If either the landlord or the tenant do not keep to their obligations the wronged party may look to the courts to enforce the terms of the tenancy agreement. However, an important consideration for landlords wishing to repossess property is that there are set rules which must be followed regardless of what has been agreed in the tenancy agreement. The Housing Act 1988 sets out what landlords must to in order to repossess property from a tenant.
If there is no breach of the tenancy by the tenant landlords must look to Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 which provides for two types of tenant eviction notice.The first type of notice must be used during the contractual term of the tenancy while the second type must be used during the periodic term of the tenancy.Landlords are advised to read the relevant paragraphs of Section 21 to ensure they select the correct notice for their type of tenancy.Using the wrong notice, or making an error in the notice, will usually invalidate the notice meaning that it cannot be used in court to obtain a possession order.
If there is a breach of the tenancy by the tenant the landlord may consider using a Section 8 notice. This notice will refer to each relevant breach of the tenancy and how each breach arose.
There are good reasons why landlords should use a Section 21 notice to repossess their property.Firstly, if the tenant refuses to leave at the notice end date the landlord can request that the county court grant an order for possession ensuring that the landlord can repossess the property. Secondly, the landlord does not need a reason, or breach of the tenancy, to request possession of the property.Thirdly, possession proceedings following this type of notice are simpler and cheaper than those following a Section 8 notice.
Given the significant amount of time it takes (if the notice period is included) for a claim for possession of property to be heard at court landlords are advised to seek specialist legal advice to avoid delays arising from invalid tenant eviction notices.