My tenants are in arrears, can I evict them?

When can I evict the tenant when they fall into arrears?

There are three grounds for possession of property based on ‘rent’ . The first ground is discretionary and involves the Tenant missing a payment on the date on which proceedings for possession are begun. The second is also discretionary with possession of property being handed over if the Tenant persistently misses their rent payments (regardless of whether in arrears when proceedings begin).

How much do the arrears have to be to take possession?

If rent is payable weekly or fortnightly and at least 8 weeks rent is unpaid by the Tenant, then the Landlord can issue a possession order under the third and final mandatory ground s8. Furthermore, if a Tenant pays their rent monthly and falls behind by two months, as well as if they pay their rent quarterly or yearly and fall behind by three months, then a possession order can also be claimed under mandatory grounds.

How can the Tenant avoid possession proceedings?

It is important to note that Judges are not very receptive to the idea evicting Tenants. In this way if a Tenant makes a rent payment so as to fall below the 8 week minimum then they can postpone action for as long as it deems fit.

Housing Act 1988

Article by Mark Birch of Garner & Hancock LLP

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