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I need to evict a person who is living on my property

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I need to evict a person who is living on my property without a tenancy agreement for last 5 years and he has not paid me any rent.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I am in St Albans but the property concerned is in Sheffield.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I informed the person back in Feb that he is living in the property illegally as I am the landlord and now I am planning to sell this house He agreed that he will leave the house wheneven i need it. He got into the house as the house was transfered to my sister when her husband died in end of 2015. She got the house and title was registered on her name. But as the house was in the family so we did not seek the posession for the house having the impression that the house is empty. But when my sister decided to sell the house and I visited the property as her POA holder. Then we came to know that there is a person in the house which is in the house with the verbal consent of our Aunt who had the house keys.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Now we have sold the house and want to handover the property to they new buyer vacant but the person is refusing to leave

Hello, my name is***** hope you are well today. I am a qualified Solicitor, and I will be able to help you by providing you with an answer to your question today. I specialise in UK and Irish Law. I am not always online but rest assured if I do not respond immediately I will respond when I return.

Is there anything else you feel is relevant to your question or anything else you would like to add before we continue?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
What is the quickest way to make the occiper leave my property and I can change the locks?

Normally, If there is no tenancy agreement, a tenant cannot be given a section 21 notice for eviction. Instead, you as a landlord must use a section 8 notice (with a ground for eviction). To be able to evict a tenant in the absence of a written tenancy agreement.

In your case, I would advise you to apply to the courts for a possession order.

Is there anything else I can help with today?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
How long the court will take to process and after that what do I need to do to get an eviction order so I can go or hire a bailiff to change locks and take posession

Since your tenant doesn't want to move out, then you will have to go to court and apply for a Standard Possession Order. This costs £325.

You will have to fill in a form at the County Court of your area. The court will then send a copy to the tenants, who will need to reply within 14 days. However, the judge can extend this period if the tenant is in serious difficulty.

Your last resort would be to apply to the court for a Warrant for Possession. In this case, bailiffs can remove the tenants from your property. This costs £121.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Ok If I apply to the court for standard possession order what grounds should I mention. There is a genuine ground that the tenant has not paid us (The Legal Owner of the house) anyting for last five years. Can this ground stand in court. And what happens if the tenant does not come to the court.

Yes, of course. Rent arrears is the most common grounds for possession order.

If the tenant does not attend the court hearing, it is very likely the judge will decide to award possession to you (the landlord).

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
As I told you that the house is already sold and in the sales forms I have mentioned that one person is living there. Not the situation is that I do not have the house keys. If I have the house keys then I can give those keys to the buyer and the sale will complete. The person who is living there without any legal tenancy agreement is not giving me the copy of the keys. Legally can I go to the property and change the locks on the ground that I have lost the house keys with complete address writtern with the keys so I fear someone might get illegal access to keys. After changing the locks I will give one copy to the person living there as well but atleast I will have a copy of the keys as landlord. If I act like that will it be under the law and if he calls the police there can I tell them this and they would let me change the lock and let me give him the copy of they keys. The most important issue for me right now is to get the copy of the keys so I can give to the buyer so the sale deal does not drop due to that. In Short what law says in Landlord changing the locks on the security concerns of the property and giving the copy of the keys to the people already in the property. Can I do that? Thanks

Good morning. Unfortunately, changing locks is illegal. It is unlawful, and the police can arrest you for doing such.

If you want to change the locks, you should give reasonable notice to them and provide a good reason (for instance, changing locks due to rent arrears). In this situation, a possession order should be applied, and your last resort is to use bailiffs against them.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I have spoken to Sheffield council and told them that I lost the keys with complete address of the property attached to the key and I have reported the loss of the keys as well I told them that I am changing the locks due to security concern for my property and the person living there. I have also sent this information to the lodger living there and explained that I will come on Wednesday to change the locks and I will give him the copy of the keys there and then. This is also requirement of my house insurance that if the keys are lost or stolen then I need to change the locks. The council has told me that I can do that as long as I give the keys to the person living there which I will I am sure it is perfectly lawful I am not changing locks to evict him that process is separate and will carry on through court Thanks

I understand. If that's the case, yes, it's lawful for you to do that.

No problem. Thank you for your enquiry. Please do not hesitate to contact us in the future if you have further enquiries.

Thank you for your question on JustAnswer. I am always available to help and please do let me know if you have any other questions I can answer for you.

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