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Saving clause in section 21 notice

In order to avoid the pitfalls of specifying the wrong expiry date in a section 21(4) notice, landlords can insert a rider in the notice providing that it will expire on a date produced by a formula (or ‘saving clause’). For example, a rider stating that possession is required 'at the end of the period of the tenancy which expires next after a period of two calendar months from the service of the notice upon the tenant'.

Schedule One offender

A Schedule One offender is a person who has committed at least one of the crimes listed in Schedule One of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933. These crimes are all ones where the victim is a child or a young person. They include murder, sexual offences, cruelty and neglect, and crimes that involve physical injury.

Search order

Previously known as an 'Anton Piller' order, a search order is a form of interim injunction, available in the High Court, that allows a person to search and take possession of another person's property following an application made without notice.

Second mortgage

A term used to describe an additional loan secured on a property, often obtained from a second lender, and acquired for the purposes of a major purchase, eg a car, or to consolidate multiple debts.

Section 4 support

A special form of support for people whose asylum applications have been refused. Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 provides the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) with the authority to provide support to destitute asylum seekers who have exhausted all possible appeals process. Also known as 'Hard cases' support.

Secure tenancy

A type of tenancy granted to local authority tenants. Some tenants of registered social landlords may also have secure tenancies if their tenancy started before 1989.

Secured loan

A loan that is taken out using the home as security. Mortgages and second mortgages are types of secured loans. If repayments are not maintained, the lender may be able to gain possession of the home through the courts, and then sell the property to recover the money owed.

Security of tenure

The rights of occupation given to an occupier by common law or legislation.

Service charge

A charge payable to a landlord, freeholder or management company by a tenant to cover costs of services, maintenance, insurance, etc.

Service occupier/tenant

This refers to a person occupying accommodation in conjunction with her/his employment. If a service occupier leaves or loses her/his job, s/he is likely to lose or have to leave her/his home.

Set aside

To cancel a judgment, order, or step taken by a party in proceedings.

Sexual abuse

Assault or maltreatment that is sexual in nature, including intercourse, groping or touching of another person, especially a child.

Shared ownership

A form of occupation available to a tenant who cannot obtain a sufficient mortgage to buy a property outright, giving the person part ownership of the property while they pay rent as a tenant on the rest.

Single room rent restriction/shared room rent

The single room rent restriction creates a limit for (most) under 25s as to the amount of housing benefit that they can receive, it is known as the shared room rent under the local housing allowance scheme. The entitlement is that of the average local rent for shared accommodation.

Sinking fund

Money that can be collected by a freeholder (or managing agent) over a period of years to cover the costs of major repairs, usually to common parts of a block of flats. They are sometimes called 'reserve funds'.

Small claims track

One of the three civil court ‘tracks’, which is normally used in claims worth up to £5,000, but there are some important exceptions with regard to housing cases.


A squatter is a person who enters and occupies property without permission from the person entitled to possession of the property.

Stamp duty

A tax payable on property transactions. Stamp duty is charged at different rates according to the type of property and the value of the transaction.

Standard basis

A method of assessment of costs whereby the court will allow only costs that are proportionate to the matter in issue.

Standard of proof

The degree of certainty that the evidence of the claimant must provide to establish the facts sufficiently for liability to fall on the other party. In civil cases, the standard of proof is on a balance of probability. In committal proceedings arising from a breach of an order made in a civil action, the criminal standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt is required.

Starter tenancy

Starter tenancies can be granted by private rented providers of social landlords (PRPSH)  - formerly known as registered social landlords (RSLs), although in Wales they are still known as RSLs . Starter tenancies are assured shorthold tenancies and are similar to local authority introductory tenancies ,although they are not created by legislation. Tenants with a starter tenancy can be easily evicted. A starter tenancy normally lasts for one year and, provided no action has been taken, the tenancy becomes assured at the end of the trial period. In England, a PRPSH that decides to operate a starter tenancy scheme must give starter tenancies to all new tenants, or all new tenants in a designated area. In Wales, RSLs operating starter tenancy schemes must give a starter tenancy to all new tenants.

Statement of case

A concise but complete statement of the nature of a party's case. The following are all statements of case that must be verified by a statement of truth: a claim form, particulars of claim (where separate from claim form), a defence, a Part 20 claim, a reply to a defence, or any further information given in relation to any of these documents, whether provided voluntarily or by court order.

Statement of terms

Information about a tenancy, including how much rent is due, and the length of any fixed term. Landlords of assured shorthold tenants whose tenancies started on or after 28 February 1997 have to provide this if it is asked for.

Statement of truth

A statement that a person putting forward a particular document believes the facts contained in the document are true. The person making the statement of truth must be the claimant, her/his litigation  friend or legal representative or, for witness statements by other people, the person who makes the witness statement. Unlike affidavits, witness statements do not have to be sworn on oath, but the maker may be found guilty of contempt of court if s/he makes a false statement.

Statement of value

An assessment of the amount that a claimant expects to recover from the defendant in a money claim. This helps the court to allocate the case to the appropriate track and determines the amount of the court fee.


Something that exists by virtue of an Act of Parliament. For example, statutory duties or statutory rights.

Statutory instruments

Secondary legislation. A set of regulations made by Government departments using statutory powers.

Statutory charge

This is the method used by the Legal Services Commission to recover money from an assisted person, where money or property has been obtained or retained in a case.

Statutory nuisance

The conditions that constitute statutory nuisance are set out in The Environmental Protection Act 1990. For action to be taken, the nuisance must be, or likely to be, prejudicial to health, or interfere with their legitimate use and enjoyment of land. Statutory nuisance can include: the poor state of premises, noise, smoke, smell, or behaviour of animals.

Statutory tenancy

The stage of a regulated tenancy that arises after the contractual period ends, for instance if a fixed term expires or if the landlord serves a notice to quit.


A stay imposes a halt to court proceedings, save for taking any steps allowed by the Civil Procedure Rules or the terms of the stay.

Strike out

The court's power to strike out written material so that it may no longer be relied upon in the proceedings or during the whole action. An entire claim can also be struck out.

Stop notices

A stop notice can be issued by the local authority to require the breach of planning control to stop at short notice. The planning authority can issue a temporary stop notice at the start of an unauthorised development before an enforcement notice is served. Failure to comply with a stop notice is a criminal offence.

Student welfare officer

A person employed to advise students about issues such as housing and finances.

Subject to immigration control

There are two different definitions of a 'person subject to immigration control' used in homelessness law. The first definition of 'person subject to immigration control' comes from the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 and refers to persons 'requiring leave to enter or remain' under the Immigration Act 1971. This can include EU/EEA nationals if they do not a right to reside. The second definition, which is contained in section 115 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, specifically excludes EU/EEA nationals.

Subject to contract

A term used to describe an agreement that is not legally binding until contracts have been signed and exchanged. If an offer is made to buy a property, it should be subject to contract.


A subtenancy arises when a tenant creates a tenancy out of her/his interest, but remains in the position of tenant against a higher landlord.


A tenant who leases all or part of a property from an existing tenant.


The automatic transfer of a property to another person upon the death of the tenant.

Summary assessment

The procedure by which a court decides the sum of money to be paid under a costs order at the time the order is made.

Summary judgment

Judgment at an early stage of proceedings where a claim or a defence has no real prospects for of success and where there is no other compelling reason for dealing with the matter at trial.


Surrender can be express in a deed of surrender, or implied. Implied surrender involves an unequivocal act or acts by both the tenant and landlord that are inconsistent with the continuation of the tenancy. An example would be where the tenant hands the keys over to the landlord with an intention to end the tenancy and the landlord accepts the keys and agrees to the tenancy ending.


The right of a surviving joint tenant to the whole tenancy upon the death of one of them.