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  • Legal FAQs

    Can I evict tenant before signing AST?

    Help please!

    My tenant arrived yesterday and has yet to pay rent or deposit.
    The council have just confirmed that I cannot keep this tenant as I would exceed capacity.

    Can I ask them to find somewhere else ?
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    I would suggest that you the morally right thing to do would be to put them up in a hotel until they can find somewhere else.

    This is the perfect example of a newbie mistake that will prove to be costly!

    If you have not already done so, I would strongly suggest you join a landlord association to get additional support via a legal helpline.  Property Tribes is partnered with the Residential Landlords Association and our members can enjoy a 25% discount of membership.

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    AFAIK - for a contract to be deemed legal there must be an exchange of money or "money's worth" - so if no Rent/Deposit paid there is no contract in place - so impliedly there should be few if any issues in removing the "tenant" - who has yet to become legally a tenant...

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    Ok thanks. 

    So I’ll ask them not to pay any money yet and hopefully they can find somewhere else and they can stay a few days until then ?

    How should I play this?
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    Has the LA given you a deadline to reduce the number of tenants in I assume an HMO?

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    No, they are just saying planning permission would be required as our licence if for 6 not 7, previoulsy they misadvised me saying I could simply apply for a variation, as it was an existing HMO.

    So I went by that and offered a place to a couple - which now puts me in a problem.

    I'll ask if they can find somewhere else and not to pay any money?

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    The payment doesn't have to have been made, just agreed or promised.

    Not paying rent doesn't make the contract invalid. The tenant has all the rights of any other tenant (assuming they've moved in).

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    Sorry but some of the advice here is nonsense. They have entered into a contract with you.

    This contract contains a requirement to pay money. The fact that it has yet to be paid is irrelevant. The obligation to pay is the valuable consideration on the contract.

    So you cannot just throw the tenant out. You will have to ask them nicely and you will potentially be liable to compensate them for their losses
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    David Smith
    Landlord & Tenant Solicitor
    Anthony Gold Solicitors

    Find me on LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/dsnsmith

    All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of my firm. No comment made should be taken as legal advice and you should consult a solicitor or other legal professional for advice on your specific situation.

    ok thank you, i'll try and work something out, should I cite the hmo conditions or not?

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    Self management of a property without a comprehensive understanding of many, many aspects of lettings can prove very costly, especially if a tenant seeks legal advice.

    The tenancy starts as soon as they have posession. They are now protected and you must comply with legislation that protects tenants from landlords seeking unlawful posession, or possibly face fines etc.   I personaly would have a meeting with a suitable Solicitor.   As you can see from earlier responses you will not achieve clarity by reading multiple answere.

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    This may be of no help and may also be misguided. I presume the couple are the teachers that have just arrived in this country and will share my experience to provide an alternative consideration.

     I've had a couple of lodgers in a similar predicament of not being able to live with their partner. They could stay as often as they liked but needed their main address elsewhere.
    Its morally questionable but as far as I'm aware legitimate.
    Note: I did provide an actual room, not just an address, and insisted they stored some personal belongings in it.
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    A good teacher must know the rules; a good pupil, the exceptions.

    Martin H. Fischer