Whilst the guidance set out in the Daily Mail article, part of their "Buy to Let" coverage, cannot cover the necessary detail for a landlord to consider when faced with a tricky tenant, it is worth clarifying the options open to a landlord when possession of their property is needed.
A landlord does not have to wait until a tenant has been in the property for more than 6 months before they can serve a Section 21 notice. Currently they can serve such a notice at the start of the tenancy.
Some landlords serve a Section 21 notice at the start of the tenancy as a matter of course. New provisions introduced under the Deregulation Act 2015 provide that a landlord will not be able to serve a Section 21 notice within the first 4 months of a fixed term. A new prescribed Section 21 notice is to be introduced which will simplify the possession notice process and cut down errors in drafting Section 21 notices for landlords but care will still need to be taken in ensuring that any possession notices are correctly served.
The alternative option of a Section 8 notice doesn't always provide a 14 day period to be given to the tenant. Indeed, where a tenant Is guilty of conduct that has or is likely to have caused a nuisance or annoyance to neighbours a notice can be served which allows Court proceedings for possession to be issued immediately. Steps can be taken to expedite those proceedings to evict a problem tenant quickly.
In extreme cases, the last straw for landlords is eviction. While the majority of tenancy agreements come to a natural and amicable end, there may be times when you need to get rid of your tenant. Kate Faulkner, at Propertychecklists.co.uk, says: ‘If you just want the property back and your tenant has lived there for more than the six-month fixed time period given by an assured shorthold tenancy, you just need to send them a Section 21 notice. ‘This does not require you to give any reason as to why you have asked them leave, but will require you to give them two months’ notice.’ There is an alternative option to evict a tenant using Section 8, which allows you to seek possession under specific grounds such as rent arrears and anti-social behaviour. The tenant has 14 days to respond.