Recovering Possession of Residential Property

Take five guide - Recovering Possession of Residential Property   

With the introduction of the Renters (Reform) Bill, landlords across the country face the biggest shake-up to the sector in a generation. Our Take Five Guide throws out the jargon and provides you with concise legal advice on how to prepare direct from our lawyers, in five simple steps.


1. Identify the type of tenancy

The majority of residential tenancies are Assured shorthold tenancy agreements (ASTs), governed by the Housing Act 1988. However, there are exceptions to this, for example high rent lettings or where the tenant is a company. There are also different regimes for agricultural tenancies or old Rent Act tenancies.

2. Satisfy the administrative requirements

Landlords of ASTs are required to give tenants prescribed information at the start of the tenancy, to protect their deposits and provide gas safety certificates and EPCs. Failure to take these steps can cause major difficulties later.

Are there grounds for possession?

Currently landlords of ASTs are entitled to seek possession at the end of the fixed term of the tenancy, using “section 21”. The incoming Renters (Reform) Bill will bring an end to these “no fault” evictions, meaning landlords will have to rely on other grounds, for example they intend to sell.

4. What is the correct form of notice?

Once the Renters (Reform) Bill has passed into law, landlords of ASTS will have to serve section 8 notices as section 21 will no longer exist. For non-ASTs, the form of notice depends on the form of tenancy/occupational rights.

How long will it take?

Defended possession cases can go through a full court process to trial, taking a year or more to resolve. There are concerns in some quarters as to how the court system will cope with the impending abolition of section 21/no fault evictions, as this will result in more cases which are ripe for dispute.


Would you like to know more?

Our Property Litigation lawyers experienced in breaking down complex legislation impacting landlords and tenants as well as reaching resolution in property disputes, often without recourse to court proceedings. The team also boasts an excellent track record when cases do go to court. Contact us for more information.


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