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If you have a tenant who you don’t think is suitable to live in your property anymore, there are certain laws and processes you need to abide by before evicting them.

If you have a tenant who you don’t think is suitable to live in your property anymore, there are certain laws and processes you need to abide by before evicting them.

Although you have the right to choose who lives in your property, tenants also have rights. Take a look at the list below before you send the eviction notice to ensure you are acting within the law. 

Notice

Before you evict a tenant due to late or missed repayments, you need to make sure they are 14 or more days in arrears before sending a Notice to Vacate. After this, you will need to wait another 14 days before you can take further action.

Locking out tenants

You are not allowed to personally evict a tenant and change the locks. Police are the only authority that can do this. If you do try to lock a tenant out, the tenant can apply for a restraining order and also contact the police, which will then see you in trouble.

Unlawful action

If you act unlawfully during the eviction proceedings, the tenant can claim compensation for any inconvenience, loss or damages, even if they have not been the ‘perfect’ tenant themselves.

Disposing of items 

If tenants have left items behind, as the landlord you are not able to dispose of them straight away. If there are perishables or rubbish, they can be thrown out. However, other goods can only be disposed or sold after 14 days notice with the exception of personal documents. Personal documents will need to be given to an authority and can only be disposed of after 90 days notice. 

Further action

There are certain issues where you are able to go straight to the Tribunal without providing notice to the tenant. Some examples include injury to the landlord, serious damage to your property or other properties near by, using the property for illegal purposes etc.

However, before going to the Tribunal you need to be sure you are abiding by the law. If you don’t, your case can be thrown out. Keep a copy of all receipts and documentation which can help support your case.

In order to avoid the situation of having to evict a tenant, you need to implement measures at the beginning. This includes thoroughly researching potential tenants including interviewing potential tenants, checking references and conducting criminal checks.