Before any action can be taken to obtain a Possession Order from the Court, the Landlord must serve a Notice of Intention to seek possession.
How much notice needs to be given will depend on which ground the Landlord uses as a reason for getting a Possession Order. (See below for grounds).
For grounds 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 16 the Landlord must give two months notice.
For grounds 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 14A, 15 and 17 the Landlord must give two weeks notice.
Notice must be given on a special form, which must tell the tenants certain things about their rights (Section 8 Notice). Proceedings must start within 12 months of service of the Notice otherwise a new Notice must be served.
Ground 1 Landlord(s) requires the property back in order to live in it. This ground can only be used if before the tenancy the Landlord had lived in the property as his / her main home and before or at the time the tenancy begins the Landlord gave the tenant notice that they might eventually want possession for this reason. (The court can sometimes allow the Landlord possession under this ground even if no notice has been given).
The court has to look at all the circumstances, including hardship to the tenant or Landlord before deciding whether to make an order.
Ground 2 The property is subject to a mortgage and the mortgagees are repossessing the property to enforce the charge. Written notice should be given before or at the time the tenancy begins that possession may be required under this ground. (The court can sometimes allow possession under this ground even if no notice is given).
Ground 3 The tenancy is for a fixed period of not more than eight months and the property is occupied as a holiday let and at least twelve months before the tenancy started it had been used as a holiday let. Written notice must be given either before or at the time the tenancy begins that possession might be required under this ground.
Ground 4 The tenancy is for a fixed period of not more than twelve months and has been let by an educational establishment/institution (eg university, colleges etc.) and possession is required. Written notice must be given on or before the tenancy begins that possession might be required on this ground.
Ground 5 The property is used as a home for a Minister of Religion and is needed for another Minister of Religion. Written notice must have been given at the time or before the tenancy begins that possession might be required under this ground.
Ground 6 The Landlord intends to demolish or reconstruct the whole or part of the property or carry out major works to all or part of it and the works cannot be carried out if the tenant is there (eg because the tenant will not agree to give access or agree to be restricted to living in part of the property whilst works are carried out on the other part). The Landlord must pay the tenants reasonable removal expenses if the possession is granted under this ground.
Ground 7 Where the previous tenant has died and the new tenant is not entitled to "succeed" to the tenancy and the tenancy is a periodic tenancy, which has passed to the new tenant on death or under a Will. The Landlord must bring proceedings within twelve months of the death of the tenant or twelve months of the date the Landlord became aware of the tenant's death.
Ground 8 Rent is unpaid at the time of service of Notice seeking possession and at the time of the hearing for a Possession Order;
1. In the case of rent paid weekly or fortnightly at least eight weeks rent is owing.
2. In the case of rent paid monthly at least two months rent is owed.
3. In the case of rent paid quarterly at least one quarters rent is more than three months over due.
4. In the case of rent paid yearly at least three months rent is more than three months over due.
Two months rent arrears will normally give the Landlord an automatic right to a Possession Order. Ground 9 That there will be suitable alternative accommodation available for the tenant if a Possession Order is made. The Landlord must pay the tenant's reasonable removal expenses if a Possession Order is made. A tenant can oppose a Possession Order on this ground if the alternative accommodation is not suitable.
Ground 10 Rent which is lawfully due from the tenant has not been paid by the time the possession proceedings are started and was owed at the time the Notice seeking possession was served. If a tenant has been offering the Landlord rent and the Landlord refused to take it, the tenant will have a defence to the possession proceedings but must pay the amount owed in to court.
Ground 11 The tenant has repeatedly failed to pay rent on time. There need not be rent arrears at the time possession proceedings are started.
Ground 12 The tenant has breached their part of the Tenancy Agreement.
Ground 13 The tenant, or anyone living with him/her have allowed the property or parts of it (including common parts) to deteriorate. If the deterioration has been caused by someone living with the tenant, and the tenant has failed to get rid of that person then a Possession Order may be made.
Ground 14 The tenant or a person living with him/her or visiting him/her has caused or is likely to cause a nuisance or annoyance to neighbours or their neighbours, guests or visitors to the area. Or the tenant has been convicted of using the property for immoral or illegal purposes or has been convicted for an arrestable offence committed in the area.
Ground 14A A married couple or common law couples live in the property and one of them is the tenant of the property and one of them has left the property because of violence or threats of violence from the other partner or a member of that partner's family who is also living in the property. The Landlord must be a Housing Association/Trust etc. (but not a Private Landlord) to be able to use this ground. The court also has to be satisfied that the partner who has left the property is unlikely to return. Also the partner who has left must be served with a Notice seeking possession so they know about the possession proceedings.
Ground 15 Furniture at the property has deteriorated because the tenant or someone living with the tenant has not looked after the furniture. If the damage has been caused by someone living with the tenant and the tenant has not taken steps to get rid of that person then a Possession Order may be made against the tenant.
Ground 16 The property was let to the tenant as part of his/her employment with the Landlord and the tenant is no longer employed by the Landlord and the property is needed for another employee.
Ground 17 The tenant or one of the tenants, or person acting on the instruction of the tenant has given false information to the Landlord which has made the Landlord grant the tenancy.
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