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Evicting a tenant takes nine months and costs £2,000 says agency

It can take up to nine months to evict a tenant who isn’t paying their rent, according to an analysis by an online letting agency - and it can cost a cool £2,000.

The agency StudentTenant.com says landlords hoping to remove tenants are waiting upwards of four months to retrieve control of their rental property if the court eviction order is left undefended by the tenant, and much much longer if it is defended.

The agency has undertaken research with a residential eviction specialist; this shows that it costs £1,981 to get the property back.

This involves serving two months’ notice under Section 21 which costs £120; the tenant is not legally required to leave the property. 

A Property Possession Order, required if the tenant does not leave the property, will cost £685 and can take up to six months, depending on how busy the court is, according to the agency.

Using a High Court bailiff costs £1,176 - when a landlord is granted a possession order, the court will set a date for the tenant to leave the property which is usually between four and six weeks. Only a court bailiff can evict the tenant from the property.

So StudentTenant says that a typical eviction could take nine months and cost £1,981 - notwithstanding lost rent and the costs of rectifying any damage. 

“When it comes to removing non-paying tenants, the government needs to make changes to make it quicker to remove a tenant in this kind of situation” says a website spokesman.

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    I agree with StudentTenant and when a tenancy does go off track, it's vital that the evidence surrounding the tenancy is indisputable. rent-hub engages with all parties and ensures every event and communication through-out the lifecycle of the tenancy is date stamped, signed by all parties and then archive for future use.

    In the case of student housing, management can deploy spot checks at the touch of a button, ensuring tenants stay aware of their responsibility to keep the property clean and tidy. rent-hub's unique inventory system also enables the landlord to assign a different student to each area...ensuring no end of tenancy disputes around 'area' responsibility.

    One of the biggest benefit of using rent-hub in a student environment or when the tenant is not independently credit worthy is the fact that the system engages the guarantor...drastically reducing the number of end of tenancy disputes.

    Landlord insurance is vital when things go wrong, but why let things go wrong...rent-hub secures every part of your tenancy.

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    Is this really news to anyone within the industry? We all know you have to wait until there are 2 months of arrears, then serve S8 (and S21 as back up if at the end of the term). Then you wait up to 4 months for a court date, which a canny tenant will delay (and lets not forget that local authorities actually tell tenants to stay put until there is a bailiff waiving an eviction order on the doorstep). Then there is the court fee, solicitors costs, bailiff's costs, you need to change the locks after they go and conduct a check out. All of this without the actual cost of the agents time in terms of preparation of evidence and court appearance. Also, difficult cases will sometime require employing counsel in addition to a solicitor. Add in the lost commission due to the rent arrears and you move way beyond a cost of £2000. Thought should also be spared for landlords as most wont have 6 to 9 months of spare cash sitting around to cover the rent arrears and pay the mortgage. But, of course, no charges should ever be made to a tenant to ensure they are responsible, trustworthy and able to pay the rent ..........

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    The costs quoted and the time taken to regain control of a property illustrate just how important it is to do everything possible to avoid these situations.
    There are steps that can make a difference: thorough referencing at the outset, regular checks on the property and checking the rent is paid on time and in full. Keeping a close eye on a situation, reacting quickly to problems and starting any legal processes as soon as possible is key to speedy resolution. But landlords should be wary about handing the problem straight to a solicitor whose costs can soon mount up. With fixed-fee services and a team who specialise in evictions, we can keep costs to a minimum.
    Landlords too often learn the hard way. We often hear of cases where solicitors’ fees and lost rent are the final straw, but there are rent protection policies out there and cover is available for legal expenses. Although we have a lot of sympathy with landlords who find themselves in these tricky and expensive situations, there are actions they can take to protect their income.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Best route is to go via the High Court- hihger fees but much faster. Of course any of this only really works if you have everything in place and compliant- if you don't......ouch.

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