How to deal with a ‘wise’ tenant

Published: 13/11/2013

Whilst letting property comes with its fair share of risks, the majority of landlords enjoy a relatively straightforward time with their tenants – if this wasn’t the case then buy to let lending wouldn’t have seen another quarterly rise!

However those who unfortunately experience rogue tenants can often face a financially difficult predicament, particularly if that tenant is a seasoned ‘rent dodger’ and is wise to the eviction process. In this legally tricky situation it is essential landlords understand their best way forward. Rob Denman, Solicitor and Head of GW LET, is here to explain:

Eviction of a tenant is not a quick process but when it involves a tenant who has had experience of the system then it can take even longer and significantly impact on your finances.

“Whilst some less practiced tenants will vacate a property upon receipt of a Section 8 or Section 21 Notice, a seasoned rogue tenant tends to wait until the very last moment before leaving safe in the knowledge there is little a landlord can do until the courts have granted an order for possession and a subsequent warrant of possession. This often means a landlord is going months without receiving any rent as well as having the prospect of additional unpaid bills.

“Therefore, in order to minimise the financial impact rogue tenants can have, a landlord must act immediately as soon as the tenant enters arrears. In the first instance they should contact the tenant to determine the reason for the late payment before agreeing a clear payment deadline.

“Should the tenant fail to meet this deadline and then fall into two months/8 weeks of arrears or if they are persistently late with the rent, the landlord then has sufficient grounds to apply for eviction. This involves serving a Section 8 Notice and, if required, obtaining an order for possession from the court and enlisting the services of a bailiff to evict the tenant.

“At no point is a landlord allowed to enter the property without the consent of the tenant. In doing so could actually give the tenant the right to claim compensation against them regardless of if they are in arrears or not, leaving the landlord further out of pocket.”

Content correct at time of publication.

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