If you want to evict a tenant in Wales, there are certain procedures and rules that you must follow. This guide will outline the steps you need to take in order to successfully eviction a tenant. The law surrounding eviction can be complex, so it’s important to seek professional advice before taking any action. SJV Solicitors can provide help with this.
You must give the tenant written notice that you want them to leave. The amount of notice you need to give depends on the reason for eviction – typically it’s two weeks, but it could be up to four weeks.
It is important to check that the right length of notice has been given to your tenant.
The length of notice that the tenant is entitled to depends on:
- The type of tenancy they have
- The date the notice was given
- The reasons why the landlord wants to end the tenancy
When you and your tenant have agreed to an assured shorthold tenancy, you can use the notice procedure provided out in Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 to reclaim possession of the property. Any other type of tenancy agreement is not eligible for it.
Serving a Section 21 notice will be the most typical option for most landlords to start the process of terminating a tenancy. This method of obtaining possession is less complicated than serving a Section 8 notice because it does not need you to appear in court. It also doesn’t require you to explain why you want to take possession. However, if you want to utilise this sort of notification to reclaim ownership of a property, you must first meet a number of procedural conditions.
When can a Section 21 notice be held invalid?
Section 21 notices can be declared invalid in a variety of situations, including:
- The landlord has not provided tenants with a current Energy Performance Certificate or gas safety record
- If sufficient notice has not been provided
- If a deposit has not been placed in a valid deposit protection scheme
- The landlord has not repaid any unlawfully charged fees or returned an unlawfully retained holding deposit for tenancies starting after 1 September 2019 – read Tenant fees for more information
What makes a Section 21 notice different from a Section 8 notice?
- The normal sort of notice delivered when a landlord desires to reclaim their property when the tenancy has expired its stipulated period is a Section 21 notice (ie the initial term of the tenancy has expired).
- Section 8 notice – if the tenants have broken the tenancy agreement, this sort of notice can be issued (eg failure to pay rent or anti-social behaviour).
What to do if a tenant won’t leave
If the tenant doesn’t leave after the notice has expired, you can apply to the court for a possession order. You’ll need to provide evidence that you’ve served the notice of intention to seek possession, and that the grounds for eviction are valid.
The court will then decide whether to grant a possession order. If the order is granted, the tenant will be given a date by which they must leave the property. If they don’t leave by this date, you can ask the court bailiffs to forcibly evict them.
Taking legal action to evict a tenant can be expensive and time-consuming, so it’s important to seek professional advice before proceeding. A qualified solicitor will be able to advise you on the best course of action, and will help ensure that the eviction process goes as smoothly as possible.