The most common ways to bring a tenancy to an end are via either a section 21 notice or a section 8 notice. Ensuring these notices are valid is fundamental. Landlord and tenant law is incredibly precise and there is usually no discretion to fix even minor problems with notices. Possession claims can and do regularly fail for what may appear to be insignificant issues such as incorrect dates, misspellings, irregularities with documents and deposits. Tenants are often still entitled to legal aid to defend landlord possession proceedings and local authorities routinely advise tenants to remain in a property until a bailiffs appointment has been arranged (the end of the eviction process). With all this in mind it is fundamental that landlords are positioned on the front foot at the outset.
If this is all completely new to you then you might find it useful to read over our basic guide to obtaining possession of a property. You can download a copy here, or alternatively to read further details now, click here.
These are the typical types of tenancy agreement or property arrangements we help bring to an end.
ASSURED SHORTHOLD TENANCY’S (AST’S)
An Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement is by far the most common form of tenancy agreement in use in England and Wales. If you have used a tenancy agreement provided by a solicitor, agent, or an organisation such as the National Landlords Association (NLA) or Residential Landlords Association (RLA) this will almost certainly be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement.
Use of an AST gives you the ability to evict your tenant by using either the SECTION 21 PROCESS or the SECTION 8 PROCESS. We charge low fixed fees to draft notices and issue claims on this basis.
A lodger is someone who is typically renting a room within a property that the ‘landlord’ owner lives in themselves. Legally this does NOT usually create a landlord and tenant relationship but is more accurately described as a licensee and licensor relationship. The occupier would usually enter into a contract (a license) rather than an AST and would pay the licensor (‘landlord’/property owner) pay a license fee (‘rent’).
Lodgers have far fewer legal rights than tenants but of course there is always risk that the legal position can become confused on the ground. For example if the lodger has exclusive possession of an area in the property (a room or annex etc) the courts might consider this more accurately a landlord and tenant relationship even if the license says it is a license. Often people will refer to being the ‘landlord’ and the ‘tenant’ and to the payment of ‘rent’ which can also confuse the position.
Where occupiers really are licensees and not tenants a section 21 or section 8 notice are usually NOT the most appropriate form of notice. In these situations a notice to quit can be more appropriate.
We’re happy to discuss this with you informally and without any initial charge to establish the best route for you to regain possession of your property. Call us on 01273 761990 or email [email protected]
House of Multiple Occupation (‘HMO’s’)
HMO’s can be confusing because the contracts will typically allow the tenant rights over their room, but not over the communal areas.
From an eviction perspective we almost universally treat occupiers of HMO’s as tenants with AST’s even where license agreements have been used. The reason for this is straightforward in that the court will always look at the substance and not the form of any document. So it doesn’t matter what a contract calls itself.
One of the legal tests for establishing a tenancy (rather than a license) is whether the occupier has exclusive possession of a space or area, i.e. a room. Where they do a tenancy is likely to exist. We therefore advise owner landlords of HMO’s to follow the section 21 or section 8 eviction routes to regain possession. Further details of our services and fixed fees are available here.