Can I personally throw a tenant out and change the locks?

by Readers Question

12:21 PM, 4th August 2014
About 4 years ago

Can I personally throw a tenant out and change the locks?

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Can I personally throw a tenant out and change the locks?

Hi all

I am going to be very brief and leave out information I do not feel relevant so I can get straight to the point.

I have taken over a HMO which has tenants that do not pay rent. (They did initially but not now) There were initially 3 tenants however one has left, so 2 remaining. I want them all out.

There is no agreement and no deposit. Can I personally throw a tenant out and change the locks?

My thoughts/options…

1. Call the police and get them out (squatters) – From my understanding, they are not squatters as they did not enter the properly illegally (they used to pay rent once upon a time)

2. Use a service like landlord action. This is probably the best option, but will take time and money, something I can avoid if the next option is possible.

3. As there is no contract in place, what is stopping me from waiting until they leave the house then going in and changing the locks and then throwing their stuff out? This is something I would never do in a normal tenancy, but this is not a normal case. Can it backfire on me?

I have tried several times to get them to sign an agreement, once signed, I can then serve them a section 21, however they do not want to sign anything.

Interested to hear your thoughts.

Thanks

Adam



Comments

Mandy Thomson

8:45 AM, 7th August 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Percy Vere" at "07/08/2014 - 08:22":

Well said, Percy - absolutely! That also goes for people letting rooms in their home. I've lost count of the tales of woe I've come across (unfortunately, several personally) where people have moved friends in as lodgers and it's turned sour and the friendship was either destroyed or at least badly affected. In that situation, being the lodger can be just as problematic, if not more so...

amarni 1

11:16 AM, 17th August 2014
About 4 years ago

Why not allow the one / two / more? empty room/s to be used for builder friends who like to spread themselves out into the communal areas of the property all the time.

You may also wish them to renovate areas and carry out works during this period. You will naturally wish to inspect the works frequently and be in and out of the HMO continually. The noise and general coming and going may prove too much for them........

Ian Narbeth

15:25 PM, 2nd September 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "amarni 1" at "17/08/2014 - 11:16":

Almost as bad as changing the locks and throwing them out! The proposed action constitutes harassment. Go through the legal procedures or, if you are not prepared to, sell to a landlord who will.

Mandy Thomson

16:44 PM, 2nd September 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "amarni 1" at "02/09/2014 - 16:35":

Moreover, it would be a gift to the tenants - you'd be giving them licence to prosecute and you'd make their day! They'd also be likely get legal aid, and plenty of free legal advice.

Alan Loughlin

16:48 PM, 2nd September 2014
About 4 years ago

can I suggest you do as I did recently which is very expedient, saves a whole heap of time and money and gets your property back, the downside is overcoming your natural instinct. simply bribe them. I will quickly tell you what happened, I had a tenant whose benefits were stopped and he had no incentive to leave, I went to see him knowing he was desperately short of cash, he was using foodbanks, I offered him 150 quid cash if he moved out that day and handed keys back and signed a release, we settled on 200 quid and signed and moved, I changed the locks. ok 200 quid wasted or was it? the alternative was many months without rent and a grand in legal costs, and time to wreck the property, was I right? tell me.

Ian Narbeth

16:53 PM, 2nd September 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Alan Loughlin" at "02/09/2014 - 16:48":

Good move Alan.
Of course, some local authorities won't re-house someone if they become "intentionally homeless" and so your erstwhile tenant may have had a nasty surprise when he wanted re-homing.

Alan Loughlin

16:56 PM, 2nd September 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Narbeth" at "02/09/2014 - 16:53":

yes true, but his problem not mine, within 2 days I had it relet and rent flowing, I charged new tenant 300 quid so covered the bribe and the clean, happy days. but the lesson learnt was no more HB or any benefit tenants, none, just say no, in fact I put this in the ad. NO HB. might upset some, ask me if I care?

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