There are two main routes for private landlords to regain possession of their property under the Housing Act 1988.
Section 21: an automatic right of possession without having to give any grounds (reasons) once the fixed term has expired.
Section 8: grants a landlord to seek possession in a range of circumstances including possession by Mortgage Company, rent arrears and anti-social behaviour.
Notice will usually involve you giving at least 2 months’ notice of your intention to regain possession. Notice can be served during the fixed term but possession must not occur until the fixed term has ended. You will need to give more than 2 months’ notice if the fixed term has expired and the gap between the rent payment dates exceeds 2 monthly intervals (eg a quarterly rent).
Notice cannot be served earlier than 4 months after the tenancy has started. If the tenancy was transferred to another tenant, renewed, or the tenant has subleased the property, this period is counted from the original date on which the original tenant signed the lease.
Notice must be in the correct form named Form 6a: Notice seeking possession of a property let on an assured shorthold tenancy (for ASTs granted after 1 October 2015).
You are prevented from using this section 21 if you have not protected the deposit in a TDS, if a HMO does not have the proper licence, the tenant has complained about the need for repairs or you have not served the prescribed information.
Tenant refusal will require you needing a court order, although there is an accelerated procedure for those that have a tenancy agreement and notice has been given in writing. This process cannot be used if there are rent arrears. If they further refuse a warrant of possession may be obtained, meaning a bailiff will evict the tenant.
You can seek possession at any time under Section 8 however the tenancy must provide for possession under Section 8 if you are seeking possession during the fixed term.
Notice varies from 2 weeks to 2 months depending on the ground you are using.
Notice must be in the correct form named Form 3: Notice seeking possession of a property let on an assured tenancy or an assured agricultural occupancy.
Tenant refusal will require you needing a court order. If they further refuse a warrant of possession may be obtained, meaning a bailiff will evict the tenant.