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Landlord and Tenant Disputes

Nowadays, being a landlord can be fraught with difficulty. The best and easiest way to protect yourself is to ensure that you have a properly drafted Tenancy Agreement designed to cover all potential future areas of dispute between you and your tenant. What, however, happens when you need to evict your tenant?

In recent years the law has changed to allow a landlord to recover his property simply by giving two months notice to his tenant to vacate. There does not have to be any reason for this, much to the chagrin of tenants everywhere, who now realise that even if they are a model tenant they must vacate the property at the landlords request upon being given the requisite notice. Tenants do however have some protection in that they cannot be required to vacate during the first 6 months of the tenancy, however notice can be given to require the tenant to vacate as soon as the 6 months come to an end.

After the initial six months have passed the tenancy automatically becomes a ‘periodic tenancy’ and at that stage it is imperative that when giving notice in this way that the correct dates are inserted within the notices to avoid it subsequently being declared void.

What can a landlord do if the tenant is running up significant rent arrears? Separate provisions exist which allow a landlord to evict his tenant once either 2 months rent or 8 weeks rent is outstanding. This is so even during the initial six month period of the tenancy. When using this procedure a tenant need only be given 2 weeks notice to vacate the property.

The problems for landlords arise when the tenant refuses to vacate the property at the end of the notice period. When this occurs the landlord has little alternative but to initiate court proceedings for a formal order of possession. Once this is obtained, if the tenant still does not vacate the court bailiff can be instructed to forcibly remove the tenant. Regrettably the landlord will be responsible for the costs incurred in having to obtain such an order however in certain instances this may be recovered form the tenant.

For more information regarding tenancy agreements or eviction matters please contact Hayley Garnett at Heptonstalls LLP on 01405 76566.