How to respond to tenancy issues and stay on the right side of the law.
The vast majority of tenancies are trouble free. But when problems do occur, a number of laws and provisions make the road to resolution clearer. They include:
Section 47(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 – what landlords must include in formal documents to tenants
Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 – what landlords can do if there’s a breach of the tenancy agreement (often rent arrears)
Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 – notice to vacate the property and terminate the tenancy
What all formal tenancy documents should include
Section 47(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 requires that all formal documents that concern the property and tenancy (so, in effect, any document you send to the tenant) must contain your name and address. As landlord, it must be your details that appear, not your agent’s.
Breaches of the tenancy agreement
There are lots of potential grounds for a breach of the tenancy agreement. The most common ones are noise, damage to the property and rent arrears, but others include repeatedly failing to pay rent on time or giving false information at the outset of the tenancy.
Any breach of the tenancy agreement affecting an assured tenancy can be sufficient grounds for a Section 8 Notice, which requires a tenant to leave the property, but you must state what those grounds are when serving the notice.
You must also state the notice period, which can be between 2 weeks and 2 months, depending on the way in which the tenant has broken the agreement. Need help or advice in creating a Section 8 Notice? Talk to us.
If a claim eventually reaches court, it can help to have evidence to support your case. If you have access to photos, video footage or witness statements (eg from neighbours) keep them safe.
Terminating the tenancy
A Section 21 Notice allows you as landlord to require a tenant to leave your Bradford property if:
Your tenants have a written assured shorthold tenancy or statutory periodic tenancy agreement; and
You have put their deposit in a deposit protection scheme
Bear in mind you can’t use Section 21 for fixed term tenancies
Notice must be 2 months, but this can be extended to 6 months by the local authority if a tenant can show that they complained to you in writing about the state of the property, and that they did not contribute to its poor condition. It is, therefore, in your interests to keep your rental properties in Bradford well-maintained, to avoid any issues should you have to invoke Section 21.
Our Maintenance Services can help protect your interests and your reputation. Find out more here.
If you issue a Section 8 or Section 21 Notice and the tenant does not leave by the stated date, you will need to apply for a possession order from the court. If the tenant still refuses to leave, you can ask the county court bailiffs to evict the tenant.