If you're a landlord who wants to evict your tenant, you must take steps to serve the proper form of eviction notice.
In England & Wales you will have to evict your tenant using either a Section 8 Notice, which should be used after the tenant is in rent arrears of more than eight weeks/two months (depending if the rent is paid weekly or monthly), or a Section 21 Notice (which can only be used if the fixed term has ended).
The Section 8 Notice has a notice period of not less than two weeks, and a Section 21 Notice has a notice period of not less than two months and it must not end before the end of the fixed term. In many cases, you can use both eviction notices.
In Scotland, you must use a Section 33 Notice and Notice to Quit (Notice to Terminate for a Short Assured Tenancy) which must be sent to the Tenant at least two months before the end of the tenancy.
If you're worried about a prospective tenant's ability to pay the rent, it's wise to take a guarantee from a third party. For example, guarantees are often taken from parents of students when they sign tenancy agreements. However, you should take up references and do credit checks on guarantors, as you would on a tenant; it's no good having a guarantor who is as impecunious as a tenant.
It's unwise to allow the tenant to take the tenancy agreement away to get the guarantor to sign it; it has not been unknown for tenants to forge guarantors' signatures in these circumstances. If the guarantor doesn't sign the agreement in front of you, make sure that the signature is witnessed by someone you can trust, who can vouch for their identity.
No, you can still sell your rental property while you have tenants. If you are selling the property as a buy-to-let, then the tenants won't have to move out. But it might be a good idea to have a chat with your tenants and reassure them about the sale.
When you show potential buyers around the property, of course you will have to give your tenants notice that you wish to enter the property. Depending on the terms of your tenancy agreement, you normally have to give 24 or 48 hours’ notice to your tenants.
If you are intending to sell your property as a home that will be lived in by the buyer and are not selling it as a buy-to-let property, then you have to give your tenants two months’ notice that they have to vacate, so it might be an idea to wait until two months before the end of the tenancy before you start trying to sell. You must give your tenants a notice to terminate (using a Section 21 Notice) to ask them to leave at the end of the fixed term.
It's a good idea to show potential buyers around the property yourself and don't let your estate agent allow the tenants to show people round. Tenants usually aren't as keen as you to keep the property presentable, so it may be worth giving your tenants a discount on the rent to encourage them to keep your property in good order. Alternatively, you could hire a cleaner to make sure that it's in tip-top condition.