Our Property Litigation Team
Our clients have included a major plc and a leading housing association, as well as individual landlords. We provide a nationwide service covering all areas, including obtaining possession and defending disrepair claims.
Lawyers for Landlords - Services for Landlords & Managing Agents
The vastly experienced Landlord team at Anderson Partnership is able to offer fast, efficient and low cost solutions in relation to the following:
Except where otherwise stated references are to the Housing Act (1988) and Sections thereof (“the Act”).
Assured Shorthold Tenancies
Under the Act almost all new tenancies are now Assured Shorthold Tenancies, usually for a term of 6 or 12 months. Assured shorthold tenancies afford the landlord more protection in relation to eviction for breach of a tenancy. The usual reason for a landlord requiring possession of a property is rent arrears and would be dealt with by serving a Section 8 notice.
Furthermore an assured shorthold tenancy can be brought to an end at any time after the initial period has expired by serving a Section 21 notice.
Section 8 Notice
There are both discretionary and mandatory grounds under the Act where the Court is asked to decide on repossession.
A Section 8 Notice is based on rent arrears and can be on ground 8, 10 or 11. Ground 8 is a mandatory ground and the Court must make an order for possession. However, grounds 10 and 11 are in relation to late payments or sporadic payments of rent whereby the Court can use its discretion and make an adjourned or suspended order.
This notice is not reliant upon any payment date or term of tenancy and can be served at any time.
Section 21 Notice
This notice brings an assured shorthold tenancy to an end. The notice is reliant upon the term of the tenancy and in particular, and more importantly the date the tenancy commenced. It is also relevant to ensure the notice complies with the rules which must be followed to terminate a tenancy at the end of a specific tenancy period. Many Section 21 notices do not comply with the relevant dates and there is a substantial amount of case law which demonstrates where the Courts have not upheld the section 21 notices even if they are only a day out. Further compliance must be made in relation to time span for serving the notice.
There are two types of Section 21 notices: one is served prior to the end of the tenancy period and the second is served after the tenancy period has ended.
Regulated and Secured Tenancies
Most tenancies which came into force prior to 15th January 1989 are protected or statutory tenancies. Protected tenancies afford more protection to tenants than assured shorthold tenancies and there is no mandatory ground for possession so the Court always has discretion in relation to breach of tenancy.
Furthermore a regulated tenancy cannot be brought to an end by way of a Section 21 notice, this can only be done by a Notice to Quit based on breach of the tenancy. Again the main breach which concerns landlords is non payment of rent. There are other reasons a tenancy can be terminated but these must be assessed on an individual case by case basis.
If it becomes necessary to take action against the tenant it is necessary to inform the tenant prior to any formal action being taken. This would usually be by way of a Letter before Action confirming to the tenant that action will be taken if the breach is not dealt with, inside a specific period.
Notice to Quit
A Notice to Quit applies in relation to all other tenancies which are governed by the Rent Act 1977. They are generally used because of rent arrears but often the Courts are reluctant to make an order for possession on secured tenancies and instead make suspended orders with terms attached. Notice to quits are also subject to strict time limits with regards to the notice given to the tenants.
If a tenant fails to give up their tenancy by way of a Notice to Quit, it is necessary to issue proceedings:-
Proceeding for possession of the property
Once the notice period has expired the landlord is entitled to issue proceedings in the local County Court for possession of his property. If it becomes necessary to issue proceedings, Anderson Partnership will deal with the whole process of: application, preparation of the proceedings and evidence required by the Court. The evidence is usually by way of witness statements which will be prepared by Anderson Partnership on behalf of either the landlord directly or the landlords managing agent.
There is no necessity for a landlord or their agent to attend at the hearing as a representative will always attend on their behalf. The Court will always be requested to assess costs.
The landlord will wish to recoup all monies outstanding. Separate enforcement action must be taken in relation to this.
Enforcement of Monetary Judgment
There are several ways of enforcing a monetary judgment which range from a simple Bailiff attendance to High Court Enforcement Officers to bankruptcy. Anderson Partnership deals with all aspects of enforcing debt matters in relation to landlord and tenants debts through to commercial debts. Details of debt recovery services are available on request.
In addition to rent arrears, by far the most common reason for a landlord to require possession of his property, we regularly deal with succession cases, trespass, disrepair, nuisance tenants, and gas safety access.
Housing Act 2004
The new Housing Act 2004, the first phase of which came into effect from April 2006, has had a substantial impact on landlords and these can also be dealt with by Anderson Partnership.
The initial phase of the Housing Act was implemented from April 2006. This is in relation to licensing. Generally the licensing aspect of the legislation is aimed at people and not individual properties. This is to ensure the landlord’s performance is satisfactory. It is important to stress that a licensed property does not necessarily mean it is fit for occupation. It is important that landlords comply with all licensing regulations as failure to do so will result in sanctions being taken against the landlord and will bar any Section 21 notice being served to bring the tenancy to an end on their properties.
There are two types of licensing: the initial licensing is the prescribed regulation which involves licensing of houses in multiple occupations, the second is additional licensing which is imposed by the Local Housing Authority and is aimed at empty properties, areas with a substantial amount of homelessness or anti social behaviour.
From 6th April 2007 the new legislation provides for the new tenancy deposit schemes. These are to safe guard deposits and assist in any dispute resolution. Failure by a landlord to comply with the deposit schemes will again have an effect if a landlord wishes to serve a Section 21 notice and more importantly a monetary effect as the Court can order a landlord to pay the tenants three times the deposit in compensation.
Clearly the legislation has a massive effect on landlords and managing agents and therefore Anderson Partnership can offer, on request, short seminars with an overview of the impact of the Housing Act 2004. If this may be of interest, please contact us for further details..
If on the other hand we can assist you in any other aspects of landlord and tenant issues, please contact Stephen Savage on 01246 220737 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note Anderson Partnership do not act for tenants in order to ensure there is never a conflict between parties.