How best to evict a tenant for unpaid rent

Landlord and Tenant

The ever increasing demand for privately rented accommodation has pushed the average monthly cost of renting up to £718-00, according to figures from LSL property services released in July this year.

It is estimated that about 10 per cent of all rent is unpaid, and whilst the bulk of this unpaid rent may well be caused by otherwise responsible tenants falling behind with their obligations due to the current economic circumstances, it is not at all uncommon for Client’s to approach us with the problem of a tenant who has simply signed a lease and moved into their property and refused to pay any rent at all, expecting to live in their property free of charge for as long as they please!

The procedure for legally evicting a tenant for non payment of rent or indeed any other breach of the lease such as damage or nuisance, can be a minefield of needlessly complicated technical issues making it extremely risky for a landlord acting as litigant in person to succeed without the proceedings being frustrated by either the defendant tenant or the court procedure.

Simple matters, such as an incorrect date on a notice, can result in proceedings being stayed and the whole process having to be re-started, causing substantial time delays, and of course, increased costs. This frustration is felt particularly keenly by those who rely on rental income from a second property to support themselves or their family, or keep up with mortgage payments.

Under no circumstances should anybody try to evict a tenant themselves, however much they feel they might be entitled to do so, as this is a criminal offence under the protection of eviction act 1977. The law is firmly on the side of the tenant who has signed the lease, until an eviction order is obtained through the proper procedure.

We can help you with the process of obtaining a possession order from the beginning, through serving the correct notice, applying for an order and, if necessary, instructing court bailiffs to complete the task. We can also obtain a judgment in your favour for any rent arrears, and in some circumstances, recoup any legal expenses you have incurred in evicting a tenant who won’t pay.

We can also draft both residential and commercial leases that protect your rights to recoup money spent in legal proceedings if there is any breach of the tenancy agreement. A lot of commonly used template leases are silent on this issue leaving landlords out of pocket even if a court has ruled in their favour.

All information is correct on the date of posting.