Accelerated Repossession

Homeowners are not the only people who need to worry about the repossession of their homes. This can also happen to tenants who are renting their homes on an assured shorthold tenancy. Under the law, there are 17 grounds on which a landlord can seek possession of his property.

9 Discretionary Grounds For Repossession

Nine of these are discretionary grounds. This means the landlord can seek to take possession of his property if:

* He is offering the tenant suitable alternative accommodation
* The tenant has been persistently late with rent payments
* The tenant is in breach of the agreement
* There is damage to the accommodation
* The tenant is a nuisance to the neighbors
* The furniture has been ill-treated
* The tenant lived in the property as the landlord’s employee but is now employed elsewhere
* the tenant has made a false statement to secure the tenancy.

8 Mandatory Grounds For Accelerated Repossession

However, accelerated repossession applies to the eight mandatory grounds that apply. These are:

* if the landlord has previously lived in the dwelling as a main residence, and wishes to do so again
* in order to sell the property
* in order to use the property as a holiday let
* if the property is student accommodation, owned by educational institutions
* if the property is owned by a religious body (for example a vicarage that needs to pass from one vicar to another)
* if the landlord wishes to demolish or redevelop the property
* in case of rent arrears exceeding the maximum permitted under the agreement

Accelerated Repossession Procedure

If the landlord is claiming repossession on any of the mandatory grounds or because the tenancy has now ended, then the landlord can use the accelerated repossession procedure. In order to do this, the landlord must comply with all appropriate notice periods, in order to give tenants adequate notice of what is happening. There must be an appropriate tenancy agreement in force, and the tenants’ deposit must be held in an approved deposit protection scheme.

This means that the landlord has to serve the right documentation on the tenants and keep copies of everything. Once this is done, a judge can decide the case based on written representations, without the need to go to court. Landlords who use accelerated possession can claim the costs of the action and the property itself. Questions relating to rent arrears do not fall under the accelerated possession banner and would require different court action.