How do I evict a non paying tenant?

December 31 , 2010
December 31 , 2010

How do I evict a non paying tenant?

If you are renting your property to someone who failed to pay you rent, then this will not give you an automatic right to kick him out of your property. In an effort to prevent unfair evictions, the laws under the Landlord and Tenant Act regarding evictions have become cumbersome and prohibitive at best. Here is the process for evicting a non paying tenant.

If you have granted your tenant an assured shorthold tenancy, you are entitled to regain possession of your property under the provisions of the Housing Act 1988 at any time after the end of a fixed-term tenancy, or sooner if a break clause has been used to end the tenancy early, or any time during a periodic tenancy, provided that the tenants have occupied the property for at least six months since the start of the first tenancy agreement.

This is commonly referred to as obtaining possession under the accelerated possession procedure which will enable you to get the tenant out as quickly as possible.

You do not have to provide any other grounds for possession using this procedure.

The first step you should follow is to serve a section 21 notice of the Housing Act 1988 on the tenant. However, there are a number or requirements that need to be fulfilled before you begin this procedure.

Please note that when you follow the above procedure the court will not order the tenant to pay any rent arrears until you apply to the court to for a court order requiring the tenant to pay the outstanding rent.

If you do not meet the conditions under the above procedure, and the tenants are in arrears of rent, you are advised to apply on the ground of rent arrears.

Initial steps should be taken by the landlord before he can serve a notice requiring possession of the property in accordance with section 8 of the Housing Act 1988. This notice must be served on the tenant before you can apply to the court for an order evicting them.

  • A letter should be sent to the tenant pointing out that he/she is in arrears of rent
  • Keeping records of all communication with your tenant i.e. telephone conversation and the date letters sent and received by the tenant and the method of service

If the tenant fails to pay the rent after you have sent him/her at least one letter demanding the payment of rent, then you should serve the tenant with a notice under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988.


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