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Guaranteed Investment | How to have a good relationship with your tenants

Property clinic: We advise readers on the right of landlords who have a dificult relationship with their tenants.

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Model tenants? Most modern landlords are spared the fictional antics of ‘The Young Ones’ Photo: BBC

We all have friends who have endured a bad relationship with their landlords, whether it is trying to get them to fix a faulty boiler or failing to take steps to stop the spread of damp.
However, it is worth remembering that landlords can also face a difficult time when they are stuck with tricky tenants.
Danny Revitt, a property litigation expert at Irwin Mitchell, provides advice on landlords’ rights when it comes to obtaining possession of the properties they let on residential tenancies.

The good news is that there is an accelerated procedure for obtaining a possession order which does not involve a hearing.
This can be used where you are not claiming rent arrears and simply require possession. The court deals with the application on paper, and therefore it should be quicker and cheaper than a court hearing. But it is vital that you have got your paperwork right and serve the correct notice, or the court will refuse your application.

While I’m sure you’d like him to vacate immediately, you must be very careful not to take any steps that would amount to an unlawful eviction. If you do, you could be guilty of a criminal offence and, despite the rent arrears, your tenant could sue you for damages.
Unless the tenant is willing to vacate voluntarily you must go through the proper legal procedure. This involves serving a notice in the statutory form on the tenant advising him of the arrears, and giving him a date at least two weeks away when you will commence court proceedings.
If he hasn’t vacated by the time that the notice expires, then you will need to issue court proceedings for possession.
Generally, the court will list the matter for a possession hearing between four weeks and two months from the date that you make the application. If you’ve done everything right and there are still at least two months of rent arrears at the time of the hearing, then the court must give you possession. They’ll give the tenant at least two weeks to vacate, but could allow up to six weeks in cases of exceptional hardship.
If he doesn’t vacate by the set date, you’ll need a bailiff to evict him. Depending on how busy local bailiffs are, this could result in a few more weeks’ delay. It can be frustrating, but it’s important to get it right…. – Source

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