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Rights and Tenant Eviction

By: David Friesen - Updated: 8 Dec 2015 | comments*Discuss
 
Rights And Tenant Eviction Tenant Rights

As a tenant there is always the possibility that you might be evicted from your rental property. Although for most tenants this problem never arises, it is still advisable to know your rights as a tenant regarding eviction. If you are threatened with eviction then knowing your rights will help you to find the least painful solution to the situation, and may even help you avoid eviction. Want to know more? Well, here are some tips on your rights as a tenant should you be facing eviction, and how to make the most of these rights to bring about a speedy and amicable solution.

Are You a Tenant?

You might be living in a property you don’t own, but that doesn’t mean you are a tenant. There are a variety of possible living arrangements for those who don’t live in their own property. However, you are usually considered a tenant if:
  • You pay rent
  • You have exclusive use of one room
  • You can stop other people, including the landlord, from entering your home.
If you are a lodger or have a casual agreement with someone, then you might not have the same rights as a regular tenant. You need to make sure that you are indeed a tenant before you can look at your rights regarding eviction.

Receiving Notice

If you are a tenant, then unless otherwise told by the landlord you will be on a shorthold tenancy agreement. This means that once an agreement is signed, you cannot be evicted without a good reason within the first 6 months of your tenancy. Even if a shorter fixed period has been agreed, you will not be subject to eviction unless you break the rules of the tenancy agreement. Even after this time, the landlord must give you 2 months’ notice about moving out of the property, unless otherwise agreed by both parties before the tenancy starts.

Also, if a landlord wants to visit the property they have to give you 24 hours’ notice before they can enter. Although the property is legally theirs, as a tenant you have the right to live your life peacefully and without disturbance.

Being Evicted

After the initial 6-month period, if no longer fixed-term has been agreed then a landlord can give you notice and evict you at any time for no reason. However, if they fail to give proper notice or try to evict you during a fixed contract, there must be a reason for their actions. This will usually be due to a failure to pay rent or damage to the property.

However, even if you are in rent arrears a landlord has to serve the proper papers and follow certain procedures to evict you. The landlord has to first serve you notice of your eviction and then apply to the courts for a possession order. Not until a possession order has been granted can a landlord actually evict you, and even then if you refuse to leave they cannot physically evict you themselves. They will need to get the bailiffs to remove you from the property.

Illegal Eviction and Harassment

It is important you know your tenant eviction rights so that you are not illegally forced out of the property. If any of the following things happen to you then you should report your landlord to the police immediately, and record the details of the events for evidence:
  • Cutting off your water, gas or electricity
  • Using threatening behaviour to make you leave
  • Trying to make you sign an agreement that takes away your legal rights
  • Interfering with your possessions
  • Moving into part of your home
  • Physically throwing you out of your home
  • Changing the locks
  • Stopping you from getting into part of your home
If a landlord tries to evict you illegally or is harassing you, then you might be able to get an injunction against them. This will prevent them threatening you and allow you to remain in the property.

Although eviction isn’t a problem for all tenants, knowing your rights as a tenant is important so that you know what a landlord can and cannot do. Knowing your tenant rights will enable you to make sure you are treated fairly and that you aren’t evicted illegally. If you want to avoid eviction problems and solve landlord disputes quickly then make sure you know your tenant eviction rights.

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[Add a Comment]
Tammy - Your Question:
Hi my partner and I have been leasing a property for almost a year now. My partner had a bad run with work and didnt have any work for close to 4 and a half months we kept in contact with our real estate agent the whole time and paid as much as we could which wasnt a little bit we almost got it paid off but its hard to pay it fully when we are not working and have been doing more than our best to make sure something was paid. We have been given a eviction notice but think this is highly unfair as the landlord hasnt fix everything we have been asking to be fix since we moved in we have fix everything up mostly ourselves and its just over two weeks before Christmas. Please can someone help an give us some advice as we are not bad people and dont deserve to be kicked out of our home.

Our Response:
The best help you can get will be at your local Citizen's Advice, as they may be able to contact your landlord on your behalf to negotiate a new payment schedule etc.
AccommodationSeek - 8-Dec-15 @ 2:36 PM
Hi my partner and I have been leasing a property for almost a year now. My partner had a bad run with work and didnt have any work for close to 4 and a half months we kept in contact with our real estate agent the whole time and paid as much as we could which wasnt a little bit we almost got it paid off but its hard to pay it fully when we are not working and have been doing more than our best to make sure something was paid. We have been given a eviction notice but think this is highly unfair as the landlord hasnt fix everything we have been asking to be fix since we moved in we have fix everything up mostly ourselves and its just over two weeks before Christmas. Please can someone help an give us some advice as we are not bad people and dont deserve to be kicked out of our home.
Tammy - 8-Dec-15 @ 2:35 AM
@merseyguy. If you are paying rent and have exclusive use of a room, you are a tenant as detailed in the above article. You could produce a sample agreement for your landlady and offer this in case she is not sure of how to produce one. Here's an example on the government website. Alternatively you could give your landlady's contact information together with details of the rental with any other arrangements to the housing benefits staff and see what they advise.
AccommodationSeek - 17-Apr-15 @ 10:36 AM
I have just moved into a room within a shared house, after I moved to a new city I want to claim Housing Benefit until I find a job but I do not have a tenancy agreement which I need to complete my claim. When I originally spoke to my landlady about housing benefit she said it was ok, but everytime I ask her for the tenancy agreement I keep getting fobbed off. I have no housing benefit coming in and no money to pay the rent, if she gave me the tenancy agreement I could claim what are my right in this situation? Thanks
merseyguy - 16-Apr-15 @ 12:40 PM
@regy2k. Assuming you have made your complaints in writing to the landlord so that he/she is fully aware of the issues then your landlord should have taken steps to complete the work. Are there other issues which are your responsibility that you have not addressed? What does your tenancy agreement say about repairs and who is responsible etc? If you feel you have been wrongly treated you need to speak to someone who can liaise with your landlord. An MP or councillor is ideal in this situation. They may be able to refer you to a relevant council officer - they have the power to serve a notice on private landlords to undertake necessary repair work. There is further action you can take if you feel you have been unfairly harassed or evicted by your landlord - see this this page for more information.
AccommodationSeek - 22-Jan-15 @ 11:01 AM
We have been living at the same property for the past 4 years and have kept it to a high standard. the landlord on the other hand hasn't been quick to respond to the problems in the house like a leak in the roof. damn in several locations in the house and a back door that couldn't be opened for more that 8 months due to damp issues. The house itself needs work and they have served us with 2 months notice on the basis of this work to be carried out. now they have already resisted the house. surely thats not right?
regy2k - 19-Jan-15 @ 9:33 PM
I have lived alone in a ond bed flat rent free for 4 years which is owned by my father. He gave me verbalnotice a couple of months ago and email notice to leave by the end of this month as he wants to move in. Does he need to serve me a legal2 month notice? Can he change the locks or call the police to evict me after the end of the month is up?
niki - 24-Dec-14 @ 1:39 AM
recently received a letter of eviction as i applied for DHP and got it bak in March however i wasnt told it was only valid for 3mths and i would have to reapply. I went to the county court and was told to pay £10 fornightly as i was receiving jobseekers allowance, since then my doctor has put me on the sick reguarding my chronic sciatica so cannot look for work im awaiting an appointment to have an MRI scan. im unsure of what to do ive been told i can stop the eviction by filling in a form at the courts my eviction date is 6th January 2015 very worried any info would be gratefully received.
shell - 13-Dec-14 @ 7:40 PM
@sally. If you cannot agree this amicably or through a mediator you may be able to take this through the courts to try and claim some of your expenditure back. You will need to be able to provide concrete proof about what you have spent and when though, so it could be a difficult and costly procedure. As you've only cohabited for 2 years it's unlikely that you will be able to recoup a huge amount.
AccommodationSeek - 1-Sep-14 @ 2:24 PM
I have been with my partner for 7 years in December, he suggested I move in with him, although my home was rented and I had been there over six years I had a three bed semi full of furniture which I either sold or gave away because we could not fit it in his bungalow. we have lived together for two years and during this time we have re done every room out with painting and buying new furniture for our retirement to which I have contributed to, he now says things have changed and he doesn't want me living there any more and wants me gone yesterday. I pay for half the bills there is no mortgage on the property where do I stand legally? can he just kick me out ? Please advise
SALLY - 30-Aug-14 @ 2:29 PM
I moved into the house 3 months ago. When I signed the lease, which is for a year, the understanding was that the house was pet friendly. I also asked the agent verbally if we will be able to keep our 2 dogs. They said yes. 2 days after we moved in we got a letter from the body corporate that we must ask them permission to keep the dogs. We did that. But a week letter we got a letter stating we have to get rid of the dogs or move out. They also threatened us with penalties. I took it up with the agent who said they didn't know about it. After investigating it she said the owner did not let her know about changes in the policy. The agents head office then said the dogs must go and that they would find another place for us as they made the mistake. We were then allowed to keep thedogs for 3 moths while we look for another place at the end of March we were told that we Must get rid of the dogs or move out by end of April. They did not find us a place. I was under pressure to get a new place. In getting a new place we would have to pay deposit again so I asked the agent if they could not use our deposit, which was 1and a half times our rent, to pay for Aprils rent. They refused. Ihave not paid the rent because I am trying to find a new place. Now they are threatening me with eviction if I do not pay immediatelly. Please advise me on this. Isak Deetlefs
zak - 15-Apr-14 @ 2:36 PM
HI, I HAVE RECENTLY MOVED IN THIS TOWNHOUSE AND I PAID MY RENT FOR THE FIRST MONTH JUST BEFORE I MOVED IN AND PROMISED TO PAY THE DEPOSIT IN A WEEKS TIME BUT NOW WHEN I FINALLY HAVE THE DEPOSIT THE LANDLORD ASK ME TO VACATE THE PREMISES AT THE END OF THE SAME MONTH I JUST MOVED IN AND I HAVE TWO KIDS AND I ALSO RECEIVED THE NOTICE TO MOVE OUT ON THE 18TH OF THE MONTH. IS THIS RIGHT, PLEASE ASSIST ASAP. THANK YOU LENNY 0727070453
LENNY - 25-Mar-14 @ 11:27 AM
Is it allow to ask for time to get all the money owe on the rent, for instand in 4 weeks I would have the money. I am two month behind in rent but I do intend to pay the rent. I only need time. I don't know if they would grant me the time. I am very sure about being able to pay all of the rent.
jean - 20-Dec-11 @ 5:09 PM
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