Landlord Wants Tenant to Leave (England) | Nuisance and Anti-social Behaviour (England) | Tenant Relations and Dealing with Complaints (England)

evicting tenant-how?

23 Mar 2018 | 16 comments

New to this so could use some help please. Tenant from hell moved in 10 days ago. First week 5 breaches of tenancy agreement, door broken open, fighting. swearing,complaints from neighbours, boyfriend appears to have moved in, housing benefit recipient. What do I need to do to remove this person legally
Any advice would be very much appreciated, many thanks.
Worried, from Devon AKA Steve and Jenny



  1. guildy

    In the real world, it’s exceptionally difficult to get possession based upon a breach of the tenancy. Therefore, the two months notice where you don’t give a reason is better.

    How long was the fixed term on the tenancy?

    • venture

      Hi Guildy,
      Thanks for the advice but don’t know what the two month’s notice without giving a reason is, or how we go about it. could you provide further info please?
      The AST is for six months and started on 12.03.2018
      Many thanks,

  2. guildy

    That’s okay, didn’t expect you to know. Thank goodness you’ve done a 6 month term and not 12 months!

    It’s called a section 21 notice and you’re guaranteed possession without giving any reason but there are many things that have to be in place before you can serve the notice.

    Firstly, you’re unable to serve the notice until after 4 months has passed from when the tenancy started. This doesn’t really matter for you because it’s a 6 month agreement anyway so when serving the notice, the date you will ask them to leave will be shortly after the term ends. We will help with that nearer the time though as there’s nothing that can be done until 13 July onwards.

    Right now, we can check that you’ve given everything you needed to with the tenancy and if not the paperwork should be given now. You should have given the following:

    In addition to the above, you must have protected the deposit within 30 days of receiving it (so you’ve still time if not done so already).

    Once all of the above has been done/given to the tenant, you will be ready to serve the section 21 from 13 July onwards.

    If you need to give any of the above information, you should hand deliver a copy (take a photo of it going through door) and also post a copy, getting a free of charge proof of postage from any post office. Obviously keep a copy for yourself so you know what you’ve given and can prove it.

    Out of curiosity, did you at least give the Gas safety record before occupation?

  3. guildy

    Non payment of rent is the only ground we would ever recommend during a fixed term.

    However, in order to get a mandatory possession order during the fixed term (or after and running periodic), the tenant needs to be two months or more in arrears (by amount not time).

    There are other grounds available for breaches of the tenancy or less than two months arrears but these are discretionary so even if proven, the court doesn’t have to give possession. That’s why in our view it’s best to only go for mandatory possession which is either-

    • section 21 two months notice or,
    • section 8 notice using grounds 8, 10 and 11 (ground 8 being the mandatory two months arrears)

    In order to be successful using the ground 8, the tenant must be (a) two months arrears on the day the section 8 notice is served and (b) two months arrears on the day of the court hearing. If the rent was £500pcm, there would need to be £1000 arrears for it to work.

    • venture

      Hi Guildy, Have to say you really are a star, replying at 21.40 on a Saturday night is the kind of service you just don’t get these days, thank you so much.
      Right, so a sec. 21 is the way to go. When do we need to start preparing things? (tenancy runs 12.03.2018 to 11.09.2018). Your previously offered help nearer the time would be much appreciated.
      Because we know ziltch basically about any of this landlordy stuff one further question remains to be clarified if you could please. Can’t we just give the tenant one months notice at the start of the sixth month stating that their tenancy will not be renewed?
      Again, many thanks for your continued help and support.

  4. guildy

    No, you can’t do that, it would have no effect.

    The tenancy will continue into periodic regardless of anything done or said if they remain in occupation on the last day.

    The section 21 (when served) doesn’t even end the tenancy, it simply allows you to then seek a court order after it has expired. The tenancy continues until either the tenant gives up the property (generally by giving the keys back) or, the bailiff has executed any court order. They are the only two occasions an assured shorthold tenancy can end.

    The notice is fairly straightforward so you don’t really need to think about it until the day before you’re going to serve it (as long as all those other things listed earlier have been sorted beforehand).

    If you want to take a look at it, it’s available here.

    • venture

      Thanks for your prompt advice again, will deal with the forms nearer the time and undoubtedly require your guidance again then.
      Have to say it appears good old english law is heavily biased towards protecting the wrong-doer rather than the wronged!
      Will be in touch and thanks again for all your help.
      Steve & Jenny

    • venture

      Hi Guildy, Further to our previous mails re my problem tenant, things have become very bad now.
      We have reported her activities to the police today and they confirm some those activities (drug dealing, threatening behaviour, disturbing the peace) are criminal offences. In view of this do we have any way (other than a sec. 21 notice) of removing her before her 6month STA has ended? We, our other 5 tenants and a lot of neighbours are pretty desperate now and it seems crazy that we have no quicker legal mechanism to resolve the issue.
      Any help or advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
      Steve & Jenny

      • guildy

        The problem is, how do you prove it? Will the other neighbouring tenants attend court and give evidence? How will they be at being cross examined (i.e. being asked how they know the allegations are true)? The amount of proof you would need could be difficult to get together and in our experience despite complaints from all these other people, when it comes to attending court they generally don’t want to get involved. If the tenant denies doing any of the things you mention what will you do? (No reply necessary to these questions they are just examples to think about).

        The other problem is the time it can take to get a hearing listed with a more complex case like this. That can often be longer than going the section 21 route with it’s simpler possession procedure due to no reason being given. A straightforward rent arrears claim with 2 months or more in arrears is almost as quick too.

        Even if you prove any of the allegations and the court agrees, the court still doesn’t have to give you possession because the grounds relating to your allegations are discretionary. Hence we say where possible only go on mandatory grounds i.e. 2 months rent arrears or the section 21 notice.

        You could always serve a section 8 on ground 12 (breach of tenancy) and possibly ground 14 (anti-social behaviour). By serving the notice doesn’t mean you have to go to court and the notice lasts 12 months to decide. But, by doing so gives you another option and all you loose is a little time and a stamp.

        The notice and these grounds are available here.

        Despite our reservations about above, landlords do seek and successfully obtain possession based on similar allegations to yours. We’re just saying it’s really difficult and best avoided wherever possible.

    • venture

      Hi Guildy, Can you put our minds to rest? We served one of your 6A forms on a tenant on 13.07.2018. She claims her support worker told her it was not the correct form and without which the local authority will not be able to re house her. She has given me the form 6A which the support worker left her with and she wants me to fill this in. It has the official crest and is from the Department for Communities and Local Government.
      So could you advise please if what we’ve given her (by hand and post with proof of posting) is valid and what, if anything, we should/could do about the apparently incorrect advice the support worker has given. Our fear is that if indeed the L.A. won’t help her with housing because of the form used, we will be forced to go through the full eviction procedure and all the delay that causes.
      Many thanks, Steve Tyler-Upfield&Jenny Hunt

      • guildy

        Firstly, the local authority are going to require a court order whatever you do. They have no properties available so will delay as long as possible.

        Our best advice is to ask the support worker what’s wrong with the 6A you’ve given? You could compare the wording of them both and see if there is any differences.

        Have in mind, there were three versions of the section 21 leading to the current one so we don’t know if they have got one of the old versions or not. All we do know is that the one on our website is the current one which must be used.

        • venture

          Thanks for the advice again. The L.A’s form has exactly the same wording as yours. We will attempt to get details of the support worker and put that question to them.

  5. green123

    You never wrote if you took up references on the wrong-doer, which are essential both from the previous landlord and the wrong-doers’ bank.

    • venture

      Hi green 123 We were told she had not previously rented and has no bank account.
      Couldn’t really see where else we could go after that.

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