How Evicting a Tenant can Spectacularly Fail…

Evicting a tenant can be a very difficult process. There are several reasons why a landlord would want to do this; Perhaps the tenancy isn’t working out, maybe the tenants are have accumulated large rent arrears. or maybe circumstances for either party may have changed. The landlord might need the property back as their main home, for example, or they may need to carry out renovation works.

Whatever the reasons, it’s absolutely critical that the correct procedures are followed.

Section 21 and Section 8 Notices

Most private landlords are aware of the two ways that an eviction process can commence:

1. Section 21 notice – for eviction after a fixed term has ended

2. Section 8 notice – for eviction at any time, including during any fixed term.

The Section 21 procedure is used most commonly to evict tenants. However, the Section 8 notice may be used instead if the tenant has rent arrears or has broken the terms of your tenancy agreement e.g. If the property has been damaged.

You MUST follow the correct procedures

If the section 21 notice isn’t valid, the court won’t make an order for the tenant to be evicted. The notice will be invalid if:

1. If the tenant has signed a new fixed-term tenancy after the the notice has been served.

2. If you don’t follow the correct Deposit Protection rules and any of these apply:

●   it wasn’t protected in a government-approved tenancy deposit scheme
●   the deposit was protected more than 30 days after you paid it
●   You haven’t provided the required information about the tenancy deposit scheme used
●   If the deposit wasn’t protected or was protected late, your landlord has to return your deposit to you in full before giving you a new section 21 notice.

 3. If the tenant complained about repairs or conditions (only applies for tenancies issued on or after 1 October 2015) and if all these apply:

●   the notice was served after the tenant complained in writing to you about repairs
●   you didn’t deal with the issues
●   the tenant reported them to the council
●   the council served you with an improvement notice or a notice that you would do emergency works
●   A section 21 notice won’t be valid if it is issued within 6 months of the council serving you with either an improvement notice or a notice saying the council will do emergency repairs

 4. If you fail to give your tenant specific information (only applies for tenancies issued on or after 1 October 2015)

●   an energy performance certificate
●   a current gas safety record
●   the How to Rent guide produced by the government (This document changes regularly and you must issue the most up to date version at the time of the tenancy start date).

5. If the tenant lives in a shared house

If the tenant lives in a house in multiple occupation (HMO) that should be licensed by the council but isn’t.