Can I remove tenant with no agreement or money taken?

by Readers Question

8:28 AM, 13th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Can I remove tenant with no agreement or money taken?

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Can I remove tenant with no agreement or money taken?

My tenant moved in before I had time to check his references as he told me it was his only day off.remove

I then found out he had a criminal record. I have not taken any money off him and he has not sign a tenancy agreement.

I need him out for the sake of other tenants.

What is my best option please.

Kate



Comments

Neil Patterson

8:32 AM, 13th May 2016
About 3 years ago

I have no idea as I don't think we have ever had this exact scenario before with a tenant moving in and the landlord having no AST and no monies taken.

The criminal record I don't think makes any difference to the legal position in this case but I may be wrong.

What does everyone else think?

You may also be best advised to contact the tenant eviction professionals. Please see our page tenant eviction page under the legal advice tab >> http://www.property118.com/tenant-eviction-2/

Mark Lynham

10:07 AM, 13th May 2016
About 3 years ago

so you gave him the key without taking money? strange situation..... as you gave him the key i suspect he will have rights.... is this a HMO?

Charles King - Barrister-At-Law

10:10 AM, 13th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Sorry Kate, but if the tenant wants to be difficult you may have serious trouble getting rid of him. This is because, whether or not you have a tenancy agreement, if you allowed him to move in (assuming you are not a resident landlord) and there was an agreement that he pay a regular rent, you have almost certainly created a tenancy whether you intended to or not, and strictly speaking you will have to get him out using court proceedings. That in turn may be tricky as you probably did not comply with the statutory requirements of providng him with the information, etc., which you are now obliged to give. You may either have to put up with him or do a deal with him if you want him out. Alternatively once he has missed a second month's rent you would be well placed to serve him with a s.8 notice citing 2 months arrears, which is a mandatory ground for possession, and which should lead at least to a suspended possession order if the case had to go to court. That would give you at least some protection, but of course involves trouble and expese. I do hope you resolve your situation.

Steve From Leicester

10:11 AM, 13th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Big mistake allowing him to move in without paying any money or signing a tenancy agreement.

Even though you haven't signed a tenancy agreement you may have created a tenancy by implication. Unless there is something in writing to say otherwise this will be deemed to be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy under the Housing Act 1996.

Your only hope lies with the fact that he hasn't paid you any money (in legal terms a "consideration"). You need professional legal advice quickly.

terry sullivan

10:14 AM, 13th May 2016
About 3 years ago

what was he convicted of? serious violence etc? how did you find out?

Charles King - Barrister-At-Law

10:16 AM, 13th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Steve From Leicester" at "13/05/2016 - 10:11":

That's right Steve. The 'no consideration' point is a good one to explore, but in fact the Law of Property Act 1925 defines a lease as being 'whether or not for a rent' (s.205(xxvii)) so if the tenant is properly represented the argument won't succeed.

Robert Mellors

10:39 AM, 13th May 2016
About 3 years ago

As there is no "agreement" as such, and no "consideration" (rent), it could perhaps be considered to be a licence revocable at will, i.e. he is your temporary non-paying guest. IF this is the case, then there is no tenancy and I believe that there would be no Protection from Eviction Act rights he could enforce. - However, you would need to check this with a solicitor.

It may be that if you revoke the permission for him to stay, then his legal status would become that of a squatter. Squatting in residential premises is now a criminal offence, in which case the police SHOULD arrest him (but they usually try to avoid this type of thing and simply (incorrectly) say that it is a civil matter).

There are also some laws which allow you to take reasonable force to remove a trespasser (or stop them gaining entry), but again you need to be very careful about how you do this.

However, it all depends on what you agreed with him at the time, and from your description, it does not sound like you agreed to him being a non-paying guest, it sounds like you could perhaps have created a verbal contract/tenancy with him.

You definitely need to seek proper legal advice.

Mandy Thomson

11:13 AM, 13th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Robert is spot on - it may be a tenancy, but is most likely to simply be a contractual tenancy, as no rent has been charged or given. The National Landlords Association lists one of the conditions for this type of tenancy as, "a tenancy which is rent free or for which the rent is £250 or less a year (£1,000 or less in Greater London)".

In which case, a month's notice to quit (which can simply be a letter giving him a clear date to vacate by) is required. If he won't quit, a court order would still be needed, but this would be easier to obtain than with an AST where a tenant has many more defences.

However, I have said this without knowing exactly what happened so like Robert I strongly advise you to get a legal opinion. I've used Cotswold Barristers in the past - they do 15 minute phone consultations for free with no obligation.

Ingrid Bacsa

11:23 AM, 13th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Steve From Leicester" at "13/05/2016 - 10:11":

Oh dear, because you let him in, he does have rights and is legally protected under the Landlord and Tenant Act, as a written agreement is not mandatory in my experience.. Dont tell him to leave; I would firstly get him to sign the Tenancy Agreement (including a misrepresentation clause) and then ensure he pays as he promised so you are not totally out of pocket once you tell him to leave - and log any deposit straight away..

I would then commence a Section 8 eviction as he has withheld information or presumably lied to get in. Take your criminal evidence to the judge - eviction can be swift if you can prove your other tenants may be at risk.

Alternatively, is his crime paid up? If it is not associated with abuse or violence, you could give him the benefit of the doubt and see how it goes before serving notice.

Now he's in, keep him to his "payday" word. Otherwise you will get nothing and he can stay for quite a while - possibly damage your property too.

Regards

Ingrid Bacsa

11:27 AM, 13th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Steve From Leicester" at "13/05/2016 - 10:11":

Oh dear, because you let him in, he does have rights and is legally protected under the Landlord and Tenant Act, as a written agreement is not mandatory in my experience.. Dont tell him to leave; I would firstly get him to sign the Tenancy Agreement (including a misrepresentation clause) and then ensure he pays as he promised so you are not totally out of pocket once you tell him to leave - and log any deposit straight away..

I would then commence a Section 8 eviction as he has withheld information or presumably lied to get in. Take your criminal evidence to the judge - eviction can be swift if you can prove your other tenants may be at risk.

Alternatively, is his crime paid up? If it is not associated with abuse or violence, you could give him the benefit of the doubt and see how it goes before serving notice.

Now he's in, keep him to his "payday" word. Otherwise you will get nothing and he can stay for quite a while - possibly damage your property too.

Regards

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