Possession of flexible tenancies

How a local authority can end a flexible tenancy during the fixed term and on expiry of the term.

This content applies to England

Possession during the fixed term

The local authority landlord can recover possession by serving a valid notice of seeking possession (NSP) and by establishing any of the grounds for possession available against a secure tenant, provided that the tenancy agreement contains a forfeiture or re-entry clause.[1]

The prescribed form of the NSP is not the same as that served on periodic secure tenants.

The local authority should comply with the requirements of the Pre-action Protocol for Possession Cases by Social Landlords before pursuing possession proceedings on mandatory grounds or for rent arrears.

Possession when the fixed term expires

The landlord can repossess the property let on a flexible tenancy at the end of the fixed term. To do this, the landlord must serve the correct notices: a notice of non-renewal and a notice seeking possession.

The court must award possession where the local authority has sought possession on the expiry of the fixed term of a flexible tenancy if the:[2]

  • fixed term has expired and no further tenancy has been granted, and

  • local authority served the correct notices

The court may refuse to grant possession if the local authority failed to carry out a review that was requested in time by the tenant, or if the decision on review is wrong in law.[3]

The tenant may be able to raise a public law defence based upon conventional judicial review grounds or a breach of their human rights, or a defence based on unlawful discrimination.

Last updated: 9 March 2021


  • [1]

    s.82(3) Housing Act 1985; Croydon LBC v Kalonga [2020] EWHC 1353 (QB).

  • [2]

    s.107D Housing Act 1985, as inserted by s.154 Localism Act 2011.

  • [3]

    s.107D(6) Housing Act 1985, as inserted by s.154 Localism Act 2011.