Landlords are left in the lurch as the cost of legally evicting non-paying tenants costs nearly £2,000 in court eviction fees and takes at least half a year to remove the tenant. If there are also rent arrears the landlords are then forced to pay further court fees to recoup these.
As more and more landlords in the UK are experiencing tenant arrears and with rents predicted to rise faster than house prices over the next five years, StudentTenant.com researches into the cost, time and money to evict an unwanted tenant.
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.
A well-known, reputable residential eviction specialist assisting landlords in evicting tenants costs an eye-watering £1,981 to get the property back in the landlord's possession:
Serve 2 Months’ Notice - £120 (or instead they could have a 22”, full HD LED TV)
Landlords are required to serve a section 21 notice to the tenant, giving them two months notice of their intention to evict. The tenant is not legally required to leave the property and is actively encouraged to stay in situ by housing charities and local councils.
Property Possession Order - £685 (that’s an all-inclusive holiday in Egypt for a week)
If the tenant does not leave the property, the landlord will apply to the court for a possession order to get the property back. The eviction process can take between four to six months, depending on how busy the court is.
High-Court Bailiff - £1,176 (how about a tandem skydiving experience for four instead?)
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.
Total cost to evict a non-paying tenant: £1,981 and at least 9 months.
Unfortunately for landlords, these are not the only costs they have to face when removing a non-paying tenant:
If the tenant refuses to pay rent throughout the nine-month eviction process, the landlord could be owed thousands of pounds in rental arrears; whilst the tenant lives inside the property rent-free until the eviction date.
Landlords are also forced to foot the bill for renovations and fixing any damages to the property, if it has been left in a bad condition by the evicted tenants.
Comment from Danielle Cullen, Managing Director at StudentTenant.com:
We really do need reform in the rental sector to protect landlords’ rights when it comes to evicting tenants.
Local councils are encouraging tenants to stay in the property until the eviction date, usually months into the future, so they are eligible for emergency housing. Tenants can only apply for it once they have been legally evicted, and if they leave any earlier, they are choosing to become homeless and cannot receive any support.
Landlords and tenants are being really let down by the regulations in the sector. 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. There also needs to be more support for tenants who are being evicted through no fault of their own. They should be supported in finding a new property, to prevent them from having to stay until they are literally forced out.