Tenant eviction advice offered by landlord expert
Landlords have been advised by an industry expert to get up to date on their legal rights in evicting problem tenants, Citywire reports.
Advice website Landlord-Law Online counselled that simply putting these people's possessions out on the street and changing the locks is a criminal offence - but added that landlords retained the right to launch court proceedings.
The recent economic downturn has hit peoples' personal finances hard - with debtors facing the duel threats of credit restrictions from financial firms and inflation at a 16-year high of 4.4 per cent.
This has had a knock-on effect on rental arrears, with more and more people falling behind on their payments.
Figures from the Justice Department show a two per cent rise in the numbers of landlords taking their tenants to court over the past year.
Speaking to Citywire Tessa Shepperson, who runs Landlord-Law Online. "There are two types of court proceedings - you can use the accelerated possession procedure under the shorthold ground, where the order is made on the paperwork and there is no hearing, or you can use the rent arrears grounds using the normal fixed-date procedure, in which a court order can be made after a hearing that the landlord or agent will have to attend."
She added: "If getting possession [of the landlord's property] is more important than being paid the rent, you might want to consider serving a section 21 notice and waiting for the longer notice period to expire, and then using the accelerated possession procedure so you can be certain that you will get a possession order.
"This would also be a better course of action if there is a possibility that the tenant will raise a defence and counterclaim for compensation on the basis that the property is in poor repair."