What options do landlords have when tenants won’t leave after a Section 21 has run its notice?

What options do landlords have when tenants won’t leave after a Section 21 has run its notice?

9:10 AM, 10th March 2023, About 7 months ago

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Every week, landlord news portals all over the UK are reporting on the exodus of landlords selling up as rising costs leave landlords feeling the pinch and are either on the brink of (or already) making a loss.

Many landlords are selling up completely to enjoy early retirement while many more are simply reacting to the current conditions by selling off some properties to raise cash to pay off mortgages on their best performing properties early.

As a result of landlords needing to adjust their businesses and the likelihood that ‘no fault’ evictions will be abolished in the next 12 to 24 months, we’re also seeing landlords rushing to issue Section 21s to their tenants but tenants refusing to leave because they cannot afford to move in the current cost-of-living crisis and/or have nowhere to go.

What legal options do landlords have if a tenant refuses to leave after a Section 21 has been issued and the notice period expired?

  • One option is to go to the courts to get possession through a court appointed bailiff. The advantage of this option is landlords may get a better sales price by selling with vacant possession but if property prices fall as expected, a better price then might not be as much as compromised price now – esp if tenants stop paying rent (as many do once a landlord/tenant relationship enters into eviction stages) with legal cost, court costs and bailiff costs deducted from the ‘better price’. Other issues to consider are long waiting lists for court dates, the number of technicalities that can result in landlords having to start the process from scratch and long periods of being in a highly stressful situation.
  • A second option is to negotiate with tenants directly to try to come to an agreement in everyone’s best interest. The advantage is again selling with vacant possession but there are many ways a landlord can fall foul of tenant’s rights which could make the situation worse should the case need to go to court if tenants refuse to negotiate.
  • A third option is to call in practiced expert negotiators with inhouse legal advisors who have a proven track record of arranging vacant possession legally without going to court.
  • A fourth option is to sell to other investors avoiding the need to evict tenants.

Landlord Sales Agency are portfolio exit specialists and practiced at providing solutions 3 & 4 from the above list. Sellers normally continue to collect rent right up to the completion date and they typically walk away with 85% of the property value after all bills and costs are deducted.

An option not mentioned above is to do nothing – to weather the storm as it is now and hope for brighter days.

So what is the best course of action? Should we even be thinking of selling when property prices have fallen from their post-lockdown peak?

To answer this, it’s time to really take stock of the current situation:

  • Bills haven’t gone away, and they need paying, taxes have put many of us under stress
  • Many landlords are still unable to get round to sorting out their empty properties and refurbs
  • There’s less cash in pot due to rate rises, so even if you don’t sell all your properties, selling some properties to raise funds is a sensible option
  • Tenants are in arrears and many are paying low rents, having a huge effect on landlords
  • The market is likely to drop further as the months go by, so landlords need to act fast.

With more buy-to-let regulations and restrictions on the way, a cost-of-living crisis that is likely to get worse before it gets better affecting tenant’s ability to pay rent, the threat of more interest rate rises on the way in 2023 and industry-wide expectations that house prices will fall further, there is no doubt that selling now is going to be the best option for many landlords.

And there is no doubt either that Landlord Sales Agency provide landlords with a specialist service that makes financial sense, reduces risks and stress.

Our database of over 30,000 private buyers and our extensive buyers network means we’re able to sell your properties in weeks rather than months. Most of our properties sell in less than 28 days and are legally binding once an offer is accepted so buyers cannot reduce their offers if property prices continue to fall, as expected.

Whether it’s with tenants in situ, or if you need help making sure they’re out, you don’t need to worry, we’re here to sort it.

To find out what we can do for you with no obligation or pressure to proceed, simply fill in the form below and one of our consultants will call you back.

You simply have nothing to lose and everything to gain. It’s time to let go of the stress and let the experts take over.

Contact Landlord Sales Agency

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