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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7579
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Hello, We have a tenant in a property that we will be asking

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We have a tenant in a property and we will be asking him to vacate. We do not have a tenancy agreement with him, as he is a relative and he doesn't pay rent. We require the property back, as we wish to do it up a bit and sell it.

We think he may be reluctant to vacate and wish to start the eviction process. Can we start things by issuing a section 21 notice, or is this notice only when you have a assured tenancy agreement in place? Does it matter than we do not have a formal tenancy agreement?

Further information to assist you, the tenant is an uncle, and has been in the property for 4 years. We allowed him to use it temporarily as he emigrated to the UK. The intention was he will use it until he sorts himself out. This is why we didn't arrange a formal tenancy arrangement and why we haven't charged him rent. We never verbally stated how long he can stay at the premises, but assumed it would be very short term. However, after 4 years, he is still there.



Does he pay rent? When does he pay this? Is it on a fixed day each month?



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
No, he doesn't pay any rent. He is living rent free.



I assume therefore that it was not agreed that he would occupy the property for a fixed term?



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
That's right. There was no fixed term agreed upon.



If you have not charged rent on his occupation then it will be either a contractual tenancy or a licence to occupy. This means that you should provide him with "reasonable" written notice.


Generally, this is taken to be one month's notice. However in view of the length of time he has occupied the property I would be safe and give him two months written notice. The notice does not have to complicated, just refer to him, you the property his occupation (without rent or written agreement) and state that the document is a notice for possession and that you are giving him two months notice from date x. Send the notice by registered post and allow three working days for postage.


If he does not leave after this notice has expired then you will have to apply to the Court for an order for possession. If he does not leave after this time then you will have to apply for a warrant for execution so that the Court bailiffs effect his eviction.

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Kind regards,



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