Residential Landlord and Tenant Possession Claims
Acting for the Landlord
It is common that a landlord will seek to recover possession of a tenanted residential property if the tenant has:
- Fallen into arrears with rent.
- Committed an act or not complied with an obligation which constitutes a breach of the terms of the tenancy agreement has arisen.
Another common reason is that the landlord wants to sell the property with vacant possession.
There is a procedure which the landlord must follow to recover possession of the property. The landlord cannot simply re-enter the property and change the locks as this may lead to the tenant bringing a claim against the landlord for breach of the terms of the tenancy agreement.
The steps which a landlord needs to take to recover possession of a residential property are:
- Serve notice on the tenant that possession is required. If the tenant complies with the notice and vacates the property then steps 2 and 3 are not required.
- If the tenant fails to vacate the property after the notice has expired, the landlord will need to issue a claim for possession in the County Court.
- If the court makes a possession order, the landlord will need to recover possession of the property. A bailiff’s services may be required.
If you are a landlord seeking possession of a residential property, our Dispute Resolution team have the expertise and knowledge to assist you with your matter.
Acting for the Tenant
Our Dispute Resolution solicitors also have the knowledge and expertise to act for tenants who are facing a possession claim.
If you are a tenant and you believe that your landlord is making an unlawful possession claim against you or has unlawfully possessed your property, then please contact our Dispute Resolution team so they can assist you.
Examples of unlawful possession includes:
- Preventing access to the property.
- Preventing access to gas, electricity or water.
- Entering the property without providing sufficient notice as laid out in the tenancy agreement.
- Threats and physical violence.
Commercial Landlord and Tenant Possession Claims
A landlord who wants to take possession of a commercial premises will need to write to the tenant informing them that they intend to lawfully take possession of the premises. If the tenant fails to vacate after receiving this demand, then the landlord can apply to the court for a possession order under Section 25 of the Landlord and Tenant Act (LTA) or Section 146 of the Law of Property Act.
In order to seek a possession order, the landlord’s claim will need to contain reasons as to why the landlord wants to take possession of the premises and include details of any damages the landlord is claiming for any breach of covenant.
It is very important for a landlord to follow the legal process for obtaining a possession order and not use physical or verbal force to try and obtain vacant possession of the premises as carrying out these acts may incur criminal liability for the landlord under the Criminal Law Act 1977.
If you are a landlord of a commercial premises and you require advice about obtaining possession of your premises, then please contact our Dispute Resolution Team so they can assist you.
Our Dispute Resolution team also act for tenants who have received a Section 146 Notice under the Law of Property Act 1925 or a Section 25 Notice under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 from a landlord seeking possession of the commercial premises.
We can advise you on your rights to serve a counter-notice on the landlord and your prospects of successfully applying to the courts for a renewal of your tenancy under Section 26 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.