Frequently asked questions about:
Ending A Tenancy

How does a Landlord evict a Tenant who has defaulted on his rent payments?

Where the Tenant is in arrears with their rent payments, they are in breach of their tenancy agreement. This means that the Landlord may end the tenancy agreement early and take possession of the property. A Section 8 Notice will need to be issued by the Landlord and it is imperative that the requirements of the Notice, as well as the correct format and notice periods, are adhered to. The Notice must state that the Landlord intends to seek possession of the property and include the grounds on which possession is sought, i.e. default in rent payments. Any errors in the Notice could result in the Notice needing to be re-issued and cause considerable delay on the part of the Landlord.

What is the difference between a Section 8 Notice and a Section 21 Notice?

A Section 8 Notice is used in cases where a Landlord wishes to terminate the tenancy before the fixed term has come to an end, and usually due to the Tenant defaulting on the terms of the tenancy agreement. A Section 21 Notice is used in cases where a Tenant refuses to leave the Property at the end of a tenancy and the Landlord wishes to obtain possession of the Property.

What should the Landlord do if the tenancy has ended but the Tenant refuses to leave the property?

Where the Tenant refuses to leave the property even though the tenancy has ended, the Landlord will need to serve a Section 21 Notice on the Tenant requiring possession of the property from the Tenant and providing at least 2 months notice of such intention. The Landlord must then wait until the Notice has expired (the expiry date should be provided on the Notice). Should the Tenant not have vacated the property by this time, the Landlord should apply to court for an order claiming possession.

What should the Landlord do if the Tenant leaves the property before the tenancy has ended?

These situations are known as abandonment. Abandonment is when the Tenant gives up occupation of the property. Great care must be taken in these circumstances that abandonment has actually occurred, rather than a mere temporary absence from the property. Should the Landlord incorrectly assume that abandonment has occurred, proceedings for unlawful eviction could be brought against the Landlord. Where the Landlord is in doubt, the tenancy should be terminated using another method of termination of tenancy. Factors to determine whether or not the Tenant has in fact abandoned the Property will differ from case to case, but sufficient evidence should be obtained to ascertain whether or not this is the case. Examples of such evidence include the removal of the Tenant's furniture and other personal effects, information from neighbours, etc. Where it is clear from the evidence that abandonment has occurred, the tenancy will be deemed to have ended and the Landlord can gain possession of the property once again.

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