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Can I evict my tenant if they have complained about disrepair?

by Tarjinder Rayat — Posted on 24 May, 2019

Are you attempting to find a London-based Landlord & Tenant Solicitor to evict your tenant? Our specialist Landlord & Tenant Solicitor outlines Retaliatory Eviction with a Section 21 Notice once a disrepair allegation has been made by the tenant.

How to evict using a Section 21 Notice when a tenant has made an allegation of disrepair.

A retaliatory eviction is where a tenant of a property informs the landlord of repairs that need to be performed and the landlord serves the tenant with a notice to evict in response.

When does a Section 21 Notice become invalid?

Landlords cannot serve a valid Section 21 notice if:

  1. Prior to the service of the notice, the tenant has made a written complaint to the landlord about the condition of the property;
  2. The landlord has not provided an adequate written response within 14 days to the tenant. Please note this does not mean that works must begin in this period; and
  3. The tenant has informed the relevant Council of the issues surrounding the property and in response they have served the landlord with an Improvement Notice. Should this be the case, a landlord cannot serve a Section 21 notice until 6 months have passed since the Improvement Notice was served.

 

An adequate response from the landlord in these circumstances would be one which outlines what action the landlord intends to take to deal with the issues the tenant has, together with a reasonable time frame of when the issues will be resolved.

 

What if the tenant complains after a Notice has been served?

If the tenant reports the issues surrounding the condition of the property after the service of the Section 21 notice, this notice will remain valid.

 

If the tenant reported the repairs required before the Section 21 notice was served but no Improvement Notice has been issued yet, the validity of the Section 21 notice will be uncertain. This is because if an Improvement Notice is issued before possession is granted then the Section 21 notice will become invalid.

 

Exceptions to the Improvement Notices are in instances where the Improvement Notice has been issued based on a defect or issue caused by the tenant. Also, if the landlord is genuinely trying to sell the property then the retaliatory eviction legislation does not apply. It does not prevent a claim for possession being made on the grounds of rent arrears including mandatory possession proceedings under Ground 8 for two months’ rent arrears; nor a claim for possession on grounds of breach of tenancy etc.

How Starck Uberoi can help?

Starck Uberoi have a dedicated team of solicitors that specialise in Landlord and Tenant law. We have assisted hundreds of landlords in their tenancy disputes. For more information please visit our dedicated Landlord & Tenant page. Please contact our Landlord and Tenants specialist solicitors on 020 8840 6640 or at solicitor@starckuberoi.co.uk for further advice on our express 7-day tenancy eviction service. We are based in Ealing; our office is located 10 minutes from Ealing Broadway Station. For an appointment at our London Belgravia office a few minutes from Victoria Station call 020 7824 5118

About Tarjinder Rayat

Tarjinder is a qualified Solicitor and heads the landlord and tenant department. She has a strong local reputation for dealing with landlord & tenant matters including possession, unlawful evictions and disrepair claims as well as conducting general litigation matters.