Grounds for possession of a rented property

MANDATORY GROUNDS FOR POSSESSION

The grounds that can be used for assured or assured shorthold tenancies as set out in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988.

Prior notice grounds: The first 5 mandatory grounds are ‘prior notice grounds’, whereby the landlord or the landlord’s agent has to inform the tenant in writing before the start of the tenancy that they might, in the future, wish to regain possession using that ground. On grounds 1 and 2 the court has the discretion to waive the prior notice requirement if it is just and equitable to do so.

* Ground 1 – Owner occupation (prior notice ground)
* Ground 2 – Repossession by a lender (prior notice ground)
* Ground 3 – Out of season holiday let (prior notice ground)
* Ground 4 – Lets to students by educational institutions (prior notice ground)
* Ground 5 – Minister of religion (prior notice ground)
* Ground 6 – Redevelopment
* Ground 7 – Death of assured tenant
* Ground 7A – Antisocial behaviour
* Ground 7B – No right to rent
* Ground 8 – Serious rent arrears (two months’ rent is owed if paying monthly)

DISCRETIONARY GROUND FOR POSSESSION

The grounds that can be used for assured tenancies or assured shorthold tenancies as set out in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 (though ground 14A can only be used by social landlords).

If the landlord is using any of the 11 grounds set out below, it must be reasonable for it to grant possession. ‘Reasonable’ means having regard to both the interests of the parties concerned and the public’s interests.

* Ground 9 – Suitable alternative accommodation
* Ground 10 – Rent arrears
* Ground 11 – Persistent delay in rent payments
* Ground 12 – Breach of tenancy obligation
* Ground 13 – Deterioration in the condition of the property or common parts
* Ground 14 – Nuisance, annoyance, the illegal or immoral use of the property
* Ground 14A – Domestic violence
* Ground 14ZA – Offence during a riot
* Ground 15 – Deterioration of furniture
* Ground 16 – Employee of landlord
* Ground 17 – Recovery of possession where a grant is induced by false statement

A number of factors can also be taken into account, such as:

* The reason for and the seriousness of the breach
* Whether the tenant has had an opportunity to remedy the breach
* Whether the breach has, in fact, been remedied; the effect of the tenant’s conduct on others
* The consequence of eviction for this particular tenant and their family
* Whether any further breaches have occurred in the run-up to the trial

Rent arrears and debt respite breathing space

Landlords and lenders are prohibited from giving notice and issuing a claim for possession or from applying for a warrant of eviction on the basis of rent arrears, during a breathing space moratorium.