Footballer scores own goal when trying to evict tenants

Published: 12/06/2013

A Premier League footballer has been given a quick lesson in landlord law after he tried to evict tenants with just two weeks notice.

After buying the 14-bedroom property, Southampton forward, Lee Barnard, told tenants they had just two weeks to leave warning that, after that period, the gas, electricity and water supplies would be turned off.

Barnard believed he was well within his rights as the owner to make such a demand after the seller informed him that one day’s notice would suffice.

“Mr Barnard has fallen into the trap that so many landlords succumb to, believing that, because he owns the property, he can evict his tenants whenever he wants and at a drop of a hat,” comments GW LET solicitor Rob Denman.

“However there are strict laws landlords must follow when evicting a tenant. A landlord can serve a Section 21 Notice on a tenant during the fixed term of the tenancy provided the eviction date is the last day of the fixed term.

“To evict a tenant before the end of their tenancy, a landlord must firstly have sufficient grounds. Examples include the tenant is recurrently in arrears, is causing a nuisance to neighbours or has breached part of the tenancy.

“If there are sufficient grounds, the landlord must then serve a Section 8 Notice and, if required, obtain an order for possession from the court before enlisting the help of a court bailiff.”

Content correct at time of publication

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