How easy is it for a landlord of an AST to gain possession of his property?
A landlord has two routes to seeking possession of his property under an AST depending on the circumstances.
A landlord may obtain an order for possession of an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) by relying on a Ground under Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988. These Grounds are divided into 2 categories:
- Mandatory Grounds where if the ground is made out the court ‘shall’ make a possession order, and
|An ‘AST’ landlord can serve a section 21 notice requesting possession after the initial 6 months of a periodic tenancy or when a fixed term tenancy ends.|
- Discretionary Grounds where if the ground is made out the court ‘may’ make a possession order if it considers it ‘reasonable’ to do so.
A landlord may also rely on a section 21 notice.
Security of Tenure DURING a Fixed Period or First 6 Months
A landlord is required to prove a Ground to obtain a possession order during the first 6 months of the original tenancy, or during any longer fixed term.
Security of Tenure AFTER a Fixed Period or First 6 Months
A landlord may obtain possession of an AST by serving a Section 21 notice after the initial 6-months where 6 months is the fixed term of the tenancy or where the tenancy is a periodic tenancy, or only after the end of a longer fixed term.
The landlord must obtain a court order to lawfully evict the tenant, if the tenant has not left by the end of the Section 21 notice period but the landlord will not have to prove any Ground for possession. A valid Section 21 notice is sufficient prior to any court proceedings being issued.
A notice of possession may be served under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 with no ground or reason required for the notice, after the initial 6 months of a periodic tenancy or after the fixed period of the tenancy.