Ending a Property Tenancy

AFS Team·15 March 2011·4 min read
Ending a Property Tenancy
As a landlord, the last thing you need is a void property. That just means you have to fork out for the months in which it lies empty when in all probability you’d already the spent income (in your head at least). Sometimes, however, it can’t be avoided. And sometimes, you have to make your property unintentionally void. Or at least, you have to get rid off the current tenants. It’s better to have no tenants than householders who repeatedly withhold rent or, worse still, appear to be allowing the property to go to wrack and ruin. So, how do you get rid of a bad tenant? Well, it’s got to be done extremely carefully unless you want the full wrath of the law on top of you. First off, you must give the tenant notice in writing. The time-scale for them to leave could be from two to four weeks. If you’ve rented out your property as an assured tenancy then you’ll be obliged to list one of the reasons for possessions under the Housing Act 1988. If your tenant hasn’t paid the rent for two months or your property is being repossessed by a mortgage lender then a court will grant you a possession order. Where other reasons apply ie if your tenants disturb neighbours or are late paying their rent, then it’s up to the court to decide whether or not their tenancy has been unreasonable. If the tenancy is regulated then none of the above applies and you’ll be forced to abide by the rules of the Tenancy Act 1977. If, on the other hand you just want to end a tenancy before the terms of the lease then you can serve a Notice to Quit (best to obtain a standard form). The time for the tenant to vacate the property can be from two weeks to two months. If your tenant refuses to move you can obtain a possession order from the courts – although only after the Notice to Quit has expired. Meanwhile the tenancy must end at the end of a recognised period ie if the tenant pays rent on a monthly basis then they would be obliged to leave at the end of the month. The matter is complicated and really, it’s best to seek legal advice to ensure the repossession goes smoothly and doesn’t result in additional court costs. A few weeks hassle or so will be worth it in the end though when you can say goodbye to those sleepless nights you’d been having of late.