So we all know the standard principles of letting a room.
But sometimes it just doesn’t go in your favour. You bring in a ‘great tenant’ and you start to get along, but after a while, it becomes glaringly obvious that it just isn’t going to work out.
Whether your tenant is noisy, unruly or doesn’t comply with the tenant agreement you set out, you still have grounds to remove them if they’re not following the rules.
It’s also important to make sure you screen tenants properly before you take them on, as prevention in this case is the best cure.
This blog will walk you through how to make evicting a tenant as smooth as it could possibly be.
You can evict tenants easier if you live with them.
Lodgers that live with Landlords and share amenities like bathrooms, kitchens or other living accommodation types are labelled as ‘excluded occupiers.’
What does this mean you might ask?
Well, this means that as an excluded occupier, your Landlord can evict you from the property without actually having to go to court. You’re also classed as an excluded occupier if you…
- Live in the accommodation rent free.
- Are letting the property as a holiday let.
- Share the property with a member of the property owner’s family as well as the property owner.
When can I evict tenant (s) and lodgers?
Your rights as a Landlord mean that you can peacefully evict…
- After the date listed on a served notice within a rolling agreement.
- Without a notice if your lodger is at the end of a fixed term agreement.
If your tenant/lodger is still within a fixed term agreement, you can only serve them notice to leave if the contract states you can.
Evict a tenant within a rolling agreement.
If your tenant has a rolling weekly/monthly agreement, you need to give them notice to leave.
If you stated a particular period of time in the initial agreement then this needs to be adhered to.
If you haven’t provided your lodger/tenant with a written agreement which correctly states a notice period, you need to give your resident a reasonable notice period.
Reasonable notice is typically the length of each payment period. For example, if a lodger pays rent weekly, a week’s notice would suffice.
The same logic applies if your lodger pays monthly rent.
You’d need to then provide a month’s notice for them to vacate the property.
Evict a lodger within a fixed term agreement.
If you’ve provided your lodger with a fixed term agreement, the tenant’s entitled to stay until the end date of the agreement unless the contract provided states otherwise.
If your tenancy agreement states that you as a Landlord can end the fixed term at any point then your lodger needs to adhere to their contractual obligation.
Evicting lodgers - finalising the eviction.
If your tenant still hasn’t vacated the property after the notice period is up, you’re then entitled to peaceably evict a lodger.
This means you can change the locks while they’re out – regardless of whether they have belongings inside or not.
If the situation is a little more complex – you can always choose to approach the courts and ask for a possession order.
As long as you give the correct notice and your paperwork checks out, you should be good to go.
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Returning belongings when you evict a lodger.
As a Landlord, it’s your duty to return any belongings that may be locked inside the property after peaceably evicting a tenant.
You must try to contact your tenant and make arrangements for them to collect their property – within a reasonable time frame.
If your lodger paid a deposit.
You should always look to return paid deposits unless you have to sensibly make deductions for damage, or if you’re owed money from your lodger not paying rent too.
Make sure any damage is documented too, as your lodger or tenant may decide to take court action to reclaim a lost deposit.
Has your lodger/tenant violated a rental agreement?
It’s always worth serving the right documentation so you always have a leg to stand on no matter the circumstances.
You should also take the necessary steps to be cautious too.
Especially if you want the courts on your side should push come to shove – you as a Landlord need to show you’ve taken the extra steps to try and squash problems before they snowball.
Download our free Lease Violation letter template below which you can use to document that you have in fact done the right thing.
Free Lease Violation Template