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The Law Society - Conveyancing




Grounds for Possession Under Housing Acts 1988 & 1996

There are a total of seventeen varying grounds for possession of a property by a Landlord under the Housing Acts of 1988 and 1996, two of which have been recently amended.  These grounds allow a Landlord with Tenants occupying under either assured tenancies or assured shorthold tenancies to reclaim possession of the property, although advice should be sought on the application of a particular ‘ground’ and on possession notices before submission to a tenant. 

Some of the key mandatory grounds include:

  • the Property was the Landlord’s only or main home, or the Landlord/Landlord’s spouse requires it for use as a main home;
  • the lender requires possession (if the property was mortgaged prior to the tenancy);
  • the Landlord intends to substantially redevelop the Property, and this cannot be done with the Tenant in occipation (provided the Landlord bought prior to the grant of the tenancy);
  • rent arrears of at least two months on a monthly letting, or eight weeks on a weekly letting exist (where the Landlord gave notice of possession and only at the date of a court hearing)
  • Some of the key Mandatory grounds include:

Some of the key discretionary grounds to be considered include:

  • Breach 0f tenancy terms (other than rent)
  • Condition of property has worsened (due to Tenant or other person living at property)
  • Behaviour – Tenant or occupant/visitor at property) causing a nuisance or annoyance locally, or being convicted of using the property for immoral purposes, or an arrestable offence committed locally.
  • False statement – where the Tenant’s or another’s false statement has either recklessly or knowingly persuaded the Landlord to grant a tenancy.

The discretionary ground relating to behaviour has been amended to cover conduct which is ‘a nuisance or annoyance to the Landlord .. or a person employed….in connection with the exercise of the Landlord’s housing management functions’, as well as to cover a conviction for the Tenant (or an adult residing at the property) of an indictable offence which took place during a riot.

For full advice on repossession or other tenancy issues, please contact our Head of Property – Perry Gear – at our Barnet office or Judith Bleetman at our Cockfosters Office.

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