The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
STOP PRESS: The Housing and Planning Act 2016 received Royal Assent on 12 May 2016, although the provisions relating to recovering possession of abandoned premises set out in Part 3 are not yet in force. The contents of this Practice Note are therefore provided for information only until such time as they are brought into force.
This Practice Note relates to the recovery of abandoned residential premises let under an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) by private landlords in England only.
The provisions introduced by Part 3 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (HPA 2016) are designed to allow private landlords to recover possession of abandoned residential premises more easily, with the intention that more rental property will become available to let out to tenants. A ‘private landlord’ is a landlord who does not fall within the provisions of section 80(1) of the Housing Act 2004.
Previously, the two main routes for a landlord to bring an AST to an end and recover possession of premises were:
the section 8 possession procedure (section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 (HA 1988)) see: Assured and assured shorthold tenancies—terminating, or
the section 21 possession procedure (HA 1988, s 21) see: Assured and assured shorthold tenancies—terminating
Where a private landlord believed that its premises had been abandoned, it would still have to follow one
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