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  • Legal FAQs

    Evicting troublesome tenant

    I would greatly value Tribesters advice concerning the following:
    I have a licensed 6 bed HMO, let on individual AST 6 month tenancies to young professionals.
    The property is generally well managed and in almost two years, there have never been any problems. 

    Three tenants approached my manager two days ago to say they want to leave as soon as possible, because of one tenant who has intimidated and frightened them.
    This is the first time they have approached him, although it sounds like the problems have been going on for some time.

    Issues they report include:

    -girlfriend staying between 4/7 days a week, plus fights with her
    -aggression towards them, including door slamming, making offensive and intimidating behaviour
    -disrespect of personal boundaries, including touching tenants’ underwear on washing line
    -leaving iron on/disabling smoke alarm
    -agression after drinking 
    leaves kit hen in terrible mess with dirty dishes everywhere
    goes through and eats other peoples’ food

    When confronted, he denies everything.

    His tenancy is due up on 2 January - but of course I must give two months notice by law.

    Whilst recognising that it is likely I have lost three good tenants as they are so upset about this all, I would like to ask Tribestars
    what they think is the best way of dealing with this - legally - in terms of how best and most effectively get him out??

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    Hello Katherine,

    All is not lost. It might be tempting to consider a section 8 notice but you would then be relying on discretionary grounds and you would need to evidence the breach. My advice would be to serve a section 21 notice and explain that you would like the person to leave. Ensure the notice is valid- there are lots of procedural requirements. After serving the notice I'd suggest you speak with the problem tenant on a without prejudice basis. See whether they will agree to leave and surrender the tenancy earlier. If they will then ensure a Deed of Surrender is signed concluding the end of the tenancy.

    Separately, and commercially speaking, I'd suggest you also immediately speak with the other tenants- explain to them the steps you are taking to tackle the issues and reassure them that it is a priority. They need to give you at least a months notice anyway, possibly more, so ask for just a little longer for you to resolve the problem. You might be able to keep them.

    I hope the above is useful- good luck.

    Alex.

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    Alex. Cook

    Partner

    Helix Law

    01273 761990

    ac@helix-law.com

    https://www.helix-law.com

    Find me on LinkedIn; https://www.linkedin.com/in/disputesolicitor/

    Thanks Alex - yes this is very useful - greatly appreciate your swift response

    Katherine



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    There's another possible more informal way to deal with this.

    Visit the tenant and explain to him that a family friend has had a domestic crisis and desperately needs a room, and that you would like to move her into the house.  Say that you will compensate him for the inconvenience (say £200.00) if he would be prepared to give up his room and surrender his tenancy.  If he agrees, you may be able to persuade the other three to stay.

    From what you have said, it sounds to me that this guy and his girlfriend are bad eggs and will disrupt any household you put together, so even if the other 3 females lleave, you do not want to have him in your property.  You also want him to go without causing further problems or disruption, which could happen if you serve notice on him.  He may be what I call a "cuckoo" tenant, a tenant who wants a whole house to himself, so makes the lives of other tenants a misery.

    If you give a legitimate reason why you want him to leave that is not specific to him or his alleged behaviour, and offer him compensation, then he won't feel like you have sided with the other tenants against him.  It might be a less traumatic approach that will maintain his goodwill towards you and the property.

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