Ending a Tenancy and Gaining Possession

Ending a Tenancy and Gaining Possession
I thought it may be useful to know the most up-to-date information regarding what happens at the end of a tenancy. Particularly in the context of you wanting to gain back possession of a property from a tenant.

This can be a confusing topic for many landlords, especially with recent changes to legislation taking place. It really pays to keep on top of your game and understand how you can take action if you want/need to without breaching the law.

In essence, the process is pretty straightforward, as long as you follow the process as set out below. 

A landlord may seek to terminate and gain possession of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy in exactly the same way as for the older Assured Tenancy agreements; namely by serving a Section 8 Notice and proving one or more of the statutory grounds.

However, a much simpler and quicker method may be used by virtue of Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. All a landlord needs to do is serve on the Shorthold tenant a Section 21 Notice. This notice must:

A. Be in writing; however there is no prescribed form; and
B. Give a minimum of two months' notice to the tenant, which:
i. If a fixed-term Assured Shorthold Tenancy, must be given to the tenant on or before the date the tenancy expires,
ii. If a periodic Assured Shorthold Tenancy, must be expressed to expire on the last day of the two month notice period given

This notice can only be served if the following apply:

  • You have protected the tenant's deposit in a Deposit Protection Scheme
  • You've given at least 2 months' written notice that you want the property back ('Notice to Quit') and the date they must leave
  • The date the tenant must leave is at least 6 months after their original tenancy began 
  • They have a periodic tenancy, or they have a fixed-term tenancy and you aren't asking them to leave before the end of the fixed term
  • They haven't made a complaint to the council about the living conditions in the property that resulted in the council serving a notice to you (for tenancies starting after 30 September 2015)
If a tenancy agreement started after 30 September 2015 you cannot evict a tenant unless you have given them:

  • A copy of the leaflet  'How to Rent: the checklist for renting in England'
  • An Energy Performance Certificate
  • A Gas Safety Certificate
You also have to use the form 'Notice seeking possession of a property let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (Form 6a)'.

Setting systems in place is the most important aspect in the efficient and effective running of your property business.  If you are already using the services of a competent letting agent, then these will already be in place.

However, it is good for you, the landlord, to know and understand your roles and responsibilities as they stand, as it is ultimately you who could be affected if something is not done correctly.  

Regardless of whether you self-manage your properties or have a letting agent on your team, you will find the following very useful...  

I have put together a really handy checklist so that you can refer to it in the context of each and every property in your portfolio.  Use it to double-check you have covered all the angles which are required from you, the landlord, whilst renting out your properties. You can download your copy here

Hope this helps you to keep up-to-date! :-)


Hazel de Kloe

Property Investor | Property Mentor | Speaker | Author

The contents of this article are for educational purposes only and we make no recommendation of any particular property purchase. The price of property can decrease as well as increase and you make any investments in property at your own risk. 

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