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Landlord and tenant disputes can be can be complex, with a wide array of specific requirements and regulations governing the leases of both residential and commercial properties.
Whether you are a landlord or tenant facing a dispute under a Lease please do not hesitate to contact our experienced Disputes and Litigation Department on our mobile friendly number 033 33 22 1000 or 0800 987 8156 to arrange a meeting and speak to a solicitor. You can also email our specialist team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While the specific requirements of domestic and commercial letting vary there are several common areas of dispute that often arise between tenants and landlords. Areas of dispute and litigation on which we can provide specialist knowledge and advice include:-
Our team are also able to support you in relation to the recovery of possession of a residential property let under an Assured Tenancy or Assured Shorthold Tenancy (“AST”).
Under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 it is a criminal offence (liable on conviction to an unlimited fine, imprisonment up to 2 years or both) to:-
Accordingly where a tenant fails to return vacant possession of a residential property after expiry of a relevant notice it will be necessary to pursue Court proceedings to recover possession of the property.
In certain circumstances a landlord can seek possession of a property let under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (“AST”) on a “no fault” basis without giving a reason. In order to do so a landlord must first serve a notice in accordance with section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 expiring on or after the end of the fixed or periodic term.
If a tenant fails to deliver up vacant possession by the date specified in a section 21 notice a landlord can apply for an accelerated possession order if they are not claiming rent arrears i.e. the only purpose of the claim must be to recover possession of the property with no other claim being made. The Court fee for such claims is £355.
Ordinarily in England 2 months’ notice must be given to the tenant that they will be required to vacate the property. However this period has been extended to 6 months under the Coronavirus Act 2020 (currently until 31 March 2021).
A landlord cannot obtain a no fault possession against a tenant in respect of a tenancy that commenced on or after 1 October 2015 if, inter alia, they have:-
At present (and currently until 28 March 2021) a landlord using the accelerated possession procedure must file with a Claim Form a notice setting out the knowledge that they have as to the effect of Covid-19 on the proposed Defendant/s and their dependants.
If possession cannot be claimed under section 21 of the 1988 Act possession of a property let on an assured tenancy or AST can be sought using one or more of the grounds set out at Schedule 2 of the 1988 Act. The possible grounds include but are not limited to:-
A section 8 notice must identify the specific ground/s being relied upon for the purposes of seeking possession of the property (it is not sufficient to simply state the ground number) and will remain valid for 12 months after it is served. If a landlord fails to commence proceedings before the expiry of a notice they will need to serve a fresh notice and wait for the relevant notice period to lapse before commencing proceedings.
The ordinary notice period in respect of a Section 8 Notice is between 2 weeks to 2 months depending on the ground/s being relied upon. However these periods have mostly been extended to 6 months under the Coronavirus Act 2020 (currently until 31 March 2021), subject to a number of exceptions. In particular where grounds 8, 10 or 11 are claimed the notice period is currently 4 weeks (usually 2 weeks) where there are at least 6 months rental arrears. Where multiple grounds are being relied upon (excluding grounds 7A or 14) the notice period required will be the longest of the relevant notice periods.
If a tenant fails to deliver up vacant possession by the date specified in a section 8 notice a landlord can apply for a standard possession order if they are not claiming rent arrears. The Court fee for such claims is £355 (£325 if the possession claim online service is available).
Notice requirements when possession is sought in respect of a property let under a secure tenancy are governed by section 83 of the Housing Act 1985.
If you made a possession claim before 3 August 2020 you must file and serve a reactivation notice in respect of the proceedings. The deadline to do this is by 4:00pm on 29 January 2021 failing which the claim will be automatically stayed.
Please do not hesitate to contact our experienced Disputes and Litigation Department on our mobile friendly number 033 33 22 1000 or 0800 987 8156 to arrange a meeting and speak to a solicitor in relation to any landlord and tenant dispute.
This content is provided free of charge for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. No responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the contents, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by Kew Law LLP.
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