Tenancy Agreement Templates and FAQs

October 15, 2017




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Tenancy Agreement Templates and FAQs

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There are two options a landlord can take to end a tenancy agreement and regain possession of the property.

If the tenancy is still during the term, a landlord can apply the procedure in section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 to regain the property possession. This is commonly called the section 8 procedure.

If the tenancy has already expired the landlord can follow the procedure detailed in section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.

Once a tenancy gets to the end of the term if the landlord allows the tenant to continue in occupation then the tenancy will become a periodic tenancy and the landlord can use the section 21 procedure.

Ending the Tenancy during the Term of the Tenancy

An order form from the court is needed whenever a landlord wants to regain the property possession during the term of tenancy. There should a notice from the landlord to regain possession under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 (section 8 notice). A landlord then can terminate the tenancy if they are able to apply a specified ground listed in schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1988. These section 8 grounds are listed below.

Section 8 Grounds for possession

The Grounds for possession is categorized into two; Mandatory and Discretionary grounds.

The order for possession from the court can automatically be obtained if the landlord has got a Mandatory ground to rely on. On the other hand, a discretionary ground will only allow the court to issue the order for termination of the tenancy and repossession by the landlord if it sees it is just and reasonable.

The specific grounds are as follows:

Ground Mandatory or Discretionary

1. The property is demanded by a landlord for reside as it is the only or principal residence where the landlord lived before switching into tenancy Mandatory.

2. The mortgage arrears on the property and the mortgagee demands the property possession Mandatory.

3. Tenancy for a fixed term does not exceed 8 months and the property was not occupied as a holiday let for at least 12 months before the tenancy term. Mandatory.

4. tenancy for a fixed term does not exceed 12 months and the property has been occupied for an educational building. Mandatory

5. The property is occupied by a minister of religion and another minister of religion needs it again. Mandatory

6. Landlord wants to demolish or reconstruct the whole or a part of the property by needing the tenant to be out of there. Mandatory

7. Tenant has no right to continue the periodic tenancy after the previous tenant died even though there is a will Mandatory

8. There is no rent settlement until the section 8 notice and the date of the hearing are served;

for weekly/fortnightly based rent: rent arrears for at least 8 weeks

for monthly based rent: rent arrears for at least 2 months

for quarterly based rent: one quarter rent arrears at least more than 3 months

for annual based rent: at least 3 month rent arrears more than 3 months
Mandatory

9 Landlord provides alternative property for tenant when a possession order is made Discretionary

10. Tenant failed to pay the rent and is still unable to do so until the landlord precedes the possession. Discretionary

11. Tenant intentionally ignored the rent payment and it was still in arrears until the date of possession proceedings started. Discretionary

12. There is violation by tenant against the obligation of the tenancy (other than non-payment of rent) Discretionary

13. There is a damage on the property or part of it resulted from the tenant or anyone living with the tenant Discretionary

14. There is a strong indication that the tenant or anyone living with the tenant causes a disturbance or annoyance towards the neighbors by making use of the property for immoral or illegal activities or the tenant will be arrested for a conviction in the area of the property Discretionary

15. Tenant or anyone living with the tenant has caused serious damages on the furniture at the property Discretionary

16. The property is provided by the landlord for the tenant as the employment facility, the tenant has no right to live in the property anymore once the tenant is not employed and the landlord requires it for another employee Discretionary

17. The tenancy is obtained from the landlord by tenant or anyone else under a false procedure knowingly or recklessly. Discretionary

In order that the landlord adheres to the ground 1 to 5, there must be a notice issued by the landlord before the tenancy starts stating that in the future the landlord will regain the property possession under those grounds. The court can strongly dispense the notice requirement for grounds 1 and 2 as far as it finds it just and equitable.

Grounds 2, 8, 10 to 15 and 17 to which the agreement is downloadable from our website are the only grounds that the landlord can terminate the AST during its fixed term. However, for periodic AST with no fixed term, the landlord can regain the ground possession at any point in the tenancy if the landlord has provided notice at least two months in advance. See note, Periodic tenancy – no fixed term.

Section 8 Procedure

Section 8 procedure demands the landlord to clearly prepare a “Notice seeking possession” document (section 8 notice) for the tenant regarding the possession regaining of one or more grounds included in Schedule 2 of the HA 1988 (see note, Grounds for possession). If the specified date in the notice has expired, the landlord can precede to the court for possession agents the tenant.

The points to be included in the notice for the tenant are;

– The address of the property
– All tenants’ names that is included in the AST agreement
– The ground (s) stated in Schedule 2 of the HA 1988 that the landlord seeks for possession
– The full text cited in the notice regarding the ground (s)
– The details about each ground adherence

Anytime the date in the notice expires and the possession proceedings has been effective, the landlord has the right to gain the property possession granted by court on a condition that the ground is mandatory grounds adhered to the notice. To get a better chance of gaining a possession order from the court, the landlord very often proposes more than one ground. If the ground is discretionary ground, the court can grant the possession order only if it finds it reasonable. This then benefits the landlord to gain mandatory ground for possession.

For example, a landlord may claim grounds 8, 10 and 11 as far as the tenant is unable to settle the rent payment and is in arrears. If there is no enough document to prove the possession of grounds 8 (a mandatory ground), grounds 10 and 11 can be converted into discretionary grounds.
Ending the Tenancy after Expiry of the Fixed Term

By using accelerated possession procedure (accelerated procedure) under section 21 of the HA 1988 (as amended by the HA 1996), a landlord can regain the property possession right when the fixed term of an AST expires without a court hearing.

In order that the landlord can use the accelerated procedure, there must be two months’ notice to the tenant form the landlord conveying the wish to regain the property. After that it must pass six months counted from the date of issue of the original agreement. The notice itself can be given to the tenant before the tenancy expires in order to be due on the actual date the tenancy expires.

Although the fixed term of tenancy is less than six months, the timescale for serving notice still takes effect, under the HA 1996, and the tenant has a right to occupy the property for at least six months. It means that the landlord cannot use the accelerated possession procedure if the tenant refuses to leave the property during the first months of the tenancy.

A full hearing may be carried out by the court if it has received the documents from the landlord and tenant. However, if the hearing is considered unnecessary by the court, it will directly grant order for possession. If the landlord uses the accelerated procedure, it needs no consideration from the court for landlord to regain the property possession. The court automatically grants the property possession to the landlord as far as the landlord has strong evidence for it. The court gives 14 days of tolerated time for tenant to leave the property and the tenant must obey to it unless the tenant can ensure the court that doing so within 14 days will make the tenant get extreme hardship. On the other hand, if the tenant intentionally does not obey to it, the court will issue a warrant for eviction and order the bailiffs to execute the property.

The landlord only can use the accelerated procedure if the landlord has made written tenancy agreement and has given the tenant notice conveying property possession. This way is subject to a landlord complying with the requirement of the Tenancy deposit Scheme (TDS). So, a landlord will have no right to regain the possession using the accelerated procedure if the landlord has not included the tenant’s deposit into a TDS.

Alternatively, a landlord must pass the two month’s notice that ends by the end of the rent period first to make it able to evict the tenant from the property within the tenancy period.

For further information on ending a tenancy agreementin England or Wales we suggest you read the information at Citizens Advice Bureau which contains some very detailed tenacy information.




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