Evicting tenant’s girlfriend?

by Readers Question

7 months ago

Evicting tenant’s girlfriend?

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Evicting tenant’s girlfriend?

I had a tenant who appears to have left the property three months ago, at least that’s when he stopped paying rent or answering his phone.

The house is still occupied by a woman who wasn’t on the original tenancy and I assume she’s his girlfriend.

Ive contacted a solicitor and set about gaining possession. A lengthy and expensive process an my issue is this:

The person in occupation is not the tenant and so where do I stand in terms of getting her out. Does she have the same rights as the actual tenant or is she a squatter?

Obviously I cant say for sure he has gone or maybe he will return.

I just worry his guest may add complications to the process if in fact he has gone.

Sheridan

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Comments

Neil Patterson

7 months ago

Hi Sheridan,

You are doing the right thing in getting professional help to gain possession from your tenant. This is a very easy area to get wrong on your own and I am not an expert myself.

However, I believe the girlfriend would just be treated as a lodger and you just need to give reasonable notice.

Make sure your solicitor is aware of her as well though.

Puzzler

7 months ago

Does your tenancy agreement preclude subletting? If it doesn't then you could have a problem. Also are you sure the real tenant is not there?

David Price

7 months ago

I had just this situation recently. I called the police who treated the occupant as a squatter, used their universal key to gain access and evicted her there and then. Fortunately the actual tenant was being held at Her Majesties pleasure and would be a long time away (decades) so the property was immediately let to a new tenant.
The only downside is that I had to pay for a new door.

Ross Tulloch

7 months ago

Just occurs to me, have you discussed the matter with her at all to get here side of it? Of course if she is living there free as it were it creates complications

Chris Daniel

7 months ago

There are a number of Possession companies, try
http://www.PossessionFriend.uk

Rohan Pickard

7 months ago

Speaking as a solicitor and landlord I would ensure that the original tenancy has been terminated first by way of S8 or 21 proceedings and obtain an order for vacant possession and then enforce by way of eviction with bailiffs or high court enforcement officers if the order is not complied with, that way you are not dependent on the tenant, don't have to mess about with perilous abandonment procedures and have direct control of the outcome.

As previously commented I would recommend taking professional advice (but I would say that ;-)!

David Price

7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Rohan Pickard at 12/01/2018 - 10:24Totally agree that yours is the 'correct' procedure, it is also a sure way to bankruptcy when the rent is only £100 a week. The cost of a single eviction greatly exceeds the annual profit. Sometimes landlords have to take risks and on this occasion the police were on my side.
90% of my tenancies are ended by the tenant doing a runner, to keep ahead of the bailiffs, the police, the 'friends' seeking to give him a pasting . . . I have to take a realistic, and perhaps risky, view of when the tenancy has ended.

In 30 years and well over 1000 tenancies I have only had one tenant give proper notice.

Rohan Pickard

7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David Price at 12/01/2018 - 10:57
Police could be a potentially effective first port of call but I can foresee some difficulty where the original tenancy has not been terminated and she has not forced entry in anyway and is not your traditional squatter.

I agree that in other circumstances where the tenant has gone you can make a pragmatic call as to whether they are coming back or not (and deem their actions to be a surrender of the tenancy subject to some albeit minimal risk) but if the tenant or other occupant remains in in occupation without paying the rent a landlord will lose a lot more than the cost of the legal fees by not taking decisive legal action at the earliest opportunity (whether via a solicitor or not).

Ravi gupta

7 months ago

I agree with Rohan.
The tenant is in more than eight weeks in rent arrears, serve section 8 Notice To Quit and if you do'nt get the possession apply to the bailliffs. This is the only and the simplest way
GOOD Luck

David Price

7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Rohan Pickard at 12/01/2018 - 11:37
When the tenant is still in occupation then we have to abide by the letter of the eviction law, even when the tenant is covered in his own faeces, behaving obnoxiously and threatening other residents. I have just obtained an eviction for such a tenant after some six months. Isn't the eviction law wonderful?

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