Landlord Advice Line direct access to practising housing lawyers, who are experts in housing law
The BLA landlord advice line is managed by our consultants who have a wealth of experience dealing with bad tenants. Recent research has shown, that our members find our Landlord Advice Line is one of their most valued benefits of being a member of the BLA. The advice line is FREE to all members of the BLA.
The law relating to the Letting industry can be complex, and many landlords feel overwhelmed by compliance rules and regulations. Our Landlord advice team can help to take the stress out of being a landlord, and ensure you are fully compliant.
Landlord Advice line top 16 Inquiries include:
1. What is the correct process in evicting a difficult tenant? First one needs to determine what type of tenancy you have. Once it is established what type of tenancy you have, then you will need to serve the correct notice, and the notice needs to be a valid notice.
Caution, just because you may have given an assured shorthold tenancy to your tenant, this does not necessarily mean the tenancy in law is an assured shorthold tenancy. Example, if your tenant is a limited company the tenancy is not capable of being an assured shorthold tenancy. In order to serve the correct notice, one needs to determine what tenancy is in place.
Provided a valid eviction notice has been served, example section 8, 21 or notice to Quit, upon expiry of the eviction notice you can go to court, that is if the tenant has failed to vacate the let property.
(a) Section 8 & 21 eviction notices are usually for; Assured Shorthold Tenancy
(b) Section 8 notice can also be used for; Assured tenancy
(c) Notice Quit is usually for; common law tenancy, Company let or license an agreement
Seek advice before serving any notices on the tenant, and ensure you are fully compliant with your legal obligations. If you have failed to comply with your legal obligations, then your notice may be deemed as invalid.
2. Evict a tenant using the accelerated possession? The accelerated route is possession under section 21. You cannot claim rent arrears under this route. The accelerated route is no longer accelerated in some cases, it may take longer than your standard fixed date route.
3. Can I evict a tenant myself? No, you must obtain a possession order through the court. It is unlawful to evict a tenant without a court order and you must follow the proper legal process. Unlawful eviction carries a heavy penalty with the possibility of a prison sentence too. Any member acting unlawfully in evicting a tenant will have their BLA membership being revoked.
4. How to evict a tenant without going to court UK? If the tenant is not giving up vacant possession of the let property. Seek advice from our Landlord Advice Line, who will be able to assess your situation and advise you accordingly.
5. Tenant eviction service? Landlord Advice UK is the BLA service provider. Landlord Advice UK is one of the UK’s leading tenant eviction companies, we suggest you contact them.
6. Section 21 eviction notice? You can download a section 21 notice from the download page, or alternatively, you can instruct Landlord Advice UK. Landlord Advice UK can act promptly, they will offer you, as a BLA member a preferential service.
7. How to evict a tenant without a tenancy agreement? Provided the tenancy commenced after 28th of February 1997 the process is simple. If the tenancy commenced before the 28th of February 1997 and your claim is in rent arrears, it should still be a simple process. If you have lost your tenancy, and the tenancy commenced before 28th of February 1997 and you wish to seek possession under section 21, seek advice from our Landlord Advice Line before you proceed.
8. Eviction process how long does it take? If the matter is not defended and the eviction notice has expired, the average time of possession is between 5 to 7 weeks. Once the court has granted a possession order, the standard possession order will give the tenant 14 days to vacate the let property. 14 days is in addition to the 5 to 7 weeks as stated above.
To avoid doubt; from the time your claim is issued in court, if undefended you should obtain a possession order between 5 to 7 weeks time.
If the tenant fails to vacate the let property upon the possession order expiring, you will have to instruct a county court bailiff to evict the tenant. This can take from 5 weeks to 10 weeks. The London county courts are very busy and are likely to take the longest. You can seek leave for high court enforcement, this must be done before you issue your claim, this should be pleaded in your possession claim. Speak to Landlord Advice Line for further advice on this. We strongly advise you do not attempt to issue a possession claim unless you are legally trained.
9. Tenancy deposit protection issue? Please contact the deposit scheme you are using, each scheme varies in the way they handle disputes.
10. A student tenant wants to swap with another student, what do I do? Contact our Landlord Advice Line if you are a member for advice on this.
11. Question on creating a new tenancy? When creating a tenancy, you will first need to determine what tenancy should be in place. Please email our landlord advice line if you are a member of the BLA.
12. Selective licensing exemptions? Read – The Selective Licensing of Houses (Specified Exemptions) (England) Order 2006
13. Selective licensing fees? Our landlord advice line cannot help on this, contact the relevant the Local authority
14. HMO regulations 2018 room size? Minimum space requirements. Here is the text from the Government’s guidance: “Rooms used for sleeping by 1 person over 10 will have to be no smaller than 6.51 square metres, and those slept in by 2 people over 10 will have to be no smaller than 10.22 square metres. 16 Mar 2018
15. Landlord Licensing what is it? You have the three types of landlord licensing;
- Mandatory licensing. If you’re letting out a large HMO (house in multiple occupation) you are likely to need a license to do so.
- Additional licensing. Additional licensing schemes also apply to landlords, letting out HMOs.
- Selective licensing.
16. Do you need a license to rent out a property? This varies from council to council, but be sure to check with your local Department of Housing to ascertain whether you are required to have a license to rent your house. In cities that do require a license, renting your property without one is illegal.
Please note our Landlord Advice Line cannot advise on:-
Planning or Building regulation issue’s
Housing benefit issue’s
Any Deposit issues- save for your legal obligation under the HA to protect a deposit
How to complete court documents
Advice or issues regarding long leasehold properties or problems with leasehold management companies
Our Landlord Advice Line can sometimes get very busy if in the rare chance you cannot get through please try again or email us.
You can email our landlord legal Advice Line with your query, but please note you must state the full name of the member holding the BLA membership.
Members dedicated Landlord Advice Line: 01293 855700 Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm.
Not a member? Click here to Join the British Landlords Association
Date: 18th of February 2020