Difficult tenants

Unpaid rents and tenants who vacate without notice all undermine buy to let businesses. You need to know what steps to take to protect your investment in a legitimate manner. So let Rocket Lawyer help you understand how to deal with difficult tenants.

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Some things to remember if problems arise

Becoming a landlord is not always an easy ride and you could be faced with problems such as your tenant: falling behind with the rent, not cleaning the property, leaving litter at the property, ruining the furniture, misusing the property, having noisy guests and irresponsible parties, intimidating the neighbours.

How you deal with a problem depends on what it is

Chase immediately for any unpaid rent using a rent demand letter and remedy any problems as soon as they come to light. If drug use is suspected, you should end the tenancy.

Some important points to remember if problems do occur: you can legally terminate a tenancy if a tenant behaves badly; you can impose a penalty for late payment of rent; you must never harass a tenant into leaving.

How to end a tenancy

Make sure you know how your tenancy can end. The conditions vary depending on the type of agreement in place, whether both parties agree and the location of the property. If both parties agree, it is either surrender by operation of the law, or surrender by signing a declaration of surrender.

If a tenant refuses to leave at the end of the fixed term, then you must make an application to the Court for possession.

Before applying to the Court, you must first serve a Section 21 notice to quit on the tenant giving them a minimum of two months notice. You must use the correct form depending on whether the property is located in England or Wales. You can use the Section 21 (Form 6A) notice if the property is located in England or a Section 21 notice for Wales if the property is located in Wales.

A Section 8 notice to quit is served when there are grounds under Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988. There are seventeen grounds on which a landlord can seek to obtain possession.

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Create your Rent demand letter

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