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Can I evict a tenant without a tenancy agreement?
There is no real difference in the procedure for evicting a tenant with or without a written tenancy agreement.
A well-constructed, written tenancy agreement such as an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) is an absolutely essential document which outlines mutual responsibilities. Access Legal can provide a tenancy agreement template to ensure it is presented in the correct form, accompanied by the correct information as set out in the rules concerning the provision of the required ‘prescribed information’.
However, even without such a written agreement, as soon as a landlord agrees to allow someone to rent their property and accepts rental payment, a verbal contract is formed and a tenancy is created. This verbal agreement is as legally binding as a written tenancy agreement.
The fact that there is nothing in writing does not absolve landlords from their statutory duties and responsibilities and the tenant still has all the legal rights any other tenant would enjoy. A landlord still needs to go through the proper procedure and serve a valid Notice to evict a tenant after obtaining a court order for possession (although they will be unable to use the accelerated possession process).
The tenant is entitled to stay in the property until evicted by a court bailiff (or High Court sheriff) acting under the authority of a court order for possession. If a tenant is evicted any other way, the landlord could be held liable for unlawful eviction.