Here is a question to the Blog Clinic from Heather who is a landlord
I have a tenant in a property in Wales who has put a room in my house on Airbnb without my permission and without my knowledge.
This invalidates my property insurance so I am going to ask her to leave. Do I still have to give her 2 months notice?
Yes, you will need to serve the proper notice.
There are only two ways you can legally recover possession of a rented property:
- By the tenant moving out voluntarily, or
- By a Court Bailiff (or High Court Enforcement Officer) acting under the authority of a Court Order for possession.
So if your tenant is unwilling to leave voluntarily, you will need to get a court order.
Grounds for possession
Invalidating the landlord’s insurance (although a serious issue) is not in itself a legal reason to demand possession. Assuming the tenant has an assured shorthold tenancy there are only two options open to you
- Issuing court proceedings after serving a ‘section 8’ notice citing any relevant grounds, or
- Issuing proceedings after service of a section 21 notice
From what you say, it looks as if the only ground for possession open to you will be ground 12 which is available if the tenant has breached of one of the terms of the tenancy agreement (assuming that your tenancy agreement forbids subletting and doing anything which will invalidate the insurance).
Note incidentally that a clause prohibiting anything that will invalidate the insurance policy must be accompanied by a copy of the relevant terms as a tenant cannot be held liable under the terms of a document he has not seen.
Note that you can only serve a section 21 notice if you have dealt with any deposit correctly (ie protected it with a scheme and served prescribed information).
Also, as you are in Wales, you must have registered with Rent Smart Wales and, if you are self-managing, obtained a license. If you have not obtained a license then a licensed letting agent can serve a section 21 notice for you so long as you are properly registered.
Welsh landlords though do not need to worry about the new rules introduced by the Deregulation Act as they do not apply in Wales.
As a rented property is someone’s home you need to follow the rules even if they have done something as serious as invalidating your insurance.
We have guidance on obtaining a Court Order on my Landlord Law service, but you are not familiar with eviction proceedings, it may be best to use solicitors who specialise in this work, such as Landlord Action.