The real consequences of illegal evictions.

What is an illegal eviction?

An illegal eviction is an eviction which is enforced without a court order and all the other steps set out by the law that are required to evict a tenant. In theory if a tenant refuses to leave you need to obtain a court order for the eviction and even then the eviction has to be enforced by the appropriate bodies using very well set out steps. This is expensive and time consuming all of the while you do not receive any rent.  If the tenant is forced out by any other means this could constitute an illegal eviction, Once again this could constitute an illegal eviction, this does not mean that it is an illegal eviction. Only the court can establish that an illegal eviction had taken place and no other body like the council police etc.   In any case any illegal eviction has to be proven to have been carried out in court to be classed as such.

There are many ways to effectively evict a tenant without a court order and still do it within the law as long as they will leave on their own accord without recourse to violence or undue coehrsion. Remember words, firm and persistent attitude are very powerful tools that can save you loads of money and time in formal court proceedings. Asking politely but firmly a tenant to move out is not an illegal eviction and it is very unlikely  any court would constitute it as such. After all you are only asking very firmly and this is not considered an illegal eviction. As long as the tenant packs up his/her stuff and leaves by his/her own will this is not considered an illegal eviction. You do not know how easy it is for the tenants to move out on their own accord by simply asking for it very firmly. You have to push as far as you can within the limits of the law and you are going to be fine. Remember words are very powerful tools, if you have the right tough, fearless and firm attitude you will succeed most of the times.  You will be surprised at how quickly and easily you can resolve many evictions situations without going to court just by being very firm.

I always consider each tenant on an individual case. No tenant is the same  I always try and figure out as soon as possible if they are taking the Micky.  You normally know if they are genuine pretty easily. For example if they always paid rent without any issues for several months and then they call you to let you know they are in financial difficulties. Then it is safe to assume they are genuine and they will try their level best to pay. I always try and accommodate genuine tenants, even if I might lose out a a little. However if they start not to pick up your calls and they do what they say. But if they are not picking up the calls and not returning the calls there is no space for negotiation, they are out. Believe me my words are very powerful when I want someone out. Maybe it is my physique, my anger at being screwed over I do not know but so far I have been very effective.

Every now and then you will find a very minority of tenants who will stand their ground and try to stay in your accommodation without paying. This is despite your requests for them to move out on their own accord.  What you will find is that those people who will try and resist your verbal requests to move out usually use the same techniques:

1 they will not pick up your calls

2 once you will confront them face to face they will try to find excuses and say that they will pay part of the rent on such and such date etc. Usually, if they tried to avoid me over the phone there is no negotiation on payment terms I know they are taking the mickey so I focus directly on asking them out of the premises  as soon as possible. I negotiate only on the terms of their exit.

3 sometimes they will complain about the quality of the accommodation as an excuse not to pay to which I always reply: “I understand so please go find an accommodation you deem suitable instead of trying to stay here without paying rent.”

If you become a rent collector you will find these techniques used over and over. They are standard.

In those cases where you have established that they are taking the mickey in order not to pay their rent what I do is focus on their exit from the property and never negotiate rent payments. Negotiating rent payments with them it is going to be a nightmare going forward and you will need to evict them anyway.  For example, they say: “I will pay half the rent in two weeks” and they are already one month behind. I promise”. My reply is: I appreciate the offer, however you will have to move out. I do not want your money anymore I just want you out as soon as possible. All I can do for you since you proposed to pay in two weeks time is that you have two weeks to move out and if you comply I will forfeit the rent that you owe me. This is a very good offer. I would take it if I were you. Given the situation we are not welcome in this property so you will leave, this is for sure, we would rather you did it in an amicable way.”  It is important to emphasise the amicable way” after all the tenant , although may be aware of the law on the matter, he/she may not know for sure what you are going to do. You have to give the impression to be unpredictable, which means, they might think, you could just throw them out no questions asked. I assure you most people who do not pay rent do not live in a very peaceful state of mind, and they feel guilty unless they are sociopaths.

In case the tenant is in shared accommodation it is usually even easier to get rid of the one apple. This is because a bad payer is also usually someone who causes trouble to everybody else. They may be overly messy, plainly disrespectful etc, It is stereotypical for someone who does not want to pay rent in a shared accommodation to also be a nuisance to the other tenants. So your job is even easier, this is because the pressure for the bad tenant to move out can be also exerted from the other tenants. So as soon as you and the other tenants join forces usually the pressure for the bad apple is sufficient to give up and go. Despite the law on evictions ect, the issue is that, if there are a number of different tenants in one house, say 7 for instance, and one is causing issues to all the others what happens? Will all the others leave? This is most of the time not the case. Usually the majority of paying tenants will be on your side and come to help you get rid of the bad apple. Remember that despite what the law might say we all live in the real world and the rules of common sense apply in 99 per cent of the cases.

In all cases whatever you do make sure you find the most efficient way to encourage and incentivice the bad apple to move out on his/her own accord. Some landlords have even successfully recurse to monetary payments to convice the tennat to go. Thiis means that yes the landlord paid the tennats who did not py them to go. This is nothing I have done yet but I could see how in some cases it would not be a very bad idea.

What is illegal Eviction.

A case of an illegal eviction could be you changing the lock to the house, flat or room of the tenants and not allowing the tenant to get back in. Of course you would pack their stuff for them and leave them outside. This is a clear illegal eviction.

However there are much middle grounds, like you changing the lock with an excuse and yet  allowing the tenants back in if they ask for it. If they do not then you can prove that you have offered to give them the new keys via an email or letter message and they never got back to you. This works especially if the tenants disappear for a long period of time without paying rent. This is called abandonment.

An illegal eviction is not always going to bring you financial losses. This is very important for any landlord to realize. There are not any fines enforceable for illegal evictions. The only way to enforce compensation from a landlord is if the tenant files lawsuit in the appropriate court against the landlord for illegal eviction and he /she does correctly all throughout. A single mistake can have the whole case to fall to nothing.   Because of this this has to be done by a lawyer. The tenant himself/herself can technically file such a lawsuit in the UK appropriate court but it is very unlikely to be successful unless a proper lawyer who has experience in these types of cases is in charge of teh suit. This is very important to understand. By all means also it is important to understand is that there are many different circumstances to illegal evictions and there fe can be gray areas and attenuating factors for the landlord too.

If you look at this situation from he tenant’s point of view

What the tenant has to do is:

Look for a lawyer. This is not always straightforward but it is possible. Please note that if the tenant is working to male a living then he/she will not be having too much time to investigate the matter. The most dangerous tenats are those who are on benefits and have plenty of time in their hands. they will haver all their time in their life to look for lawyers go to court etc. PRoductive people do not want o be bothered with this, generally.

Once the tenant found the lawyer then they have to pay for the lawyer in advance unless they find a no win no fee lawyer. Usually no win no fee in this type of circumstances are not very easy to find, but not impossible. In case the tenant qualifies for legal aid then they have the upper hand, they will not need for fork out any money for the lawsuit and the case will go full steam ahead. The lawyer will be incentivised to take on the case and will hound the landlord till the bitter end so to speak. However please note that these cases anrwe not usually black or whilte and the landlord can have many defenses which can make the case harder for the tenant’s lawyer. Remember the lawyer need to PROVE the illegal eviction and depending on the circumstances this is not always easy to prove.

So in order for the Landlord to face the consequences of an illegal eviction many things have to fall into place just right. But of course this deas not mean that landlords have not been punished int he past for illegal evictions…

If the lawyer has managed to prove the case to the court and the judge is satisfied that illegal eviction had taken place then the compensation will be issued against the landlord and this can vary from 5k to 50k or more depending on the circumstances. Please note that compensation will include a percentage of the lawyer’s fees. Usually the compensation paid to the tenant will be lower than the lawyer’s fee.

There are many circumstances where there are gray areas. For example If a tenant has disappeared for a long while then you can serve appropriate notices at the address and claim repossetion though abandonment. If the tennat returns to claim the property then you have a string defence. Please note that this defence is not always valid if challenged, however it is so string that a lawyer may be discouraged by it and give up. It is always a balance of likelyhood of vicotrry and rmember that in the suit for illegal eviction the party that has to expend the energy is the tenant not the landlord. Thereofre the tennat or the tenant lawyer has to ponder whether the effort spent in order to pursue such a case is going to pay off.

I do not advocate illegal proceedings, there are many ways to convince the tennant to leave volountarily. You need to have a pair and show you mean business. This cannot be tought in a book. In all my years of renting out and managing my housing stock I never had to evict anyone throughb the courts. It was not necessary.

In theory after an illegal eviction you could be successfully be sued for amounts up to 50K plus. Bjut remeber it is not a strainght forward process and it requies a lawyer in order to be successful in court. Please note that in the Uk lawyers are expensive and therefore if the tenant does not qualify for any legal aid there is no way they will be able to fork out the money for the upfront cost of a litigation lawer. Also see it from the tenant point of view, if they work for a living the most they can get is 5 to 10K usually , the other costs  to be paid by the landlord are made up of legal fees to be paid to the litigation lawyer. However it is not always the case that the judge would grat the landlord, or agent to pay 100 per cent of the legal fees.

Once again I am not saying you want to evict anyone illegally but what I am saying you always have to look at the situation from the tenants point of view. What is the likelihood they would even sue you? Please note that in rare cases thetre are people missing payments and mesing landlords around on purpose sso that they will lose their temper and evict them illegally. Please note that this has happenned a number of times. This has happenend to those landlords notorious for illegal evictins, the words goes around and the right people then rent one of their houses or rooms and and given the fact that they have a litigation lawyer in their family they later win hige compensations in court. They know how to collect evidence and they know all the legal process so if you are foolish to rely on illegal evictions it is a matter of time, sooner or later someone will make you pay for your past mistakes.

The ultimate rockfort of avoiging evictions and arrears.

What you are about to see here is the best way to avoiding bad tenants altogheter so that you do not have to deal with any arrears, complaints, evictions and most other types of mees caused by bad tenants. The best way is to avoid them altogether.

Over the years after dealing with loads of tenents and being lucky enough not to need to go to court to evict any I have deviced the best way to rent residential premises on a shorthold tenancy agreemnts without any fear of future hustle.

The ain way i guarantee the rental income for my properties is making sure the tenants will not take the mickey. But how do I do it? Is it though credit checks? Although credit checks provide you a good indication whether the tennat is a good payer it is not a guarantee and in the long terms yuou will realise it yourseldf. There will be one or two slipping though this referfinging system. This is becasue if they have missed payments on other accommodation it is unlikely the landlord had gone to court to obtain a CCJ againt the tennant. So in souych occasions you will not filter out the smart fraudulent ones. The ones who will try all the tricks of the systems to defraud you while trying to get away with it.

You may thing that adding a landlord reference to the credit report is a rockfort too, but it is not. I personally know people who prodided fake landlord references and did so successfully. After all a savy fraudster will find ways to pass all these tests and secure the tennacy with all the legal rights that it entails. So when they decide to start playing you you will find yourself in hot water.

The way I have devised is securing a strong guarantor with the contract. When I mention a strong guarantor I do not mean a guarantor who has a high incoime although this could help. What I mean is a guarantor who owns a UK Property and or a limited business that had been runnning for a while. This meansd that unless an imporbable catastrophe would ensue the rent is guaranteed. Of course this is because the guarantor will be responsible for any arrers and he has nowhere to hide like a tenant would. In the unlilely case the tennat stopped paying rent then in thory you could sue to guarantor for any arrears, win in court and the guarantor could only rely on selling all properties and businesses as quicly as possible in order not to pay. This is of course very unlikely.  Thjerefore this type of guarantor will literally gurantee your rent.

It is not to say that I do not accept any othert tyoes of guarantors who have a good enarning income or similar, but what I mean is that I always ask for a guarantor who has a tangible assest ownership so that they cannnnot escape any dept accrued by the unpaiying tennat.

I had one case in which I rented a flat to two girls on a joint tennacy agreemnt and I had one o fthe girls morhter to act as a guarantor. This was years agoi and I though this was bullet proof. However once the

What advantages do you get by renting the property below the rental market value. The hands off  and rent guarantee strategy.

If you have a large apartment bulging complex of 50 units or above this will not apply because you may have in-house management. In such case it may be worthwhile to find strategies to maximise the rental income from each unit, however this requirs very tights management control and this is foc ourse possible. However waht do you do if you like me have some small units scattered aroound the world and you do want to keep them? This is the uissue I had to be confroted with. I have premises all over the place and I want the maximum peace of mind which means guaranteed rent, low mqnintennace and literally no hastle.

If the tennat terminates the tenancy early.

Are residential housing investments still worthwhile despite the regulation? 

The the increasing amount of regulation in the residential housing market is discouraging most newbie investors, however it certainly does not discourage me at all. Remember BIG money is tied to Real estate in general as well as residential real estate.  This is because in residential real estate is one of the most valuable investment vehicles (depending on cost and cash flow of course). This is because despite all the ups and downs of the economy people will need food , water and shelter no matter what. The human being cannot escape this fact despite the state of the economy.  Therefore residential real estate is a very good investment in general.  It is hard to take away the demand for a comfortable place to live at a good rental price.

As we have seen residential real estate is full of regulation. We have also seen how evictions for rent arrears are potentially very time consuming, expensive and you could end up losing rent for over a year if you are sloppy. As we have seen above there are many ways to minimize this likelihood. But in reality how much do landlord lose out in this game due to regulation? Is this increasing regulation making the prospect of becoming a new landlord not viable? The answer is, of course, “it is always much better to be a landlord than not being a landlord!”

How can I say that? It is simple, remember, “the game is rigged”. All the regulation is designed to do is to discourage the small player so that the bigger ones have more opportunities, and this is done in the guise of protecting the tenants. In other markets regulations designed to protect the monopoly of the big players ares also similarly pitched as ways to protect the consumers.

Remember that all the big money are in real estate and the rules are written for the big money power structures. And all the big money structures and families put most of the wealth in residential real estate. Therefore the same people that write the rules are the same people that invest in real estate. Now, these rules, in my opinion, are made to discourage the small investor. For example the teacher, firefighter, police office etc who want to invest on the side for his/her pension. If you have a full time job it is difficult for you to deal with these regulatory intricacies especially as a small landlord who does this as a side hustle for a small future pension. Remember, most people crumble at the first sign of hardship this is why they are employees in the first place. Therefore a small amount of regulation is usually enough to discourage the average guy.

Obviously ,these eviction laws are not there to protect tenants, are there to preserve the monopoly for the big money and prevent the little guys to get into real estate.It is quite clear why these are not rules to protect the tenants. Lets say, the eviction could be shortened to 2 months from rent arrears and without the need for a court order. All of the sudden, renting premises would be very easy, there would be less or no  background checks on the tenants and if you wanted to become a renter you would have an easier life renting higher end accommodation without great hustle. More small investors would get into the property game and more accommodation would become available and the real estate price would be pushed up. This is not speculation this is what always happens when you get rid of regulation and red tape. The market flourishes and customers ultimately win!

In reality what happens is that people want to pay for their accommodation, and generally you will not have issue with payments for most average accommodation. This is unless the accommodation is horrible and can only be rented to scumbags, but even in such case there is the government that steps in with a bunch of housing benefits so you would generally get the rent anyway. So in general it is always much better to be a landlord than not being a landlord, despite the amount of regulations.

Also do not be afraid of the new regulations that the government might put in place, they are generally good anyway if you focus on being  alandlord, this is because at the end of the day the rules are written by people who hold their money in real estate and their only focus is to make sure their investment is safe.  So if you are not in real estate yet forget about everything and get in it. You may regret is in the short term when youhave tro refurbish premisesand deal with builders ect, but never in the medium term, and you will love it in the long term.

In essence there is generally no safer place to put your time, money and expertise than residential real estate in my opinion. Of course you always need to be cautiuous in your investments and generally nwo what you are doing.

Will residential l real estate investments be worthwhile in the future?

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