Here is a question to the blog clinic from David who is a landlord
I am the owner of a property. We have no signed agreement other than trust. I wish to evict two persons staying in my property asap. They have changed the front door lock. One of the girls is very late in paying. The house is not kept in good condition, ie dirty and they have many friends staying there. One of the girls uses it for her massage business.
1. How, do I evict them? If so how long.
2. Can I gain access to the house, which I can, and change the locks.
3. Can I cut off all gas, electric and water?
4. I want a friend to stay in the property as its 3 bedroom. He must have access to the house, what are my rights there?
5. Lastly, my post (letters) were left outside in the open. Can I gain entry to get my post? I live there but am on holiday for next 3 months.
Hi David, I have some good news for you and some bad news.
The good news is that you CAN evict your tenants. The bad news is that it will take a while and you will not have access to the property in the meantime.
I am assuming for this answer that the property is let to the two girls as a whole (ie they are joint tenants) and that they pay rent monthly. If this is not the case then different answers will apply.
1. Probably the best way to evict them is under the section 21 procedure. The notice period wil be between two and three months (and if you are not sure of the date the tenants moved in then probably best to wait three months before issuing proceedings) but if you get the paperwork right there will be no defence.
However as you do not have a written tenancy agreement you will not be able to use the so called ‘accelerated’ eviction procedure. You will need to use the standard court procedure where there is a hearing before the Judge. There is no reason why you should not get an order for possession though if you do things properly.
If you want to act in person +Plus members of Landlord Law can use my do it yourself kit.
2. No. That would constitute harassment which is a criminal offence.
3. No. That would also be harassment.
4. If you have let the house to the girls, you cannot let it to your friend as it is let to the girls. The only way he can stay there is if they are willing to take him in as a lodger. You have no right to insist on this. Once a property is let to tenants, it effectively belongs to the tenants, not the landlord, for the period of the tenancy.
5. You should get your post re-directed to you via the postal re-direct service. Thats what it is for.
I note you say in this part of your question that you live there. I have assumed in this answer that this is a tenancy if only because I doubt whether you would want to cut off your own gas, electricity and water.
However, if you are actually living in the property as your main or only home, then forget all that I have said above and hop on over to my Lodger Landlord site and read the advice given there. Landlords who rent rooms in their home to lodgers can evict without getting a court order but they have to do it the proper way.
If YOU have a problem, why not put it to the blog clinic? However there are a lot of questions submitted, so if you need an answer quickly, remember that members of my Landlord Law service can ask me questions in the members forum area, and will normally get an answer with 24 hours.