How to evict a tenant

The landlord/tenant relationship is governed by rules, responsibilities, rights and obligations.

Both parties will value the security that a tenancy offers. But the law recognises that there are times when a landlord needs to be able to remove a tenant and reclaim the property, often (but not always) because of some fault on the tenant’s part.

Not all issues will call for eviction. In fact, we find that those landlord clients who clamp down early on problems like noise or late payments of rent often bring tenants in line. Early resolution may ensure the continuation of the Tenancy and therefore benefit both parties. The key is addressing any issues straight away, and in the right way. The longer you leave disputes, the more difficulty you may have in finding an alternative to litigation.

But of course where there are serious issues – either one-off or persistent breaches of the tenancy terms - then you may have no option but to look to evict the tenant. Perhaps your property has been damaged, or there have been incidents of anti-social behaviour that need to be stopped and from which you need to distance yourself. Any landlord considering eviction should make sure they first understand the options, the processes and the consequences of taking certain routes.

One route is a section 21 notice. This has to be served at least two months before an assured shorthold tenancy is due to come to an end. You don’t need to give a reason for serving the notice This can be convenient in certain situations; you could use this mechanism where you simply want a change of tenants.

Then there’s the section 8 notice which can be used to bring a tenancy to an end before the fixed term has expired.  And it may be the better option where the tenant has breached the terms of their tenancy – non-payment of rent being a common example. As long as you have a proper ground for possession, you could serve a section 8 notice at an earlier stage than you could a section 21 notice, and in some cases that will mean that the tenancy is cut short.

Making an order for possession is a serious step for a court to take. So expect your application to be scrutinised, both in terms of the detail it contains and the process you have followed. Even minor mistakes can derail an eviction, so it’s really important to get some good advice not just on the best way of dealing with your situation, but also on the drafting of the section 21 or section 8 notice, and on the legal process.  

Specialist landlord and tenant lawyers like us will be able to handle things from beginning to end. It means that you can be sure that the right steps are taken at the right time.

For further information please contact Sarah Bridger at Preston Redman Solicitors on 01202 292424 or alternatively via email to