Lets Process in brief

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5.11 Rent Act Tenancies

Some types of tenancy do not fall within the statutory code set up by the Housing Act 1988 and different rules for possession apply in these cases. These are mainly tenancies which are protected under the Rent Act 1977 and contractual tenancies (for example residential lettings to companies or where the annual rent exceeds £100,000). These can be complex and a landlord should obtain specialist legal help.


Rent Act tenants are very difficult to evict, as they have long-term security of tenure. Generally they can only be evicted if they are in arrears of rent or if suitable alternative accommodation is provided for them.


If A Rent Act Tenant Is In Arrears Of Rent


It is possible to bring proceedings for possession on the basis of nonpayment of rent. In bringing these proceedings there is no need to serve any form of notice on the tenant first (although it is advisable to warn the tenant that possession proceedings are imminent if they do not pay). However, the judge has powers to suspend or stay the order as they think fit.


If A Rent Act Tenant Is Not In Arrears Of Rent


The only other eviction ground which has any chance of success is that suitable alternative accommodation is available to the tenant. Note that the accommodation must be on a protected tenancy (which it will be if the suggested accommodation is to be provided by the same landlord) or equivalent (if provided by another landlord). Offering a tenancy on an assured shorthold basis will not be sufficient.


There is a lot of case law on the question of ‘suitable alternative accommodation’ and a landlord considering using this ground is advised to seek legal advice, certainly before buying any replacement property.

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