7 common landlord mistakes!

When it comes to tenant eviction.

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7 common landlord mistakes when it comes to tenant eviction.


There are several reasons why a landlord may wish to evict a tenant. For example, a tenant may be causing a nuisance to neighbours or to fellow tenants in a shared accommodation. The tenant may not be paying the rent.  In other cases, the landlord may wish to get his property back because he needs to sell it or move back in.

The court requires a landlord to follow a specific process before it will step in and assist with tenant eviction. The process can sometimes be time-consuming because the court is incredibly busy and is often experiencing substantial delays.

If a landlord tries to evict a tenant but gets the process wrong, the result could be more delay or even worse, a landlord may have to withdraw a claim and start the whole process again.

Below are 7 common landlord mistakes that you should avoid if you want to get your property back with less stress and anxiety.


  1. Failing to get a landlord’s license.


Most know that a licence is required for a large House in Multiple Occupation (“HMO”) but there are actually three categories of landlord licences.


Mandatory licensing


This type of licence is required if you let a large HMO in England and Wales to 5 or more people from more than one household who share facilities like kitchens and bathrooms.


Additional licensing


This type of licence may be required if your local council is concerned that HMOs aren’t being properly managed or they believe that the mandatory licensing does not go far enough.


Selective licensing


If you are a private landlord and your property is situated within a designated area, your local authority may require you to apply for a licence to rent unless an exemption applies.


Selective licensing came in as a result of the government’s antisocial behaviour agenda and where there was growing concern about “rogue landlords”.


Examples of schemes


The selective licensing scheme is in operation in parts of London such as Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Brent, Ealing, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Newham, Redbridge, Southwark, Tower Hamlets & Waltham Forest.


You can find out more information by visiting the London Property Licensing’s website.

Areas outside of London include for example Ashfield, Blackpool, Bristol, Coventry, Doncaster, East Staffordshire, Leeds, Nottingham and Sheffield.


You should check whether your property is situated within a designated area before you begin the eviction process.


  1. Failing to keep up to date gas and electric safety checks.


Most property owners have their boilers serviced annually but as a landlord, your legal obligation extends further than that.


You are legally responsible for the safety of your tenants at your property.


By law, you must obtain a certificate to confirm that you have checked, repaired and maintained all gas appliances, pipework and flues on an annual basis.  You must also obtain a certificate every five years demonstrating that electrical safety standards in your property have been met.

Failure to comply with the law can result in heavy fines and in some instances detention for up to 6 months.


  1. Failing to keep an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate at your property.


An Energy Performance Certificate also known as an EPC, provides an energy efficiency rating in relation to a property’s running costs.


You have an obligation to ensure that the minimum level of energy efficiency at your property is Band E or more unless a specific exemption applies.


From 1 April 2020, the prohibition on letting Band F and G properties extended to properties even where there had not been a change in tenancy.


If a local authority believes that a landlord has failed to fulfil their legal obligations they can give a landlord a compliance notice.


A compliance notice may request information from the landlord on:-


  • the EPC that was valid for the time when the property was let.
  • the tenancy agreement used for letting the property.
  • information on energy efficiency improvements made.
  • any Energy Advice Report in relation to the property.
  • any other relevant document.


You can check the government’s guidance “Domestic private rented property: minimum energy efficiency standard – landlord guidance” to learn more.

If it is found that a landlord has failed to comply, a financial penalty of up to £5,000 may be issued against you.


  1. Poorly drafted tenancy agreement or no tenancy agreement at all!


Before agreeing to let your property to a tenant, make sure that you put in place a proper legally binding agreement. Simply writing your name, your tenant’s name and the amount of rent that should be paid on a piece of paper that you and your tenant sign is highly likely to cause a problem when it comes to tenant eviction.  For example, if you do not provide your tenant with proper written notice of your postal address the rent may not be due until you do.


  1. Failing to properly protect your tenant’s deposit.


Understandably, landlords prefer to take a deposit from a tenant just in case for example, damage is caused in the property.


However, landlords often fail to protect the deposit on time or at all.


A landlord must put a tenant’s deposit in a government approved tenancy deposit scheme known as a TDP within 30 days if they let their property on an assured short hold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007.


In England and Wales, as a landlord the deposit can be registered with:-

Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

Deposit Protection Service.

My Deposits.

If you fail to properly protect your tenant’s deposit, your tenant could make a claim against you for up to 3 times the deposit.


  1. Failing to fully inform your tenant how to rent.


Once you have properly protected your tenant’s deposit, you should provide them with the required prescribed information.


What is prescribed information?


Prescribed information is the information that you must give your tenant if you let a property and you receive a deposit.


You have 30 days to tell your tenant: –


  • the address of the rented property.
  • how much deposit you’ve paid.
  • how the deposit is protected.
  • the name and contact details of the tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme and its dispute resolution service.
  • their (or the letting agency’s) name and contact details.
  • the name and contact details of any third party that’s paid the deposit.
  • why they would keep some or all of the deposit.
  • how to apply to get the deposit back.
  • what to do if you cannot get hold of the landlord at the end of the tenancy.
  • what to do if there’s a dispute over the deposit.


you can find out more information by visiting the government’s website “Tenancy deposit protection”.


You should also give your tenant the government’s “How to rent” booklet. Always check online for the latest version.


  1. Giving an inadequate eviction notice.


A simple letter asking your tenant to leave your property is likely to be insufficient.


There are different forms of notices and legal basis to evict tenants.  To establish which notice or legal basis should be used, various things should be considered for example, the type of tenancy agreement entered and the length of tenancy.


Once you have identified the correct form of notice and legal basis, you should also check that you have fully complied with your legal obligations as a landlord before you give your tenant notice.  Failing to comply with your legal obligations beforehand may mean that the notice you give is inadequate.  If the notice that you give your tenant is inadequate, and you become aware of this before you seek assistance from the court, you may have the opportunity to correct any errors. 

However, if you do not take legal advice and the notice is inadequate, you may to start the whole legal proceedings again causing you to lose more time and money.


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