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Ending A Tenancy

What happens when you want to end a tenancy agreement? The law is clear when ending a tenancy.

What happens when you want to end a tenancy agreement? The law is clear when ending a tenancy.

Most buy to let landlords will rent properties for many years without experiencing any issues with their tenants. However, sometimes a tenant will encounter difficulties that make it impossible for your landlord-tenant relationship to continue.

When it comes to ending a tenancy agreement the law is very prescriptive. You should take always take legal advice before ending a tenancy agreement. Here are some of the key things you should remember.

Ending a Fixed Term Assured Shorthold Tenancy

The rules for ending a fixed term AST depend on whether the fixed term has ended or not.

If you want to evict a tenant during a fixed term you can only do this for certain reasons i.e. non-payment of rent or antisocial behaviour, unless there is a ‘break clause’ in the AST agreement giving you the right to end it early.

If the AST is at the end of the fixed term then you don’t need a reason to evict a tenant as long as you give 2 months’ notice in the correct form and in the correct way.

For more information on Ending a Tenancy...

Please do not hesitate to contact an Everyman Legal Solicitor on 0845 868 0960 for a FREE discussion or email natalie.hopkins@everymanlegal.com

Ending a Periodic Assured Shorthold Tenancy

In order to end a periodic AST you must give your tenant ‘notice to quit’. The amount of notice you need to give will depend on how long your tenant has been in the property.

 

What happens if my tenant does not leave at the end of the notice period?

If your tenant does not leave at the end of the notice period then you have to apply to the court for a possession order in order to be able to evict them and take possession of your property.

A possession order normally gives a tenant either 14 or 28 days to leave the property. If your tenant can show exceptional hardship then they may be given up to 42 days to leave. However, a possession order cannot take effect until a tenant has been living in a property for at least 6 months.

If you obtain a possession order but your tenant still does not leave then you can apply for a warrant for possession from the court and bailiffs can be asked to remove the tenant from the property.

Accelerated Possession

You may be able to evict your tenant using ‘accelerated possession’. This is quicker than a normal eviction and does not usually need a court hearing. You can only do this if:

  1. The type of tenancy is either an AST or a statutory periodic tenancy;
  2. The tenancy agreement is in writing;
  3. You give a minimum of 2 months written notice to evict in the correct form; and
  4. You aren’t asking you tenant to leave before the end of a fixed term tenancy.

If you apply to the court for accelerated possession the court will send your tenant a copy of the application who has 14 days to challenge it. A judge will then decide to either have a court hearing, which will usually only happy if the paperwork is not in order or if the tenant has raised a substantive challenge, or they will issue a possession order.

 

The consequences of getting it wrong

If you attempt to evict a tenant, but do not do so in line with the law, you may be guilty of illegally evicting someone or of harassing your tenant. If you are thinking about ending a tenancy agreement you should always consult your solicitor before taking any action.

Our dedicated team of solicitors, based in Witney, Oxfordshire, would be happy to answer your questions about Ending a Tenancy.

If you would like to talk to one of our team please call us on 0845 868 0960 or email natalie.hopkins@everymanlegal.com.

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