Regulated tenancy mandatory grounds for possession

Landlords only need to prove that the ground exists and do not need to prove that it is reasonable to order possession.

This content applies to England

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 they 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 the landlord has died, a member of their family living with them at their 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 their residence

  • the landlord needs to dispose of the property with vacant possession in order to purchase another house nearer to their place of work

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

The landlord must have retired and had intended to live in the property on their retirement. They must have served a notice on the tenant at the start of the tenancy that they 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 them that the landlord 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.

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 them that the landlord 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 them that the landlord 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.

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

The landlord must have purchased the property while they were a member of the armed forces with the intention of living in it on discharge, and requires the property as their residence.

As with Case 11, the following situations apply to this case: 

  • if the landlord has died a member of their family living with him at their death requires the property

  • a successor or mortgage lender wishes to dispose of the property with vacant possession

  • the landlord needs to dispose of the property with vacant possession in order to purchase another house nearer to their work

At the start of the tenancy the landlord must have served a notice on the tenant warning them that the landlord intends to seek possession on this ground. 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' (disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, race, sex, sexual orientation, and religion or belief) who is subject to possession proceedings.

Last updated: 24 March 2021