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Mandatory grounds for ending regulated tenancies

This content applies to England

In order to obtain a possession order on one of the mandatory grounds the landlord need only prove that the ground exists, s/he does not need to prove that it is reasonable to order possession.

Case 11 – returning owner occupier (prior notice required)

The landlord must have previously lived in the property and have served a notice at the start of the tenancy warning the tenant that s/he may ask for possession on this ground. This notice requirement can be waived by the court if it thinks it is just and equitable to do so. The court must be satisfied that one of the following conditions is met:

  • if s/he has died, a member of her/his family living with him at her/his death requires the property
  • a successor wishes to dispose of the property with vacant possession
  • a mortgage lender wishes to dispose of the property with vacant possession
  • the landlord requires the property as her/his residence
  • the landlord needs to dispose of the property with vacant possession in order to purchase another house nearer to her/his work.

Case 12 – landlord's retirement home (prior notice required)

The landlord must have retired and had intended to live in the property on her/his retirement. S/he must have served a notice on the tenant at the start of the tenancy that s/he intended to seek possession on this ground. Possession can also be given if one of the first three conditions above applies. As with Case 11, the court can waive the notice requirement if it is just and equitable.

Case 13 – out of season holiday let (prior notice required)

At the start of the tenancy, the landlord must have served a notice on the tenant warning her/him that s/he intends to seek possession on this ground. The tenancy must be for a fixed term of not more than eight months, and during the twelve months prior to the start of the tenancy it must have been occupied for a holiday.

Case 14 – vacation lets of student accommodation (prior notice required)

This is similar to Case 13, but applies where in the twelve months prior to the start of the tenancy, the property was occupied as a student letting excluded from the Rent Act 1977 (see earlier in this section).

Case 15 – minister of religion (prior notice required)

At the start of the tenancy the landlord must have served a notice on the tenant warning her/him that s/he intends to seek possession on this ground, and the property must be normally occupied by a minister of religion and is needed for occupation by one.

Case 16 – agricultural workers' homes (prior notice required)

This ground is used where the landlord requires the home for occupation by an agricultural worker and the current tenant is not and never has been in employment or is not the widow of a worker. An agricultural worker must have previously occupied the home and at the start of the tenancy the landlord must have served a notice on the tenant warning her/him that s/he intends to seek possession on this ground.

Cases 17 & 18 – farmhouses (prior notice required)

These are two very rare cases, which apply only to farmhouses.

Case 19 – protected shorthold tenancies (prior notice required)

This ground applies where the property has been let on a protected shorthold tenancy and the tenancy has come to an end (see the section on restricted contracts for more details).

Case 20 – landlord is a member of the armed forces (prior notice required)

The landlord must have purchased the property while s/he was a member of the armed forces with the intention of living in it on discharge, and requires the property as her/his residence.

As with Case 11, the following situations apply to this case: if s/he has died a member of her/his family living with him at her/his death requires the property; or a successor or mortgage lender wishes to dispose of the property with vacant possession; or the landlord needs to dispose of the property with vacant possession in order to purchase another house nearer to her/his work. At the start of the tenancy the landlord must have served a notice on the tenant warning them that s/he intends to seek possession on this ground. However the court may waive this if it is just and equitable to do so.

Equality Act 2010 defence

The Equality Act 2010 may provide a defence to a tenant with a 'protected characteristic' (ie disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, race, sex, sexual orientation, and religion or belief) who is subject to possession proceedings.

For further information see the section on Equality law and the Disability discrimination page in relation to disabled tenants.

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