How To Get Rid Of Difficult Tenants From Your Rental Properties
If you are reading this, chances are you are going through a difficult time with your tenants. Whilst the prospect of being a landlord might seem like an abundant one with lots of income and little hassle, the reality is the complete opposite. Most landlords at some point in their career will have to decide whether to get rid of a tenant and more importantly how to ask them how to leave.
There are many different legal professions that tenants have, which ultimately stops angry landlords from simply chucking them out onto the streets. Hopefully, if you are a fully compliant landlord, you should have certain insurances that might be [protecting you from void periods and damage to your prodigy, but if tenants are causing so many problems you will likely want them gone regardless of how protected you are.
If you have been experiencing haunting experiences with your tenants, it is time to take action. All landlords should have an understanding of what is a valid reason for wanting tenants to leave, however.
Valid Reasons For Wanting Tenants Gone
Here are just a few reasons for wanting your tenants to leave which can be legally backed up:
- Tenants are in rent arrears and are failing to make multiple payments
- Your property is being structurally damaged by tenants
- Tenants are breaking their tenancy agreement such as no smoking on the property
- Tenants are subletting to others
- Tenants are showing antisocial behaviour
These are just a few of the most valid reasons for wanting tenants to leave. Anything that involves your emotional and personal relationship with a tenant is not a valid reason for wanting a tenant to leave. Some inexperienced landlords will get a nasty surprise if they try to ask tenants to leave for issues that are outside of these listed, as in the eyes of the law they usually are not doing anything wrong. Before you proceed with speaking to a landlord solicitor to manage your tenant problems, it would be wise to go through other avenues to avoid costly fees.
Methods To Use
Start With Communication
First and foremost, you should aim to effectively communicate with your tenant to understand why they are carrying on with the behaviours and activities they are. Without great communication, you will struggle to come to an agreement with your difficult tenant which might save you a lot of time and money. For example, if your tenant has been in rent arrears for a month, you should aim to ask them why they didn’t pay, and also whether they will be able to afford the rent moving forwards.
Opening up the avenue of communication might just save you from needing to get rid of them if they can get help in advance from family or from the government to help them pay the rent if they are facing hard times. Ensure that most forms of communication are documented for evidence if necessary, but also offer a personable approach so they feel comfortable telling you if they will struggle to pay the rent.
Negotiate Missed Payments
Before removing your difficult tenant, you need to agree as to how they will cover their rent arrears. Getting back missed rental payments from tenants who have already left their property will be a lot more difficult than setting up an agreement whilst they inhabit your property as to how they will pay you back. If you have successfully opened up an avenue of communication, you might be able to ask them to slowly pay back their missed payments by adding them to the next few chunks of rent. For example, if a tenant’s rent is £700 P/M and they missed one month of rent, you can negotiate 7 following payments of £800 whilst they exit their rent arrears. Coming to this sort of agreement before they leave the property is ideal, but if they intentionally avoid further payments and disrespect your agreement, it is time to take things further.
Getting rid of troublesome tenants is sometimes as easy as asking them to leave. If they have been in rent arrears for a few months and still can not pay the rent, you can of course seek legal advice from landlord solicitors to get rid of them. However, the legal route can be costly and simply asking them to leave without getting the rent back might be the less costly option in some circumstances. Some tenants will comply with this, especially if you threaten them with legal action that will show up on their credentials, leading them to struggle to find other places to rent. If they leave, you will have your poetry back. If not, you will have to take things to the courts.
Start Legal Proceedings
At the point at which tenants are reducing to leave and pay rent, you can now begin the possession process of section 21 or 8 notice. You should speak with a trusted landlord solicitor to get a better understanding of which one will serve you best. After being served this notice, many tenants take the hint that they are about to be in a lot of trouble, and they eventually get up and leave.
If tenants do not get the hint to leave from an order of possession, you might consider issuing a court order or perhaps enlisting a county court bailiff. Landlords should keep in mind that the eviction process can be long and expensive, and having the correct insurance might protect you from any further financial loss.
Things You Should Avoid Doing
Now you have a basic understanding of what processes you should be following to remove difficult tenants, it would also be helpful to know what you should avoid doing at all costs. The following behaviours that you should avoid might be done by some landlords, but they can be held against you in court if your tenant tries to defend themselves or take legal action against you:
- Entering the property without giving the tenant notice
- Waiting for the tenant regularly outside the property for rent
- Harassing the tent with calls and texts
- Showing any form of aggressive behaviour toward tenant
Experienced landlords understand that they have to detach their emotions and feelings from the situation when dealing with difficult tenants. If things get worse, you should always solicit the help of legal professionals who are experienced in dealing with tenant evictions.