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Notices: Regulated tenancies

This content applies to England

Notice requirements for regulated tenancies.

For further information about the the procedure for getting possession of a property let on an regulated tenancy see Ending a regulated tenancy.

exclamation Please, note that from 27 March 2020, all ongoing possession proceedings are suspended for 90 days. For more information about emergency measures introduced to deal with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on tenants, visit the Protection for tenants page in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and housing section.

Contractual protected tenancies

The landlord must first serve a valid notice to quit (NTQ) on the tenant to end a periodic contractual tenancy regulated by the Rent Act 1977. The landlord cannot commence possession proceedings until the notice period has expired, or in cases of fixed-term tenancies until the term has expired.[1] When a contractual tenancy comes to an end, either by NTQ or by effluxion of time and the tenant remains in occupation, a statutory tenancy arises.

For information about the requirements for a landlord's NTQ to be valid see the page Notices to quit: Landlords.

exclamationPlease, note that for any NTQ served on a contractual protected tenant between 26 March 2020 and 30 September 2020, the minimum notice period is three months.[2] For more information about emergency measures introduced to deal with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on tenants, visit the Protection for tenants page in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and housing section.

Statutory tenancies

The landlord does not need to serve any notice on the tenant to end a statutory tenancy regulated by the Rent Act 1977 prior to commence possession proceedings.[3]

exclamationPlease, note that between 26 March 2020 and 30 September 2020 a landlord will be required to serve at least three months' notice of intention to commence proceedings.[4] For more information about emergency measures introduced to deal with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on tenants, visit the Protection for tenants page in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and housing section.

When the statutory tenancy arises, the tenant ceases to have a legal interest in land, but instead has a personal right of occupation. The obligations of the parties to the contract remain as before.[5]

Rent is still payable but where the contractual protected tenancy has ended, the landlord can claim payment of mesne profits instead of claiming payment of rent. This is to avoid a former tenant being able to use the argument that the payment of rent following the termination of the original contractual tenancy has given rise to the creation of a new contractual tenancy.[6] Mesne profits are a form of compensation for use of land, which may be claimed after a contractual protected tenancy ends but where the former tenant holds on to possession of the premises subject to the former tenancy. A landlord can recover mesne profits from the date of the expiry of the tenant's legal interest in the land and until possession is ordered. Mesne profits are usually calculated according to the fair value of the premises but in cases of regulated tenants this fair value will not usually exceed the level of a fair rent.[7]

Wales

The information on this page applies only to England. Go to Shelter Cymru for information relating to Wales.

[1] s.5, Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

[2] s.5(1) Protection from Eviction Act 1977, as amended by para 2(1)(-2) Sch 29 Coronavirus Act 2020; para 1 Sch 29 Coronavirus Act 2020

[3] s.3(4), Rent Act 1977.

[4] ss. 4A-4F Rent Act 1977, as inserted by para 2(3) Sch 29 Coronavirus Act 2020; para 1 Sch 29 Coronavirus Act 2020.

[5] Sch.1, part II, para 13(2), Rent Act 1977.

[6] Braintree DC v Vincent [2004] EWCA Civ 415.

[7] Swordheath Properties Ltd v Tabet [1979] 1 WLR 285, CA.

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