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Welcome to Scorpion’s Legal Tips! Every week we’ll share stories of injustice and show you how you can strike back legally.
We often talk about tenants’ rights, but landlords get taken advantage of as well, and can be stuck with bad, non-paying tenants who ruin their property. Private landlords renting a room or property are especially vulnerable, since they don’t have an agency that can come to their aid. Here’s how you can get rid of a tenant legally so that you don’t find yourself in trouble with the courts at a later stage.
It may be tempting to lock your tenant out and, considering this person has not been paying you for the use of your property, you may even feel it is your right to do so. Do not do it. Do not change the locks, throw their stuff out, turn off the electricity or water or try to block their access to the property unless you want to find yourself in legal trouble. If you do so, you will have broken the law and the tenant – even though they are in breach of contract and have not been paying – could get an order against you (called a spoliation order) so that you have to let them back onto the property.
Step one is always to talk to the tenant before threatening legal action. It may just be a temporary problem. If this fails, you will need to start the eviction process.
You may also be interested in:
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6 things your deposit cannot be used for
Living together unmarried, what are your rights?
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* This is only basic legal advice and cannot be relied on solely. The information is correct at the time of being sent to publishing.
Date added: 4 November 2022
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