Tenant Eviction Specialists
Most landlords usually evict a tenant for two reasons: (1) because the tenant is a problem for one reason or another. (2) The landlord wants the property back, and the tenancy agreement has ended.
It may be because the landlord wants to sell the property or move in and make it their own home.
Most landlords will obtain legal advice and serve a section 21 eviction notice just in case the tenant does not vacate upon the notice period ending.
Although some tenants may have a small amount of unpaid rent arrears, it is generally the case a section 21 notice is served. For example, suppose the tenant fails to vacate after the notice period has expired.
In that case, the next step is to use the legal process to issue (England & Wales only) a claim under the Accelerated Possession Procedure.
A landlord does not need to wait for the fixed-term tenancy to end if the tenancy agreement has a valid break clause. The break clause could be invoked as per the terms of the tenancy but must also comply with the housing act as well.
It is essential a valid section 21 notice is served; this means complying with all the relevant legislation that impacts the validity of a section 21 notice.
Like an EPC, a Gas safety certificate (if applicable), a how-to rent guide booklet for the tenant, deposit protection and a licence to rent if applicable.
Companies like Landlord Advice UK will not accept instructions unless they have completed a compliance check to ensure a correct section 21 notice can be served on the tenant.
Landlords with assured shorthold tenancies assured tenancies, and most other types of tenancy will require a possession order from the county court to evict a tenant.
It is illegal eviction if you evict a tenant without following the correct procedure.
Tenant Eviction due to Rent Arrears
A section 8 notice grounds 8,10 & 11 can be used (England & Wales only) to evict a tenant. Ground 8 is a mandatory ground, and grounds 10 & 11 discretionary grounds. You can use this notice even if the fixed-term tenancy agreement period has not expired.
The tenancy does not need to be periodic tenancy for a tenant eviction when you use rent arrears grounds. For tenant eviction under section 8 notice, ensure:
1. You have a schedule attached to the notice showing payment of rent made with missing rents.
2. The notice in writing using the correct prescribed notice.
3. You have given the correct notice period, usually 14 days for grounds 8,10 & 11.
4. You have correctly set out the proper grounds for eviction. If eviction grounds are incorrect, your claim may fail.
5. Section 8 can only be used for a residential tenancy and does not apply to commercial property or non-housing act tenancies.
6. You must give at least the minimum notice period, and this starts from the date the tenant is likely to receive the notice and not when you posted the notice. It’s best to give an extra day and then risk not giving sufficient notice as required in law and having your case dismissed.
7. Common reasons a claim for possession fails are a faulty notice or the tenant saying they did not receive the notice. The ultimate way to serve an eviction notice on a tenant is to serve it by hand.
Tenant Eviction is stressful use an expert
Tenant eviction can be stressful and an expensive process. Therefore, using a company that ideally specialises in tenant eviction is vital. These companies deal with tenant eviction day in, day out and in the process. As a result, they become very good at what they do.
Some companies are better than others, and some are passionate about their work. However, those who are passionate and enjoy their job are extraordinarily good at what they do.
Tenant eviction can be a long process, but it can take even longer if the acting lawyers do not know the process as well as they should.
Sometimes, when things go wrong, the client does not even know and thinks it is all part of the process. It can, in some cases, cost the client even more money, more than it should.
Not only is the case delayed due to errors, but as I have said above, in some cases costs the client even more money.
Tenant eviction is not a straightforward procedure, nor is it simple; getting it wrong will only add more stress to an already bad situation.
A scenario where the tenant defends a case because a landlord failed to comply with some elements of the housing legislation should generally not arise if the lawyer is competent.
Tenant Eviction companies need to check landlord is compliant
Because tenant eviction companies should know their stuff, they should have a due diligence procedure. However, good companies do not accept instructions before completing a full compliance check.
Recently the Government has introduced a raft of legislation directly impacting residential landlords. Therefore, it is paramount for all tenant eviction companies to check that a landlord is fully compliant with the current law.
In rare instances, a landlord may provide wrong or incomplete information; for this reason, claims can fail. In these circumstances, it stands to reason; that the tenant eviction company cannot be held responsible.
Most tenant eviction companies will not do any work unless they receive payment in advance. Then they will check to see if they can proceed with the claim.
Don’t pay advance money unless you know claim will succeed
We think this is wrong; no point in taking a client’s money if the application has a defect and they cannot proceed with the case. Instead, the client ends up with the lawyer taking a chunk of cash before they refund part of the money.
Quality tenant eviction companies know housing law very well. They will not:
(1) Take payment for the possession claim from you until they are satisfied; they can issue a claim with a positive outcome.
(2) Most will charge a small fee to go through the due diligence.
(3) Charge if there is a problem, they will advise you what the problem is.
(4) Charge to tell you what needs to be done to remedy any defects.
The quality tenant eviction companies will not accept instructions until they have sent you their terms and conditions. But, of course, nearly every website has some T & C’s. However, quality companies don’t just rely on the assumption one might read the T & C’s.
They send them out at the point of engagement. It is a hallmark of a company that is good and transparent.
Chose a company that will deal with defence too
Landlords ought to be careful of companies happy to make a tenant eviction claim, but; they cannot deal with the defence due to lack of experience. If the matter is defended, they will drop your case like a hot brick and pass it to another company.
Top 4 Tenant Eviction service companies in the UK
In our opinion, the following are the leading tenant eviction companies worthy of mention:
Landlord Advice UK
The Landlord Group
Now we could do a fancy tick box to display which tenant eviction company does and offers what. We will make it very simple. All the above companies are very good at what they do. So we would expect excellent service from all of them.
However, in our opinion, only one company stands out and ticks nearly every single item we have mentioned above. It offers much better rates than any of the others.
Crucially this company will not accept your instructions or money until they have done due diligence and you have checked and signed their T & C’s.
It is the company The British Landlord Association recommends to its 47,500 members.
You may have seen them on the channel 5 programme “Nightmare tenants & Slum landlords”. It is “Landlord Advice UK “, and they also offer a national tenant eviction service.
Tenant Eviction Pre-action protocol requirement for private landlords
UK Government will likely introduce a pre-action protocol for private landlords as part of the tenant eviction process.
The draft proposal for the Pre-action protocol has not been released yet; however, the Pre-action protocol is likely to be similar to the one currently used by social landlords.
The housing Pre-action protocol is a set of rules before a landlord should consider evicting a tenant. The process helps both parties to see if issues can be resolved without a court’s intervention.
A Landlord who fails to comply with the Pre-action protocol risks their possession claim being delayed or struck out.
Tenant eviction process should not be considered until the landlord has all documents to demonstrate the pre-action protocol has been complied with.
Mr Sajjad Ahmad, the CEO of the British Landlords Association, said: “We welcome the Pre-action protocol being introduced, the protocol has worked very well for social landlords, and it does assist both parties.
“Some private residential landlords may be concerned about how this protocol will impact them. I have dealt with many social landlord tenant eviction cases over the years. In my opinion, the protocol will aid the landlord, reduce evictions and renters and landlords will better understand each other.
The protocol brings both parties together, even if it’s to agree, to disagree,” he said.
Source: British Landlords Association
Author: Sarah Featherstone
Date: 17th of July 2023
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