Evict a Tenant

How do I evict a tenant? A Practical Guide.

If you are a landlord and your tenant is in rent arrears then your tenant is most likely in breach of their tenancy agreement and you may need to consider eviction.

While this situation is both aggravating and frustrating, it is advisable to talk to your tenant about failure of payment as early as possible. Without addressing the issue, the arrears could continue to grow and your landlord/tenant relationship will be in jeopardy.

If your tenant has been in occupancy for a long term and you have always maintained a good relationship you may decide to allow them some leeway in clearing the debt. Helpland Ltd would advise not to let this continue for a length of time as it is your property that they are residing without regularly paying the agreed rent.

You may find you have a tenant who has been in arrears longer than is acceptable. Despite attempting to contact them, they have not responded. In these cases you should be considering court proceedings for eviction.

There are 2 types of court proceedings which can be used when a tenant has not paid their rent:

  • Accelerated possession procedure as set out in Section 21 of the Housing Act 1998
  • Rent Arrears Ground which uses a fixed date procedure where a hearing is required to take place after the court order

The accelerated possession procedure can be used when:

  • A written form of tenancy agreement is used
  • There is an assured shorthold tenancy (AST)
  • A 21 day notice has been served
  • The minimum 2 months’ period from the notice has expired

This process has the advantage of taking less time than the Rent Arrears Ground process because there is no court hearing and, as a result, legal costs will be less.

The Rent Arrears Ground method can be used when there are unpaid monies that have a total value of more than 2 months of rent. This process requires a Section 8 notice to be served before proceeding, after the 2 weeks’ notice has expired. Using normal possession proceedings (otherwise known as fixed date action), the court will set the date for a hearing which you will need to attend to give evidence of the arrears.

Evicting a tenant can be a complicated and time-consuming process. It is a criminal offence to harass tenants. It is also illegal to evict a tenant without the use of court action. Helpland Ltd assists landlords and letting agents throughout England, Scotland and Wales and gives professional, valuable advice on many areas of eviction, including serving notice to tenants via Section 8.

For more information, call our helpline on 0845 450 0536 or Contact Us Here.