A landlord has a right to request repossession of his property from the tenants. This may be because the landlord wishes to live in the dwelling or the tenants have broken the terms of the tenancy agreement. Often it is because the tenant has failed to pay rent. However, the landlord must follow the correct procedure to evict a tenant. The first step is to write an eviction notice, also called a notice to quit. It has the same requirements in all jurisdictions of the UK.
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Things you need
- Computer or typewriter
Write the eviction notice as a standard letter. Use a word processing program on a computer or a typewriter rather than handwriting, so that the letter is clearly legible.
Put the tenant’s full name at the top, followed by the full address of the rental property. Put your full name and address underneath.
Write “Notice to Quit” as a title. You could make this bold to ensure the nature of the letter is clear. Date the letter.
State the date by which you wish the tenant to vacate the property. This must be at least 2 months from the date of the letter.
State the reason why you wish the tenant to vacate the property. If you do not give a legal reason -- such as breaking the terms of the tenancy agreement or conducting illegal activities in the property -- you can still serve a notice to quit, but only after six months have passed from the start of the tenancy agreement. With a legal reason, notice can be given at any time during the tenancy.
Include one of the following legal reasons for pursuing eviction. Rent arrears, persistent late payment of rent, a term of the tenancy agreement has been breached (such as using the dwelling for illegal purposes), the property has been significantly damaged, the tenant lied to secure the tenancy, you wish to live in the property yourself, the property needs to be reconstructed or demolished, the property has been repossessed by the mortgage lender.
Include details where the tenant can go for advice concerning the notice to quit. This could be the letting agent managing the property or the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
Print the letter twice. Keep a copy for yourself as a reference and post the other copy to the tenant by registered mail. This will give you a receipt to prove the date that you served the eviction notice -- should you need to go to court at a later date -- and track the letter to ensure it arrives.
Tips and warnings
- Ensure you include all the required information in the eviction notice. Failure to do so may delay the eviction if it reaches legal proceedings.
- If the eviction notice is not successful, you will need to apply to the courts or the Sherriff’s Office (Scotland) for an eviction order.
- You must follow the correct procedure for eviction. It is illegal to disconnect any services, change locks on the property, interfere with a tenant’s personal possessions or threaten violence to try to evict a tenant.
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