Housing Law

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Tuesday 1st December 2020


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Total Number of Property118 Comments: 4

Housing Law

14:03 PM, 20th January 2021
About 13 hours ago

Death of a separated joint tenant during pandemic?

Hi Ian

If no assignment has been made of the tenancy from joint names into the sole name of the gentleman, under the doctrine of "survivorship", upon the death of the lady, the gentleman becomes the sole tenant - it is only where a sole (or sole surviving) tenant dies that the tenancy passes to the Estate. However, he is not living in the property as his only or principal home so the tenancy loses its "assured status" because as per the requirement in s.1 of the Housing Act 1988 he is not "living in the property as his only or principal home". The tenancy therefore becomes a pure contractual tenancy terminable under common law principles by service of a Notice to Quit (NTQ). Assuming it is a periodic tenancy, you can serve a NTQ, giving 4 weeks' notice expiring on a last day of a period of the tenancy and then issue a possession claim. However, if the gentleman moved back into the property the tenancy could regain its assured status and the NTQ would be of no effect, so you need to serve a s.21 notice giving 6 months' notice marked "without prejudice to the NTQ" as well. You should seek to contact him to establish his intentions as per the very sensible advice given above. Because the tenancy was a joint tenancy he was jointly and severally liable for all of the rent prior to the death of the other tenant and is now liable for any arrears and any future payments of rent up to termination/possession. If he does not want to live in the property, it will be in his interest to arrange to terminate as soon as possible. The terms of the tenancy may make provision for a period of notice required to be given by a tenant but as landlord it is open to you to accept an earlier period if you so choose. I wish you luck.... Read More

Housing Law

14:44 PM, 11th January 2021
About A week ago

Robert Jenrick extends the ban on bailiff evictions until 21st February

Judges do not set eviction dates - they make or do not make possession orders. You apply to a Court for a "warrant of possession" which is an administrative permission granted by the Court to allow the Bailiff to set a date for the eviction. The effect of ban is that the Bailiff's office cannot set an eviction date prior to 21.02.21 unless one of the limited exceptions apply. Those exceptions have been amended so that in relation to rent arrears there is no longer a requirement for 9 months' pre-covid rent arrears, but rather 6 months' rent accrued at any time. The Government's policy of restricting possession claims/enforcement is based on shifting the responsibility in provision/cost of housing from the public to the private housing sector. This in turn is because there is insufficient social housing to deal with the numbers of people that would otherwise be evicted.... Read More

Housing Law

11:06 AM, 5th January 2021
About 2 weeks ago

Daughter remaining in property after tenant moves?

Spot on David - that's one of the qualifications and even if the tenant has not physically returned prior to expiry of the NTQ, the validity of the Notice might well turn on whether there was an intention to do so (applying the test in Mayor and Burgesses of the London Borough of Islington v Boyle and another [2011] EWCA 1450) - an NTQ should not be the only notice served etc.... Read More

Housing Law

10:34 AM, 4th January 2021
About 2 weeks ago

Daughter remaining in property after tenant moves?

Hi Philip
If the daughter has never been a tenant and the sole tenant has moved out, you can serve a Notice to Quit on the tenant. This is because an assured shorthold tenancy is a species of assured tenancy as described in s.1 of the Housing Act 1988. It is a pre-requisite of such a tenancy that the tenant resides in the property as their "only or principal home". As soon as they cease to do so, the tenancy loses its "assured status" and becomes a pure contractual tenancy, which can be terminated by a Notice to Quit, giving at least 28 days' notice and expiring on a last day of a period of the tenancy. There are of course qualifications to that basic legal position and this is not intended as formal legal advice. You should seek advice from a solicitor who specialises in this area. I wish you luck.... Read More