Here’s how you sort out the evic­tion of a ten­ant

The Wharf - - Property -

Q

I rented my prop­erty out pri­vately and now find my­self in a mess. The ten­ant has stopped pay­ing the rent and re­fuses to leave. With no pro­fes­sional back-up I have no idea what I need to do to get them out. What ad­vice do you have for me?

A

It can be tempt­ing to try to avoid hefty let­tings fees by rent­ing out prop­erty pri­vately. But your let is likely to be one of your most ex­pen­sive as­sets so cut­ting corners re­ally isn’t a smart idea, es­pe­cially when things go wrong.

Any­way, you’re in a mess. Here’s how you get out of it. You must give at least two months’ no­tice un­der sec­tion 21 of the Hous­ing Act 1988 if you want to evict your ten­ant – specif­i­cally a Sec­tion 21 no­tice.

It can only be served by a land­lord ear­lier than any fixed term if the ten­ancy agree­ment makes pro­vi­sion for it.

The pre­cise form of this no­tice can vary but it must be in writ­ing and must spec­ify the date of re­quired pos­ses­sion. This date must not be sooner than two months af­ter the no­tice has been served. It also mustn’t be ear­lier than the end of the fixed term.

If the fixed term has ex­pired, or the ten­ancy was pe­ri­odic, the date spec­i­fied must be the last day of the rental pe­riod. It’s very easy to get the date wrong in this sit­u­a­tion, so be care­ful be­cause if the date is wrong, then you won’t suc­ceed in gain­ing pos­ses­sion.

If the ten­ant doesn’t move out as a re­sult of the Sec­tion 21 no­tice, you’ll have to go to court to seek a pos­ses­sion or­der – how­ever the court can’t make one in the first six months of a ten­ancy.

You can also opt for an ac­cel­er­ated pos­ses­sion pro­ce­dure. For this you need to find the County Court for the area where the prop­erty is sit­u­ated, then fill in a Form N5B claim for pos­ses­sion (ac­cel­er­ate pro­ce­dure), ob­tain­able from HM Courts ser­vice.

Given your sit­u­a­tion I would ad­vise bring­ing in a pro­fes­sional that spe­cialises in evic­tion. There are nu­mer­ous com­pa­nies that pro­vide this ser­vice for a fixed fee. Dawn San­doval of Dawn San­doval Res­i­den­tial Dawn San­doval MNAEA is an in­de­pen­dent prop­erty con­sul­tant work­ing in the Ca­nary Wharf area – call 020 7093 1702 or go to dawn­san­doval res­i­den­tial.co.uk. Ev­ery ef­fort is made to en­sure the ac­cu­racy of com­ments. In­di­vid­ual cases must be stud­ied by a so­lic­i­tor.

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