I recently saw a video of a landlord trying to evict a tenant the wrong way. I did a video reacting to it on my YouTube channel. If you have to evict a tenant make sure you do it the right way. It is important to respect your tenants as human beings and to understand your house is their home. Beyond that, tenants have legal rights that have to be respected. Failing to understand and implement those rights is not only unfair to the tenant but will also lead to you getting into a lot of trouble with the courts.
It is a sad reality that sometimes you have to evict a tenant. This can even happen when the tenant hasn’t done anything wrong. For example, when you need to sell the property or want to move in yourself. There is a way to do this but you need to follow certain procedures. In this article, I will go over the wrong and right ways to evict a tenant.
1. What the landlord did wrong
In the video, the landlord is seen telling his tenants that they have to move out in two weeks because he has just sold the house. He seems to have no concern for his tenants and even admits that he didn’t tell them about the sale of the property, because he didn’t want to miss out on rent. He tells them it isn’t his problem that they need to find somewhere to live; it is their problem.
This is a horrible way to treat another human being, but it is also not legal. You can’t just tell someone they need to leave, you have to follow a process which is set out in law. It is hard for any tenant to be told they must move out of their home and it is essential you follow the legal process to the letter. Bad landlords give the industry a bad name and the courts will never side with them. They harm the tenants, other property investors and themselves.
2. The correct way to evict a tenant
In this case, the landlord was evicting the tenant because he had sold the property. This is a case where the tenant was being evicted due to no fault of their own. This situation has a specific procedure called a Section 21 notice. There are a number of rules that apply to give such a notice which can be found here. Normally, you must give at least 2 months' notice to the tenant, although it could be more dependant on a number of factors.
To have access to the ability to evict under Section 21, you need to have followed the rules in the first place. For example, if you haven’t provided the tenant with an Energy Performance Certificate for the property, the government’s ‘How to rent’ guide and gas safety certificate you cannot rely on Section 21.
If the tenant has done something which gives you cause to evict them, such as failing to pay rent, there is a separate procedure called Section 8. You can read more about that here. The important thing to remember is that you must know and follow the rules at all times or the courts will not help you. If you follow the rules however, you are protected by the law.