It’s been a busy old month in Marlborough Law, so the early mornings in the sunshine aren’t too much of a hardship. This month we have been tackling some Landlord and Tenant issues in the area. So I thought I would quickly point out the legal position here.
Tenancies– Eviction and Abandoned Goods
A growing majority of people live in rented accommodation and both landlords and tenants should be aware of some of the basic rights afforded to landlords.
The big one. There are two main routes allowing a landlord to take possession of their property if they are private landlords and the tenancy began on or after 28 February 1997 (this most likely means there is an assured shorthold tenancy). Both are under the Housing Act 1988, the s21 and s8 notice.
The s21 notice allows the landlord to regain their property at the end of the tenancy’s fixed period, provided the notice is served correctly and the right time is allowed (a minimum two months) before seeking possession, the landlord gains an automatic right to possession.
The s8 notice is for when the tenant has failed to do something contained within the lease and the Landlord seeks possession on grounds, such as failure to pay rent. Each ground has to be considered, some will be at the court’s discretion to decide upon, and other grounds will gain the landlord the automatic right to possession.
Having the right to possession does not mean the landlord can just evict the tenant. First the court must issue a Warrant for Possession to act, before then would be unlawful and could lead to a claim against the landlord.
Removal of Goods
At the end of the tenancy many landlords are left with goods in their property. In this situation, the landlord becomes bailor, and the now exited tenant the bailee, of the goods and the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 applies. Many landlords ignore this and dispose of the goods and many tenants do not care, especially if the items left are of little value or no value. However, some devious tenants have been known to leave goods, the landlord disposes of said goods, then the tenant brings a claim for unlawful disposal of their goods.
There is a procedure that has to be followed with goods left, and it is safest to follow it rather than find yourself the victim of a claim.