Renting out property is not as easy as it might look to the outsider. The landlord has many responsibilities towards the tenant, and must take care of a multitude of repairs, insurance and other matters.
The landlord must also be prepared in case their greatest fear should materialise—the problem tenant.
How can you know when the problem tenant will arrive? And what do you do if they do?
The answer to the first question is that you can’t. You will only know you have a problem tenant when they start causing problems. References are no guarantee.
There are, however, viable, legal solutions to the second question.
If your tenant is damaging the property, indulging in anti-social behaviour, or failing to pay their rent, then it is time to take action. It is important, however, to follow the correct procedures if you wish to stay on the right side of the law.
Landlords need to give 24 hours’ notice if they wish to inspect their property, and must arrive at a reasonable hour of the day. Otherwise, they are guilty of harassment.
If the property is rented under an ‘assured shorthold tenancy’ agreement, which is the most common type of agreement, then the landlord can repossess the property in two ways.
The court will then order the tenants to leave. If they don’t go, then you can apply to the court for bailiff action.
These procedures can be tricky, and it is best to seek legal advice when seeking to repossess a property.
The law in Scotland regarding landlord’s rights to evict tenants is different.
You must give your tenant notification in writing that you want them to leave, stating the reason you are asking them to leave and the date you want them to leave by, which must be 14 days from the date of notification. If this doesn’t work, then you can apply to the court.
Non-payment of rent for more than three months is sufficient grounds for a sheriff to grant a repossession order, where the property is rented under an assured tenancy and short assured tenancy. The sheriff will also usually order the rent money owed to be paid.
Only sheriff officers can implement the repossession order.
Landlords must apply for a court order to evict a tenant, if they wish to evict a tenant. They must give the tenant 28 days notice.
LexisNexis LawyerLocator complies with the Solicitors Regulation Authority's Code of Conduct 2011 regarding referrals published by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and any solicitor to whom we refer you is an independent professional, from whom you will receive impartial and confidential advice. You are free to choose another Solicitor. In the event that you instruct a solicitor, LexisNexis LawyerLocator will be paid a referral fee of up to £40 per solicitor, per accepted enquiry, but this will not be added to your bill.