Here is a question to the blog clinic from Sophie who is a tenant:
My household has been served with a section 21 which having read your advice on this issue seems to be served correctly.
There are currently 5 of us living in the rented accommodation and one person has not paid rent for the last 2 months and as it turns out they never signed a contract or paid the deposit.
As we are on a group contact this means all of us are being evicted. The 4 of us who pay rent on time every month want the tenant who doesn’t pay to move out. Is there anything we can do as tenants to evict him? And is it likely that the landlord will take our deposits to cover for the lack of payment on his half?
This is an example of why you need to be very careful who you have as a co-tenant. When you all sign a tenancy together you are all effectively signing as guarantees for each other. As the landlord can (if he wishes) claim all of the rent from each of you separately or from all of you together.
This is known as joint and several liability.
The bad news is that the landlord will have the right to claim the unpaid rent from the deposit. However there may be some good news.
You say that the non paying person never signed the tenancy agreement or paid any deposit. It is possible therefore that he may not be a tenant at all. The right answer will depend largely on what actually happened at the time the tenancy was entered into and why he did not sign the contract.
However one option is that he is actually a lodger of the tenants who signed the tenancy agreement. If this is the case, then YOU are all his landlords rather than the property owner. In which case you will have the right to evict him without getting a court order if you follow the proper procedure.
I discuss this in my Lodger Landlord site.
If you are able to get him to leave, then speak to your landlord. He may be amenable either to signing a new tenancy agreement with all of you and a new replacement tenant (one who will pay), or letting you have another person living in the property as a lodger.
I suspect that all your landlord wants is to have his full rent paid promptly. So long as this is done, and there are no other problems, he will almost certainly prefer to have you stay that have the bother of having to find new tenants.