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Possession Proceedings

Possession Proceedings (Landlord/Tenant):

Landlords have the authority to commence possession proceedings, citing reasons such as non-payment of rent or lease violations. Essential documents like Section 21 and Section 8 notices delineate the grounds and notice periods. In specific situations, accelerated possession proceedings can expedite the legal process. Court interventions may become imperative, resulting in the issuance of a possession order by the court. Tenants retain the right to contest these proceedings, and seeking legal assistance can prove advantageous. In cases requiring enforcement, bailiffs are empowered to conduct evictions once a possession order has been secured.

Section 21 Notice Letter

A Section 21 Notice, also known as a Notice Requiring Possession, serves as a means to terminate a fixed or periodic Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) once the term concludes

Section 21 Eviction Notice Users

Typically employed by landlords, a Section 21 Notice is utilized to conclude a fixed or periodic Assured Shorthold Tenancy and reclaim possession of the residence post the term’s expiration.

Contents of Section 21 Eviction Notice

A Section 21 Notice encompasses essential details such as the landlord’s name, address, and contact information, tenant’s name and address, notice service date, repossession date, and a reference to Section 21 of the Housing Act.

Appropriate Use of Section 8 Eviction Notice

A Section 8 Notice is applicable when a tenant breaches the Tenancy Agreement, meeting one of the specified eviction grounds. While the landlord can issue the notice, obtaining a court possession order is necessary to proceed with eviction, outlining the landlord’s intent and the mandatory or discretionary grounds for eviction

Grounds for Eviction - Statutory Grounds

Ground for Eviction – Statutory Grounds The Housing Act 1988 provides 17 grounds that the landlord can cite to repossess the property. These are detailed in the Act, although briefly, can be summarised as follows: • Ground 1: The landlord used to live, or intends to live in the property as the landlord’s only or principal home. • Ground 2: The mortgagee is claiming possession. (Note: this can only be used where the mortgage predates the tenancy.) • Ground 3: The tenancy is a holiday let and was previously let for a holiday. • Ground 4: The tenancy is a student let and was previously let by an educational establishment to students. • Ground 5: The property is held for use by a minister of religion. • Ground 6: The landlord intends to redevelop the property. • Ground 7: The former tenant has died (unless there is a person with a right to succeed). • Ground 8: The tenant owed at least two months’ rent (in the case of a monthly tenancy) both when the landlord served notice that he wanted possession and still owes two months’ rent at the date of the court hearing. If the rent is payable weekly, quarterly or yearly the ground requires that there are rent arrears of eight weeks, three months and six months respectively. • Ground 9: Suitable alternative accommodation is available. • Ground 10: The tenant was behind with his rent when the landlord served notice that he wanted possession, and when he began court proceedings. • Ground 11: Even if the tenant was not behind with his rent when the landlord started possession proceedings, he has been persistently behind with his rent. • Ground 12: The tenant has broken one or more of his obligations under the tenancy agreement. • Ground 13: The condition of the premises or any of the common parts has deteriorated because of the behaviour of the tenant, his subtenant, or any other person living there. • Ground 14: The tenant or someone living in or visiting the property has been guilty of conduct which is, or is likely to cause a nuisance or annoyance to neighbours. Alternatively, a person residing or visiting the dwelling house has been convicted of using the property, or allowing it to be used, for immoral or illegal purposes or has committed an arrestable offence in, or in the locality of, the dwelling house. • Ground 15: The condition of the furniture has deteriorated because it has been ill-treated by the tenant, his subtenant, or someone living there. • Ground 16: The tenant was granted the property in order to properly fulfil her employment duties and is no longer employed by the landlord. • Ground 17: The landlord was induced to grant the tenancy by a false statement made knowingly or recklessly by either the tenant or a person acting at the tenant’s instigation.

Explanation of Selected Grounds:

When citing a particular ground, it is crucial to provide a detailed explanation for the court, referring unambiguously to the tenant. Examples are provided for clarity, and landlords are encouraged to adapt them to suit individual circumstances.

Mandatory Grounds for Eviction

Grounds 1 to 4 are “prior notice” mandatory grounds, requiring landlords to inform tenants in writing before the tenancy agreement. Additionally, grounds 6 to 8 are other mandatory grounds, where if proven, the court automatically awards possession to the landlord.

Can Ground 8 Be Relied Upon Alone?

While it’s possible to rely on Ground 8 alone, it is not recommended. Including additional grounds strengthens the case, as paying off part of the rent arrears before the court hearing may negate reliance on Ground 8.

Discretionary Grounds for Eviction

All grounds other than mandatory ones are considered discretionary. Courts will grant possession on discretionary grounds only if it is deemed reasonable given the circumstances.

Relying on Discretionary Grounds Alone:

Although gaining possession solely on discretionary grounds is feasible, landlords often prefer to bolster their case with a mandatory ground, especially when tenant arrears are involved, providing a strategic advantage in the eviction process.


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