Common reasons for evicting tenant(s)
1. Nonpayment of Rent
The most common reason for a lease termination and eviction is nonpayment of rent.
It’s an easy concept to understand: “if you don’t pay, you can’t stay”. Most courts and judges are reasonable about this, and make little exceptions to allowing a non-paying tenant to remain in the unit.
With that said, if a landlord is failing to provide a habitable dwelling, then sometimes, nonpayment of rent is overlooked.
Note: “non-payment of a late fee” is not the same as “nonpayment of rent”. The courts will not award a landlord a judgement solely for unpaid late fees.
2. Breach Of Tenancy
The second most common reason for eviction is when a tenant violates a tenancy clause.
- Unauthorised Pets
Having pets when none are allowed, or having more pets than what is allowed.
- Extended Guests or Unapproved Occupants
Many residents think that they can move another occupant into the unit without asking – for as long as they want. However, most tenancies don’t allow any occupants other than those listed on the tenancy (for good reason). Unapproved occupants, or can be a complete legal and liability nightmare.
- Unapproved Subletting
Most tenancies grant a resident “exclusive” rights to occupy the dwelling. This means that the landlord can’t rent it to anyone else, but it also means the tenant is under the same restriction. If your tenant decides to vacate the property and subsequently rents the property to someone else you would still need to serve notice on your tenant. This is because although the tenant has left the property they have not given you vacant possession as they have sub-let the property.
3. Property Damage
If damage has been caused to your property then you can serve a section 8 notice pleading ground 13. Please note that this is a discretionary ground and should it go to court the judge will decide whether or not possession of the property will be granted.
4. Illegal or Drug Related Activity (Anti-Social Behaviour)
If there are any anti-social activities taking place at the let property you can serve a section 8 notice pleading ground 14. The benefit of this is that you do not need to wait and give the tenant any notice. You can proceed straight to court.
5. Expiration of Tenancy
If the tenancy has naturally expired, then to bring the tenancy to an end the tenant must give up possession of the let property, however if tenancy becomes periodic and the tenant still refuses to leave then the only option you have is to serve the correct notice stipulating that you require possession of the let property back. If your tenant is on housing benefits the council may tell your tenant to remain within the property until an order for possession is granted.
Frustratingly for landlords, the law in this area favours the tenant. It is not possible to simply gain possession by re-entering your property and changing the locks. If you did, the tenant would have a strong claim against you for breach of the terms of the tenancy; namely, “the covenant (agreement) for quiet enjoyment”, and/or unlawful eviction and harassment. This could lead to a damages claim or possibly a criminal conviction.
Harassment and illegal eviction
Examples of harassment and Illegal Eviction
- you change the locks while the tenant is out or you stop the tenant from getting into the property
- you withdraw or withhold services reasonably required for the occupation of the dwelling house as a residence
- you act in a way that interferes with the peace and comfort of the tenant or members of his household
- you threaten to use violence or behaviour which is sexually or racially motivated
- An illegal eviction occurs where the landlord deprives a tenant of the occupation of all or part of the property without due process of law.
- Threaten or force the tenant leave the property before an Order for Possession has been granted by the court and, if necessary, enforcement by the bailiff