Good landlords always sort problems out quickly once they start to have issues with their tenants. They know that it is best to not have any full on conflict with a tenant as frequently, you can clear up an issue without a drawn-out and costly court hearing by talking the problem over with them.
However, often landlords do have to consider court proceedings to remove tenants from a property and sensible landlords always make sure they serve the correct tenant eviction forms. This is usually a section 8 notice which can be employed once a tenant has rent arrears of more than eight weeks or two months, dependent on the frequency of the rental payments.
In Section 8 of the 1988 Housing Act, seventeen grounds are stipulated which landlords can use to obtain repossession. The landlord is expected to state in tenant eviction forms which ground they intend to use and also to provide evidence to support the citing of the applicable ground.
A landlord must ensure that they are clear about which part of a tenancy agreement has been breached or which one of the other 17 grounds for eviction is applicable. These grounds may be not paying rent, damaging property, or there are too many residents in the property. Grounds one through eight are mandatory grounds; meaning a court must award a landlord possession as requested providing these grounds are established; on the other hand grounds nine through seventeen are down to the court's discretion and may not always be granted.
Once the notice has been served, the tenant has two weeks to reply, with it generally taking around five weeks to get a hearing date once an application is made with the court. At the first hearing the landlord must present to the court the relevant details of the tenancy, evidence of breaches in the tenancy agreement, detail any rent overdue and the actual notice that was served. Typically the court will require the tenant to leave the dwelling property within a 14 day period, although this can be increased to six weeks in a few cases.
The key point about the alternative notice, the section 21, is that it offers landlords the right to reclaim their property legally. In the case of joint landlords the section 21 notice may be served by either one of them, however all the tenants must be identified on the notice.
Landlords should ask that every tenant signs and gives back a copy to them, as well as retaining a copy of the actual section 21 notice served, accompanied by any covering letters. If the tenant refuses to sign and return the notice, make sure you have a witness with you to confirm that you served it.
Landlords should be aware that it is criminal offence to simply throw their tenants out and they must always adhere to the conditions of either section 8 or section 21 of the Housing Act. Landlords cannot simply evict their tenant or remove them personally without using the appropriate procedure and correct tenant eviction forms.