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Rules for Landlords When Evicting a Tenant

Terminating an assured shorthold tenancy and evicting a tenant involves a formal legal procedure that every landlord must follow.  However, several rules need to be adhered to when terminating a tenancy and evicting a tenant. While the procedure may vary slightly depending upon the nature of the breach and/or the procedure adopted, there are a few basics that every landlord should understand. Let’s look at a few types of eviction notices to better understand the eviction process.

Eviction Notice – A Specific Breach or Ground for Possession:

A section 8 notice is usually the notice you would serve when a tenant has breached the terms of the agreement.  

There are numerous grounds for possession which you can utilise under Section 8 of the Housing Act but to follow are the most commonly used:

Ground 1 – Owner Occupation

Ground 7a – Anti-social behaviour

Ground 8 – Excessive Rent Arrears

Ground 10 – Rent arrears below 2 months

Ground 11 – The tenant has persistently delayed paying rent

Ground 12 – Any obligation of the tenancy (other than one related to the payment of rent) has been broken or not performed

Ground 13 – A deterioration of the property due to the tenant’s conduct

Ground 14 – illegal activity in and around the property

Some of these grounds are discretionary, which means that even if they are upheld then a Judge may exercise their discretion to allow the tenant to remain in the property.

There is also a time frame for each ground which must be offered to the tenant before enforcement by way of the county court is permitted.

Eviction Notice – Non-Fault

An eviction notice without cause implies that the landlord wants to terminate the tenancy but either there is not a specific breach or they do not wish to offer a reason.  It is therefore regarded as a non-fault notice seeking possession.  However, this requires the landlord to provide an extended time frame by which they must offer the tenant the opportunity to find alternative accommodation and surrender the tenancy before enforcement is permitted.  The time frame was initially 2 months but increased significantly when the government introduced the Coronavirus Act 2020.  The time frame will revert back to pre-pandemic levels from 1st October 2021.

Can Tenants Defend Themselves When Being Evicted By The Landlord?

Tenants have a multitude of rights that they can firmly use to defend themselves. A tenant may argue that the eviction notice didn’t contain all the necessary information, failed to provide the mandatory minimum time frame for the grounds relied upon or it was served improperly.  They may even try to argue that they have remedied the breach or the landlord has failed to fulfill their own obligations under the terms of the tenancy.  For a case where the landlord is seeking to terminate the tenancy on the grounds of rent arrears for example, a tenant may argue that the landlord has failed to meet their repairing obligations and, in turn, seek an offset or file their own counterclaim.   This will almost certainly result in protracted proceedings, and so you should consider any defence which has merit when deciding to serve a notice seeking possession.

If you are a landlord who is looking to terminate a tenancy then it’s  certainly best to consult a residential eviction expert who is well-versed with the procedure and corresponding legislation.  Landlord Assist, a specialist eviction company UK, offers reliable Tenant Eviction services Kent. You can reach out to us at 08707 662288 or email us at;  Our team of residential eviction experts are on hand to help Landlords in the UK navigate through the complex and stringent tenant eviction process; from establishing your circumstances to setting out a road map to conclusion, which may include the serving of a Section 8 notice or a Section 21 notice, commencing formal recovery proceedings in the County Court, up to enforcement through the use of approved bailiffs.

Consult our Landlord and Tenant team to find out how we can help you.