We are very experienced in dealing with residential landlord and tenant law.
We act for both landlords and tenants.
A key area is always obtaining or defending possession proceedings.
Section 21 Notices
In relation to Section 21 Notices (served under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988) – which in theory should be very simple with there being no defence to, the law has become very technical. There are a number of qualifying preconditions which need to be satisfied before reliance can be made upon such Notices.
In fact, there has been a recent case (Caridon Property Ltd v Monty Shooltz) which held that unless a gas certificate is given to the tenant after they move into the property then the Section 21 Notice cannot be relied upon. It is feared that similar reasoning may apply to other qualifying conditions.
Other conditions are the requirement to provide a tenant with a ‘How to Rent’ booklet in the prescribed format before the tenancy starts and there are also other requirements including to provide an Energy Performance (EPC) Certificate.
You can also not use the section 21 procedure if the deposit is not protected in a tenancy deposit scheme or if the property requires an HMO (Houses of Multiple Occupation) licence but does not have one.
Disrepair Retaliatory Provisions
There are also disrepair retaliatory provisions whereby if a local authority serves a remedial or improvement notice then again, a Section 21 Notices cannot be relied upon.
If you cannot rely upon Section 21 Notices all a landlord can do is increase the rent to market levels or rely upon other grounds for possession such as rent arrears, breach of tenancy covenants and also relying upon Ground 1 of the Housing Act 1988 relating to returning owner occupiers – which does require service of a prescribed notice before the tenancy commences.