We thought that it might be useful to provide a reminder of some of the basics for landlords when looking to regain possession.
1. Check the tenancy agreement to make sure that there are no obscure notice requirements within the agreement. 2. Select whether a Section 8 or Section 21 Notice is going to be served on the tenant. You can of course serve both at the same time. 3. If you are relying on Section 8 then proceedings must be started within 12 months of the Notice. The Notice must be in the correct format and include specific information required. 4. A Section 8 Notice must clearly set out the grounds for possession. It is recommended that you rely on both mandatory grounds and discretionary grounds just in case you get to the date of the hearing and the mandatory ground cannot be made out, you then have a fall back of discretionary grounds. 5. Engage with the tenant before issuing proceedings and getting to the hearing stage as this may assist you in agreeing payment plans etc. 6. Ensure that you provide evidence of rent arrears if you are replying on Section 8 Notices e.g a witness statement with a schedule of rent arrears attached 7. If you are relying on section 21, this is a no fault notice and has recently become quite controversial with suggestion that this may be abolished. Any proceedings must be issued within 6 months of the Notice.
As most landlords will be aware, there is currently a stay on all Possession Proceedings, but that is due to end in approximately 5 weeks.
It is important for Landlord’s to keep in mind that the current stay required on possession proceedings, as set out in place by PD51Z, only pauses proceedings, it does not prevent you from issuing possession proceedings. What will happen in practical terms, is that you will be able to issue proceedings and those will automatically be put on hold until the 3 month stay is lifted.
It has been a busy time for the litigation department. Last week they were involved in another successful hearing. They had been instructed by a local client for a number of years in an ongoing boundary dispute regarding the ownership of the wall between two properties.