Evicting inconsiderate tenants
Posted on 30th October 2015
I read with amusement a feature in the Metro about a landlord’s notice to his inconsiderate tenants which included the following ‘rules’:
3. No yodelling at any time
4. Do not feed the squirrels nanchos
7. Do not climb other people’s balconies whilst drunkenly yelling “I AM SPIDER-MAN”
8. NO ZIPLINES
11. DO NOT YELL AT THE MOON
15. Do not attach basketball hoops above resident doors, knock, and then “dunk on them” when they answer
It is signed off, “Moving forward, failure to abide by these rules will be grounds for eviction”.
If a tenant is letting under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, then it would be much easier to serve a section 21 Notice given at least 2 months’ notice, which is non fault base. This would allow a landlord to obtain a possession order within the much quicker accelerated possession proceeding in their local county court.
If a landlord really wants to evict a tenant for a breach of the tenancy conditions, they can serve a section 8 notice instead. This allows for a total of 17 separate grounds for obtaining possession, including breach of any term of the tenancy agreement, rent arrears, neglect of furniture, and/or nuisance.
Notices under either route must be in the prescribed form and for section 21 notices getting the right date that the notice expires on is essential.
It is easier for a landlord to incorporate anti-social clauses into the contract from the start to avoid ambiguity, and to have a general catch all nuisance clause to avoid the need to copy the drastic action of the landlord mentioned above.
Landlords should take note that as much as they may wish to take the law into their own hands by changing the locks and throwing their inconsiderate tenants out (even once a notice has been served), to do would risk a claim for unlawful eviction.
Landlords also have to be aware of not doing enough to safeguard other tenants who suffer at the hands of inconsiderate co-tenants, or they may find themselves the subject of a claim for breach of their rights of quiet enjoyment.