Basic Tenant Rights

Spring is sprung,
The grass has riz,
I wonder where the birdies is.

This is a little saying my dearest late Dad used to say at the first hint of warm weather. Well Dad I can tell you where the birdies is… outside my bedroom window singing away at 4.30am in the morning.
However, it’s been a busy old month in Marlborough Law so the early mornings in the sunshine aren’t too much of a hardship. This month we have been tackling some Landlord and Tennant Rights issues in the area. So I thought I would quickly point out the legal position here.

Tenancies– Eviction and Abandoned Goods

A growing majority of people us live in rented accommodation and both landlords and tenants should be aware of some of the basic rights afforded to landlords.


The big one. There are two main routes allowing a landlord take possession of their property if they are private landlords and the tenancy began on or after 28 February 1997 (this most likely means there is an assured shorthold tenancy). Both are under the Housing Act 1988, the s21 and s8 notice.
The s21 notice allows the landlord to regain their property at the end of the tenancy’s fixed period. Provided the notice is served correctly and the right time is allowed (a minimum two months) before seeking possession the landlord gains an automatic right to possession.

The s8 notice is for when the tenant has failed to do something contained within the lease and the Landlord seeks possession on grounds, such as failure to pay rent. Each ground has to be considered, some will be at the court’s discretion to decide upon and other grounds will gain the landlord the automatic right to possession.

Having the right to possession does not mean the landlord can just evict the tenant. First the court must issue a Warrant for Possession, to act before then would be unlawful and could led to a claim against the landlord.

Removal of Goods

At the end of the tenancy many landlords are left with goods in their property. In this situation the landlord becomes bailor and the now exited tenant the bailee of the goods and the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 applies. Many landlords ignore this and dispose of the goods and many tenants do not care if the items left are of little value or no value. However, some devious tenant’s have been known to leave goods, the landlord dispose of said goods, then the tenant brings a claim for unlawful disposal of their goods.

There is a procedure that has to be followed with goods left, and it is safest to follow it rather than find yourself the victim of a claim.

On a lighter note to finish – as I write this on 28th March 2019 it is 100 years to the day when Women were allowed into the legal profession following a meeting by the Law Society at precisely 2.30pm in London.

With the president, Mr. R.A. Pinsent, in the chair, Mr. Samuel Garrett moved:-
‘That in view of the present economic and political position of women, it is in the opinion of this meeting expedient that the existing obstacles to their entry into the legal profession should be removed; and the Council is requested to report this opinion to the Lord Chancellor.’

I for one am extremely glad this opinion was carried through into force as I really enjoy my work in our local area and I thoroughly enjoyed Lady Hale’s 19 page speech given on 20th March but I won’t be asking Mr Lockhart to print that.

Until next month – Stay Safe and Stay Legal


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