Homes & Gardens

Navigating Tenant Evictions – What Factors Should Landlords Consider?

Bringing a tenant into one of your properties can involve a tricky process to navigate. But it’s trivial compared to the ordeal involved in an eviction.

For good reason, tenants in the UK enjoy a range of protections, which prevent unscrupulous landlords from unfairly rendering them homeless. If you want to ensure that you’re on the right side of the law, therefore, it’s essential that you consider every factor – legal and otherwise.

This way, you’ll reduce your exposure to legal risk, and preserve your reputation. You’ll be able to rid yourself of the problem tenant, in other words, and install a new and better tenant in their place.

What are the recent updates in UK tenant eviction laws?

Later this year, the Renter’s Reform Bill is set to get its first reading in the House of Commons. The proposed legislation is set to scrap the ‘no-fault’ evictions currently provided for by section 21. As such, landlords will need to instead issue ‘section 8’ notices, which require that a reason for eviction be supplied.

The government’s plan to tackle antisocial behaviour among tenants is set to empower landlords to take action. All private tenancy agreements will prohibit antisocial behaviour, and the notice period for eviction, for this reason, will be two weeks. The definition of what constitutes ‘antisocial behaviour’ will also broaden; if a tenant does anything that’s even ‘capable’ of causing ‘nuisance’ or even ‘annoyance’, they might find themselves targeted.

What factors and consequences should landlords consider during eviction processes?

In the private rented sector, eviction unfolds over three distinct steps. You will need to provide notice to your tenant before the action proceeds to court. Finally, the bailiffs move in to perform the eviction.

Failure to abide by the appropriate procedure could indicate an illegal eviction. If you aren’t providing a section 8 or 21 notice, then you must provide a so-called ‘notice to quit’, which can only be used on a rolling agreement.

If you’re worried about the costs that you’re incurring as a result of a problem tenant, then you might consider protecting yourself financially with the help of specialised landlord’s insurance.

What alternatives to eviction can help maintain positive tenant relationships?

Forcibly removing someone from their home is rarely a pleasant thing. If you want to preserve good relations with your tenants, then you might consider a few of the alternatives, instead.

Tenants who are struggling to make rent, for example, might be provided with a plan for repayment. Short-term cash-flow problems might not necessarily mean that the tenant can’t keep up in the long run; a little bit of leniency might help you to avoid a painful and expensive eviction.

If you’re looking to sell, then you might also think about selling with the tenant in situ. In some cases, this might make the property more attractive, as it’ll be profitable from the start. Talk to your estate agent about the possibility.

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