Pre-action protocol—possession claims by social landlords (including claims based on rent arrears)
Pre-action protocol—possession claims by social landlords (including claims based on rent arrears)

The following Property Disputes guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Pre-action protocol—possession claims by social landlords (including claims based on rent arrears)
  • Scope
  • Aims
  • Part 2—possession claims based upon rent arrears
  • Part 3—mandatory grounds for possession
  • Failure to comply
  • Previous version of Pre-Action Protocol

This Practice Note sets out the scope and aims of the Pre-Action Protocol for Possession Claims by Social Landlords (the Protocol) in force from 13 January 2020, which applies to residential possession claims in England and Wales by social landlords. It also sets out the obligations on the landlord to ensure compliance with the Protocol which include details regarding the initial contact to be made with the tenant, situations when proceedings must not be started and the service of statutory notices. It also deals with the need to consider alternative dispute resolution (ADR), the mandatory grounds for possession and the consequences of a failure to comply with the Protocol.

Scope

The Protocol applies to residential possession claims in England and Wales by social landlords including:

  1. a local authority, or

  2. a housing association

Part 2 relates to claims based solely on rent arrears, while Part 3 relates to claims where the court's discretion to postpone possession is limited and section 89(1) of the Housing Act 1980 (HA 1980) applies.

The Protocol does not apply to claims in respect of long leases.

Aims

The aims of the Protocol are to:

  1. encourage more pre-action contact and exchange of information between landlords and tenants

  2. enable the parties to avoid litigation by settling the matter if possible, and

  3. enable court time to be used more effectively