Can Landlords Evict A Tenant For No Reason In The UK?

Evicting A Tenant For No Reason

There are a number of reasons why a landlord may consider evicting a tenant, and a lot of those reasons may not be based on the tenant’s behaviour. The landlord may want to repurpose or remodel the property, sell to fund another property purchase, or retire. There are countless reasons. So can a landlord evict a tenant for no reason?

Landlords can evict a tenant for no reason after the fixed term period of a tenancy, by giving the tenant two months notice. Landlords cannot evict a tenant during the fixed term for no reason. Lawful reasons for eviction during this period include the non-payment of rent or damage to the property.

Evictions are never a good thing. Whether it’s a tenant causing a nuisance or damage to the property, or whether it’s a landlord who wants the tenant to leave so they can sell the property and retire. I think we can all agree that an eviction is not a great situation to be in and that it should be a last resort.

Tenants need a place that they can call home, and a landlord never wants their property to be sat empty.

If both the tenant and landlord are respectful to each other, and for whatever reason, a tenancy needs to come to an end, I guess the best outcome is for the tenancy to expire with plenty of notice so both parties can make plans whilst causing minimal disruption and inconvenience to each other.

Like most things in life, good communication is key!

If the tenant and landlord are in regular contact with each other, and notify each other of any potential changes to the living arrangements in the near future, there will likely be a greater chance of a harmonious exit.

How Do Landlords Evict Tenants Lawfully In The UK?

Landlords can only evict tenants from their rental properties by issuing an eviction notice. There are two types of lawful eviction notices. A Section 8 Notice and a Section 21 Notice. Both notices are legally binding and are processed through the courts.

The type of notice a landlord issues will depend on the reasons for eviction, and they can only be used if the property has been let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement.

Here is a quick summary of the differences between the two notices:

Section 8 Notice

Can be used if the tenant has two months or more in rent arrears, caused damage to the property, displayed acts of anti-social behaviour or breached a clause within the tenancy agreement. It’s important to note that a Section 8 Notice can be issued during the fixed term of a tenancy agreement.

Essentially, a Section 8 Notice is to be used if the tenant is at fault. There are grounds for eviction even if the tenant is not at fault, although these are very rare.

Section 21 Notice

This type of eviction notice can be used to regain possession of the property after the fixed term period of a tenancy has ended. Common reasons for issuing this notice include selling the property without a tenant living there, starting renovation works and the landlord wanting to moving back in.

Section 21 Notices are used when the landlord wants the property vacated, and the tenant is not at fault. Two months notice must be given to the tenant before they are required to leave the property.

This means, if the tenancy agreement has a fixed term period of six months, the landlord can issue a Section 21 Notice after four months, as the two months notice period will surpass the six month fixed term period.

Another point worth mentioning here, is that when the tenant wants to end their periodic contract after the fixed term period, they are only required to give the landlord one months notice.

What Are The Reasons A Landlord Can Evict A Tenant During A Fixed Term?

The valid grounds for a landlord evicting a tenant during a fixed term period on a tenancy agreement include:

  • Property requires extensive repairs
  • Rent arrears of 2 months or more
  • Repossession of the property by the mortgage lender
  • Regularly late rent payments
  • Breach of tenancy contract
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Damage to the property
  • Providing false information on the rental application
  • Employment by the landlord has ended which included the use of the property

Landlords are restricted on the grounds on which they may evict tenants during the fixed term period.

Providing the landlord maintains the property to a high standard, and providing the tenants references where good during the application process, there shouldn’t be any reason for a landlord to seek eviction in the first few months of occupancy.

Anti Sociable Behaviour

What Is A No Fault Eviction In The UK?

A ‘no fault eviction’ is another term used for a Section 21 Notice which a landlord can serve to a tenant with a minimum of 2 months notice. The only way a landlord can evict a tenant without giving any reasons, is by issuing a Section 21 Notice after the fixed term period of the tenancy has ended.

In other words, a no fault eviction occurs when a tenant has not done anything wrong, but the landlord requires possession of the property for whatever reason.

Can A Landlord Physically Force A Tenant To Leave?

Landlords cannot physically force a tenant to leave or vacate a rental property. They must follow strict procedures in order to evict a tenant, irrespective of the reason for eviction. Landlords who attempt to physically force a tenant to leave could face criminal prosecution.

Tactics such as changing the locks when the tenant is not at home, turning off the water, electric, gas supply or removing the tenant’s personal belongings are all considered forms of harassment and could lead to prosecution.

If a tenant does not leave after the notice period has expired, the landlord will need to obtain a court order for eviction.

The eviction process can be a costly and time-consuming process, so it’s always advisable to seek professional help if you’re a landlord who is considering evicting a tenant, especially if it’s your first time.

Andy Walker

Andy Walker is a property investor and landlord with over 20 years of experience, providing free education to help others start or improve their Buy-To-Let business.

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