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Evicting A Tenant Without a Tenancy Agreement

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From our heritage as Sheriffs we have developed our property services for the benefit of our community so they have a one-stop shop of protection.

Unique challenges are associated with the real estate sector. As landlord’s, you could be faced with a new challenge every now and then like frequent changes in the housing laws, taxes, tenancy agreement issues, etc.

One problem that most landlords won’t have to deal with is having a tenant without a lease or tenancy contract. You may allow someone to live at your property under special circumstances without a contract. When a tenant moves into a rented property and has paid the first month’s rent, a tenancy has been entered into whether it involves a written contract or not. But not having a contract can affect a tenant’s chances of eviction. What happens when you need them to leave the property? How would you go about removing them?

If you’re looking to evict a tenant without a rental contract or lease, make sure your rights are protected. The eviction process involves many steps to ensure that both the owners of the property, as well as the renters, have their rights preserved and protected.


A tenant who stays at your property without a rental agreement is called a tenant at will. Usually, there is a verbal agreement between the landlord and the tenant and can be terminated by either party with a 30-day notice. While the tenant has very few legal protections, landlords in a tenant without contract situation will find themselves in a unique circumstance. Now the question is how do you remove the tenant without a lease telling them their time is over?

To evict a tenant at will the first step is to give them a minimum of a 30-day notice to quit. However, if the tenant is not paying the rent on time and as per the verbal agreement then you may give them a 14-day notice to quit. If the tenant refuses to leave within the 14 or 30-day timeframe, you can then file an eviction suit.

The eviction laws limit and benefit both the landlords and the tenants. But often landlords feel that the law is in favour of the tenants when it comes to rental-related regulations. The best solution to this problem is that the landlords should familiarise themselves with these laws.

So, here’s a quick rundown of some legal – and illegal – eviction reasons.

Lawful Reasons to Evict a Tenant

  • Illegal drug use
  • Property damage
  • Breaking rental contracts or agreements
  • Refusal to pay rent
  • Not paying required utility bills
  • Unauthorized pets
  • Expiration of the lease
  • Health or safety violations
  • The property is being removed from the rental market
  • The owner is moving into the property

Unlawful Reasons to Evict a Tenant

  • Racial, religious, or other types of discrimination
  • Retaliation for complaints made by tenants
  • Withholding rent until a health issue is resolved
  • Attempting to evict a tenant without a court order

Keeping these reasons in mind, there are still ways you can lawfully evict a tenant who doesn’t have a lease. Landlords will want to make sure to not break any laws while attempting to evict someone without a lease agreement.

How To Evict A Tenant Without A Rental/Tenancy Agreement?

It is not difficult to remove a tenant without a lease. However, the specifics of how to do so can be cloudy. The most common way is that you have taken over or bought a property that was already rented, or you inherited a rental property and did not make any new contracts. Or perhaps you made a verbal agreement with the tenant setting up a monthly tenancy.

What you can do in this case to remove the tenant:

  • Serve these tenants with an official notice to quit with a proper waiting period.
  • File an eviction suit in court if the tenant doesn’t want to move.
  • Prepare documentation stating that you had no intention of keeping the tenant when you acquired the property or that you require the tenant to vacate before the original contract expires.
  • No reason should be given to end the tenancy since it involves no lease or contract.
  • Bring the court order to your local authorities to have the eviction carried out if the court rules in your favour.


It can be stressful for Landlords to evict a tenant who has overstayed their welcome at your property. But there are legal steps you can take to remove them lawfully. The most effective way to avoid this problem is to conduct a thorough screening of tenants during the application process. While this won’t keep inherited tenants or those who moved in without the permission of your property, it will help you choose tenants with a good rental history. Shergroup’s tenant screening service allow you to make an informed decision on tenants, minimizing the risk of problems arising.

When you assign your tenant screening service to us, we go that extra mile to verify all the possible details of your potential tenant in-depth for you. So, trust us with our service and you focus on growing your ROI. For more details on this call us and speak with one of our business solutions advisors so we can talk about your exact requirements.

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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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