, but it is essential that a landlord follows the correct procedure to avoid a claim by the tenant for unlawful eviction.

This note refers to tenants occupying a residential property under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (“AST”). An AST is the most common form of modern tenancy agreement. If your tenant has been in occupation since before 1997 you must seek specialist legal advice on the status of your tenant before beginning possession proceedings.

There are 2 types of notice that you can serve on a tenant who occupies a residential property under an AST; a section 21 notice or a section 8 notice. You can only serve each type of notice is certain specific situations and how much time you have to give the tenant to leave depends on the type of notice or the grounds on which you are seeking possession. It is important to get the notice right otherwise your possession proceedings will be doomed to fail. You cannot serve a section 21 notice to expire before the fixed term of the AST or if you have not protected your tenant’s deposit in a deposit protection scheme.

If you haven’t protected your tenant’s deposit and served the prescribed information on them, you will be liable to pay the tenant compensation of between one and three times the value of the deposit. Equally, if you haven’t maintained the property during the tenancy, the tenant can counterclaim against you for compensation. Often these claims are brought by tenants in response to possession proceedings.

Call the Litigation team at Colemans for expert advice on the dos and don’ts of evicting problem tenants.

Kate Williams and Sheena Bradfield both have considerable experience of dealing with contentious residential landlord and tenant disputes, including serving notices to quit, issuing possession proceedings and arranging for bailiffs to re-enter a property on behalf of the landlord. They have a 100% success rate acting for landlords in possession proceedings to date.

For advice on your particular situation or to make an appointment please call 01628 631051 or email litigation@colemans.co.uk


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This post was written by Colemans Solicitors LLP

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The information given on this website is not a comprehensive review of the law and practices in this area and does not constitute legal advice on a specific issue. Colemans Solicitors LLP does not therefore accept liability if you rely on or apply this information to your specific situation without taking bespoke advice. To seek detailed legal advice in relation to your specific circumstances or transaction please contact us.