Saturday, 30 June 2012


If your landlord pesters the life out of you for no apparent reason or attempts entry into your home without serving you with the required 24 hours advance notice in writing. That is an harassment and also trespass.  

There are many other forms of harassment so take a look at what the Act states;

Harassment - never be tempted to threaten a tenant or interfere with the property in any
way or you could be accused of harassment. Under the Protection from Eviction Act
1977 there are quite severe penalties for landlords convicted of harassment / threatened or
unlawful eviction, which are criminal offences.
If relations become strained it’s best to avoid personal contact with your tenant/s
without a witness being present, or better still, use a third party such as a letting agent or
solicitor. Otherwise you may be wrongfully accused of harassment, which can be very
difficult to disprove
Your Rights

Protection from Harassment Act 1997

The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (PHA) attempted to remedy this gap in the law. The PHA makes it a criminal offence to pursue a course of conduct which amounts to harassment of a person. A court may issue a restraining order against someone found guilty of such an offence. Amendments to the PHA introduced by the Domestic Violence, Crimes and Victims Act 2004 will also give courts the power to issue a restraining order in certain circumstances against a defendant acquitted of a charge of harassment. However, at the time of writing this amendment particular has not yet come into force.

In addition to the criminal offence, the PHA also creates a civil statutory tort of harassment, which enables a person to obtain a civil court injunction to stop harassment occurring and to claim damages where appropriate.

This is a very important piece of legislation which can potentially provide protection in neighbourhood disputes, cases of racial harassment, bullying at work, confrontation with the media or stalking, as well as hate mail and persistent unwanted telephone calls. The PHA can also potentially apply in cases of domestic abuse.

There are defences to a charge of harassment set out in the PHA. In particular, conduct will not be harassment if it was pursued for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime; or it was pursued under any enactment or rule of law; or that in the particular circumstances the pursuit of the course of conduct was reasonable.

There is no complete definition of harassment in the PHA and so it will be a matter for assessment based on the facts in each case, though the PHA does make it clear that harassment includes causing alarm or distress. It is important to note that there must be a ‘course of conduct’ in order to bring a claim. This means that there must be at least two incidents representing harassment - more than one telephone call - and the person who is carrying out the harassment must know or ought to know that it would amount to harassment. Although two incidents can be enough, the fewer the incidents, and the further apart in time they are, the less likely a court will be to find that there has been a ‘course of conduct’.

The PHA can be relied upon not only against living people who harass, but also against companies. For example, it has been established that a publication of a series of newspaper articles by a newspaper can constitute a course of conduct amounting to harassment. Only individuals can be victims of harassment, and a person cannot be guilty of harassing a company or organisation. However, harassment of employees, directors or shareholdres of a company is an offence, so in practice the PHA can and has been used to protect corporations.

In 2001, the PHA was amended by the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 to make it clear that the PHA protects an individual from collective harassment by two or more people . This amendment remedied a potential loophole where two or more people each carried out only one act of harassment.

In 2005, the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (SOCPA) created two new harassment-related offences. The first was introduced by SOCPA into the PHA : this is the offence of harassing 2 or more people either to deter them from engaging in lawful activities, or to persuade them to do something they are not obliged to do. There is concern that this provision will have a chilling effect on free speech and the right to peaceful protest, as it is easier now for companies and other organisations to use the PHA to protect themselves from protesters, as a single act of protest that targets one company may involve the harassment of several employees, and so breach this section. However, the defence of reasonableness also applies in this section, so persons exercising the right to peaceful protest can argue that their conduct is reasonable and therefore not harassment.

The second new offence was added by SOCPA to the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 : this is the offence of harassment of a person in his or her home by someone outside it or in its vicinity. To commit this offence, the perpetrator must be where he or she is for the purpose of telling or persuading a resident of the home that he or she should not do something which they are entitled or required to do, or that he or she should do something which they are not obliged to do. The perpetrator must also have the relevant intention or degree of knowledge that his presence would cause the resident harassment or alarm of distress. However, the perpetrator need not actually cause anyone harassment or alarm of distress, provided it is likely to occur; and the likely victim of such harassment or alarm or distress need not be the resident of the home, but may be anyone in any home in the vicinity.

These new offences were both designed to curb the activities of certain political and other protesters and pressure groups, particularly people who were considered to be “animal rights extremists” . However, the wording of the legislation is not limited to any particular class of defendant, and will cover any cases which satisfy the criteria for the relevant offence, including any arising in the context of neighbourhood or domestic disputes. It has also been used against peaceful protesters who want to protest against a particular organisation, but where the police considered that their actions may cause harassment to persons who lived in the vicinity, even though those persons were not the target of the protesters. This law can therefore potentially impact on the right of peaceful protest (see right of peaceful protest). A particularly worrying feature of this law is that there is not defence of reasonableness, so a person will not be able to say that their actions should not be harassment because they were reasonable.


All tenants are entitled to live safely and peacefully in their homes and harassment by your landlord or a person instructed by your landlord is an offence. Harassment can be in several different forms some of which are listed below:
  • Entering your home without prior notification.
  • Changing the locks.
  • Cutting off your utilities, such as gas, water and electricity.
  • Tampering with your mail or possessions.
  • Threatening you verbally or physically.

Keep a record of any instances where harassment has occurred, names of witnesses or anyone who may have become involved, doctors, police, etc.  Also get advice from your local council as soon as possible as they may be able to advise or help you further.
Go to top

    Illegal Eviction

Landlords must follow the correct legal procedure to evict a tenant. In most cases this involves serving a notice requiring possession.
Most rent paying tenants are protected from illegal eviction and harassment by their landlords in the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 and the Housing Act 1988. However, if you have been illegally evicted you should seek legal advice. You have the right to apply for a court injunction to be allowed back into your home and your landlord can be liable for an unlimited fine and/or two years imprisonment.
The landlord can evict you if he can prove to a court that one of the mandatory grounds for possession is satisfied.
Take a look at the following links for further assistance;






This link deals with harassment worth a second look



Although the letting of property can be a lucrative source of income for a landlord, the granting of a tenancy can be an expensive and time consuming process. Landlords therefore almost always require a prospective tenant to pay a holding deposit even before the tenancy is agreed, as well as a further amount of money as a dilapidations deposit to cover any damage that occurs to the property during the tenancy.

Protection of Deposits

Since 2007, and the implementation of the Housing Act 2004 (as amended by the Localism Act 2011), in many prescribed situations tenancy deposits are required to be protected by a government-authorised scheme. Assured shorthold tenancies, the standard tenancy granted, are affected by this significant change, the purposes of which are to safeguard tenancy deposits and facilitate the resolution of disputes occurring in connection with such deposits. This prohibits landlords taking a deposit unless it is safeguarded by a scheme; such deposits must be paid by the landlord or agent into the custodial deposit protection scheme or held by them in a separate account protected by a relevant deposit scheme. The tenancy agreement must clearly state which scheme is to be used and the circumstances in which all or part of the deposit may be withheld at the end of the tenancy.
Where a deposit is held under one of the government sponsored tenancy deposit protection schemes, it will be necessary to follow the scheme procedures for the release of the tenancy deposit monies. Where there are deductions it will normally be necessary to gain the agreement of both the landlord and tenant regarding these deductions before the deposit can be released. If the agreement is not forthcoming, the dispute can be referred to the scheme dispute resolution process.


The tenancy deposit protection legislation contains onerous sanctions for non-compliance which have now been amended by the introduction of the Localism Act 2011 on 6th April 2012. Where the landlord or other person receiving the deposit has not complied with the legislation, the following sanctions are available:
  • The landlord will not be able to regain possession of the property under section 21 where they have failed to protect the deposit within the 30 day period (previously 14 days) unless:
    • the deposit has first been returned to the tenant in full, or with such deductions as agreed with the tenant; or
    • any court proceedings brought by the tenant for non-compliance have been concluded, withdrawn or settled.
  • Where the correct prescribed information has not been given to the tenant a section 21 notice cannot be served until the correct prescribed information has been provided (but this can be more than 30 days after receiving the deposit).
  • Where the court believes that the landlord or agent has failed to comply with these requirements they will be ordered to pay a fine to the tenant of between one and three times the deposit amount, even where the tenancy has ended.

Holding deposit

There is often a delay between a tenant applying to take a property and the property becoming vacant, during which any references and credit checks are undertaken. Therefore, the position of the landlord is commonly protected by the taking of a holding, or reservation, deposit. Such a deposit indicates the prospective tenant’s commitment to renting the property, as the undertaking of credit checks and references can be time-consuming and expensive and other applications may be turned away. All or part of the deposit may be retained by the landlord if the tenant withdraws or if references or credit-checks prove unsatisfactory, but such conditions should made clear to the prospective tenant on acceptance of the deposit. If the tenant is not provided with this information, he may be entitled to reclaim repayment of the deposit from the landlord or agent.
Holding deposits are not subject to statutory tenancy deposit protection if they are accepted prior to the granting if a tenancy, and are not used as a bond during the tenancy. If they are included in the dilapidations deposit once the tenancy has been agreed, they will be require the protection of a government-authorised scheme.

Dilapidations deposit

If the credit-check and references are satisfactory, before the tenant takes possession of the property he may also be required to add to the holdings deposit in the form of a larger tenancy dilapidations deposit. As the landlord is entrusting to the tenant a valuable asset, and perhaps also his furnishings, it will be very important to him that the value of his property is not diminished. The dilapidations deposit safeguards the landlord against any risk of loss arising from the tenant’s use of his property, as it can be offset against outstanding expenses at the end of the tenancy.  This acts as a security, to protect the landlord from suffering loss as a result of any breach of a covenant contained in the tenancy agreement, such as the tenant leaving the property but owing money to the landlord for any damages, unpaid rent or unpaid household bills. 

At the end of the tenancy the landlord will record dilapidations. If these are significant then it is advisable for him to draw up a schedule of dilapidations to enable him to claim dilapidations from the tenancy deposit. Once the tenant has returned the keys and check-out has been completed, it is important that the dilapidations deposit is returned to the tenant with reasonable expedience. This may involve the obtaining of estimates for any work needing to be done as a result of dilapidations, so that any remaining deposit monies can be returned to the tenant.

There are no limits on the size of deposit that can be held, and typically a tenancy dilapidations deposit will be approximately four to six weeks rent. It is useful for the landlord to require a deposit of at least four weeks rent as he may be able to retain it at the end of the tenancy if, as often occurs, the tenant does not pay the last month’s rent before leaving the property. However, a deposit equal to more than two months rent might be regarded a premium which may give the tenant a right to assign or sublet the tenancy to another person (s. 15 Housing Act 1988 tenancies only, not common law tenancies).

The tenant’s money

The deposit funds remain the tenant’s money, and can only be utilised or appropriated without his consent if there has been a breach of the covenant contained in the lease. It is therefore essential that the tenancy agreement contains a clause allowing the landlord or letting agent to utilise the tenant’s deposit if there has been a breach of any covenant contained in the lease. If the deposit is held solely ‘against dilapidations’, then it may not be used for any other purpose than to fairly compensate the landlord for the dilapidations that have occurred.

Return of the deposit

The dilapidations deposit should be promptly returned to the tenant, provided he has looked after the property in a ‘tenant like’ manner, observed all of the covenants in the tenancy and restored the property to the landlord in a clear and undamaged condition. The deposit should be returned to the tenant in full if there are no dilapidations, or in part if any dilapidations he has caused are of lesser value than the deposit. There is no legal requirement for interest on the dilapidations deposit to be paid to the tenant. However, deposit funds are effectively held in trust by the landlord or the agent, so the tenant is usually entitled to any interest gained unless it is agreed otherwise. For clarity, it is beneficial that the position as to interest is included in the tenancy agreement. There should also be a clause stating whether the deposit is held by the agent ‘as agent for the landlord’ or ‘as stakeholder’.

Relevant Factsheets

Landlords' Repairing Obligations

(principally under section 11, Landlord and Tenant Act 1985)


This Factsheet describes the landlord's main responsibilities for repairs; principally those which are implied into all short leases for residential property by section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
A short lease or tenancy means a tenancy agreed for less than seven years. Short leases also include periodic tenancies where the tenant has not got a fixed term agreement and occupies the property e.g. from week to week or month to month.

Key Provisions:

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (LTA) states that where the landlord has granted a lease of less than seven years, or a periodic tenancy, the landlord will  normally be responsible:
(a) to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling, including drains, gutters and external pipes,
(b) to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling for the supply of water, gas, electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences) but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity, and
(c) to keep in repair and proper working order the installation in the dwelling for space heating and heating water.(Section 11, LTA 1985)
These provisions apply to leases entered into on or after 30 October 1985:

Keep in Repair:

'Keep in repair' means that the landlord must keep up the standard of repair from the start of the tenancy.  The landlord must also ensure that the premises are put into repair even if they were not in good repair at the start of the tenancy.  'Repair' does not include any duty to effect improvements.  If there is a defect in construction this will not be actionable under s11 as the property will not be in disrepair.  A claim by a tenant to a landlord as a result of an attack of black mould in a property was rejected by the courts as the damage was as a result of condensation and did not directly result through any disrepair.
If the tenant is in breach of his duty to behave in a tenant-like manner the landlord will not be responsible for any works or repairs because of that breach.  For example, if the tenant decides to put in central heating without permission and damages any existing plumbing or the structure of the building, the landlord will not be responsible for putting the matter right.  The landlord will also not be responsible for rebuilding or reinstating the premises if destroyed by fire, tempest, flood or other inevitable accident, or be responsible for keeping in repair or maintaining anything which belongs to the tenant.


LTA, section 11 states that the landlord must keep in repair and working order all the installations for the supply of water, gas and electricity, and for sanitation; and also installations for space heating and heating water. Section 11 will therefore apply to cisterns, water tanks , radiators, boilers, heating ducts and all gas and water pipework in the property. It also includes an obligation to keep in good repair the fixed electrical wiring and associated sockets.

Structure and Exterior:

Section 11, LTA 1985 only makes provision for disrepair to the structure or exterior.  Thus damage or disrepair that is not structural will not be covered.
'Exterior', for the purposes of s.11, is the outside or external parts of a dwelling, but does not include items such as outside paving, garden walls and gates etc.  While 'structure' covers more than structural defects, in the sense of those which hold the dwelling together, it does not include purely decorative items nor generally those such as internal plaster, plaster, skirting boards, internal doors etc. although these may well be affected by other items of disrepair and, if so, will be caught by the duty to make good.
Furthermore, the landlord is clearly not responsible for a breakage by the tenant (e.g. broken window), for that would be the tenant's responsibility as part of his duty to use the premises in a tenant-like manner.


The landlord's obligations under section 11 will not arise until he has been given notice of the defect.  Once the tenant has given the landlord notice of the disrepair the tenant must allow the landlord a reasonable period (see below) to carry out the required repairs.  Notice, for the purposes of this section, does not need to be in any specific form.  It may be written or oral, although it is easier to prove that notice was given if it is in written format, and it may be given to an agent for the landlord.
This requirement for notice does not extend to common parts, or facilities which are mentioned in section 11 but which are outside the premises, for example a faulty step in an entrance hall of a block of flats.
A tenant will have to prove they have given notice of disrepair if they decide to pursue a claim.  Usually copy letters or, if verbal notice was given, copy letters from the landlord agreeing to execute works.  Notice can also be shown if a surveyor or other agent of the landlord has been employed to inspect the premises following verbal notification of disrepair.

Rights of Entry:

It is an implied term of all Housing Act assured tenancies (and also of Rent Act protected tenancies prior to this) that the tenant will afford the landlord all reasonable facilities for access and the execution of any repairs which the landlord is entitled to carry out (Housing Act 1988, s.16).   When the landlord is under an implied covenant to repair, he, or any person authorised by him in writing, may at reasonable times of the day and on giving 24 hours notice in writing to the occupier, enter the premises comprised in the lease for the purpose of viewing their condition and state of repair.

Reasonable Time:

Once the landlord has received notice of the disrepair, the repairs must then be done within a reasonable time.  "Reasonable time" will be judged by the type and extent of the disrepair.  The bigger and more expensive the repair necessary the longer the time period would probably be.  Note, however, that where the repair necessarily is in the nature of an emergency (e.g. where the fault is a burst or broken water pipe or a total electrical failure) then "reasonable time" may be very short indeed regardless of any other considerations.  Even where it is something less urgent, such as missing roof tiles, the landlord should use reasonable expedience and a delay of a week or two should normally be acceptable.  Where the disrepair involves major structural works, these take time to arrange and co-ordinate and the landlord would be justified in taking longer.

Exclusions etc:

The landlord is not required to keep in repair or maintain such of the tenants own belongings as he is entitled to remove from the property, or to do works for which the tenant is liable under the duty to use the premises in a tenant-like manner.  Also, a landlord is not liable to rebuild, or re-instate the premises in the case of destruction or damage by fire, or by tempest, flood or other inevitable accident.
The repairing obligations under Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 do not apply to:
- a lease of a dwelling house which is a tenancy of an agricultural holding
- a lease granted to specific types of bodies including a local authority, a new town corporation, an urban development corporation, housing associations, or a housing action trust
- a lease granted to specified educational institution, or a government department

Tenant's Remedies:

The tenant can recover financial compensation for losses which result from the landlord's failure to repair provided, of course, that these losses are reasonably foreseeable, although not for any losses incurred prior to the landlord having knowledge of the disrepair. Also, if the tenant refuses to give the landlord access to the premises to carry out the work then no damages will be recoverable.
DAMAGES: The aim of damages is to restore the tenant to the position he or she would have been in had there been no breach  of repairing covenant.  The amount of damages awarded will depend on the circumstances of the case, and the true losses suffered by the tenant.  A compensation award to a tenant might include the cost of the tenant carrying out the repairs on the landlord's behalf, the cost of restoring internal decoration, compensation for the inconvenience of living in premises that were out of repair, compensation for injury to health, the cost of moving to and occupying alternative accommodation, and the cost of storing furniture.
SET-OFF / SELF HELP: Tenants sometimes withhold rent on the basis of using the rent to pay for repairs that the tenant claims the landlord should have carried out, but generally the tenant has no legal right to set-off in this way.  However in certain circumstances, a tenant may use the rent to pay for repairs or offset rent arrears where the landlord has clearly breached a repairing obligation and has failed or refused to carry out the repairs.  This right is provided only in the circumstances outlined above and when exercised according to a clearly defined procedure; the tenant must inform his landlord that he intends to carry out the repairs himself and submit any estimates, in order to allow the landlord a chance to carry out the works himself.
SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE: A court can order a landlord to carry out his repairing obligations.

Other Repairing Obligations:

This Factsheet only covers the landlord's main repairing obligations implied in law.
In addition, the tenancy may be subject to any further terms agreed in the tenancy agreement.
The common law will imply certain repairing obligations for common parts:
  • Where the landlord retains control of a part of a building and lets another part, he must maintain that first part so as to prevent injury to the tenant or damage to the property e.g. maintaining a common roof to prevent damp entering .
  • where the tenant is given a contractual right to use another part of a building other than that let, e.g. a shared bathroom, the landlord is under an obligation to maintain that part for use by the tenant.
  • the landlord must maintain facilities necessary for use by the tenant, e.g. lifts, rubbish chutes etc.
Because the common parts are considered to remain within the landlord's control, tenants are not required to give the landlord notice of disrepair before the obligation to repair arises within the common part.
If remedial works necessitate access to parts of the building or installation over which the landlord does not have a sufficient right to gain access, it is a defence to an action for breach of section 11 to show that s/he made all reasonable efforts to gain access but has been unable to do so.
Landlords are required by the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 to ensure that all gas appliances (and any flues and pipework serving such appliances) are maintained in good order and that an annual safety check is carried out (although landlords are not responsible for maintaining gas appliances which the tenant is entitled to take with him.  Further information is given in a separate factsheet (Letting Factsheet No. 7)
Similarly, the landlord is required to ensure that, prior to any letting, the electrical system and any electrical appliances that are supplied as part of the rented property such as cookers, kettles,  toasters, washing machines and immersion heaters are safe to use.  Further information is given in a separate factsheet (Letting Factsheet No. 4)
Any furniture and furnishings supplied by the landlord within the rented property must meet the fire resistance requirements in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire)(Safety) Regulations 1988 and most modern furniture will have a manufacturer's label attached to it which identifies whether the particular item meets the relevant standards.  The Regulations apply to all furniture, both new and second-hand that is provided in rented accommodation although there are exemptions for items made before 1950.  Further information is given in a separate factsheet (Letting Factsheet No. 3)
The fitness for human habitation rules under the Housing Act 1985 have been replaced by the more extensive and complicated provisions of Part 1 Housing Act 2004.  These provide a new system for assessing housing conditions and enforcing housing standards called the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (or HHSRS for short ).  Action by authorities will be based on a three-stage consideration: (a) the hazard rating determined under HHSRS; (b) whether the authority has a duty or power to act, determined by the presence of a hazard above or below a threshold prescribed by Regulations (Category 1 and Category 2 hazards); and (c) the authority's judgement as to the most appropriate course of action to deal with the hazard.
This provides for a scoring system for different types of hazard likely to be found in rented properties. A 70 page guidance to this new scheme for landlords, agents and other housing professionals has been published by the Department of Communities and Local Government, the successor to the much lamented Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, and is available on the DCLG web site at
This is a suggested process from the Guidance that a landlord could adopt to minimise the chances of any unacceptable hazards.
1. Inspect property
Room-by-room, checking elements, fixtures and fittings.
Check common parts (e.g., stairs and shared rooms and amenities).
Check outside the building, looking at the external elements, and the yards/gardens and paths.
Record any deficiencies, disrepair or anything else that may give rise to a hazard.
2. Deficiencies Hazards
Check if any of the deficiencies and faults contribute to any one or more of the 29 hazards specified in the Guidance.
Do deficiencies -
(a) Increase the likelihood of a harmful occurrence? or
(b) Increase the severity of the harm?
3. Remedial action/work
Decide what needs to be done to remedy deficiencies and to reduce risks as low as reasonably practicable.
Work out a timetable for having works done.
Some action may be very urgent where an immediate risk to current occupiers is identified, others may be less urgent.
4. Keep Records
Record the programme of works.
Record date when works finished.
5. Review
Check that hazards have been removed/minimised.
Re-inspect property. (How frequently this needs to be done depends on the age and type of property, and whether there has been any change of occupants.  Some elements or facilities will need to be checked more frequently than others or when required by law (e.g., gas appliances) or by an accreditation scheme.)
As this new scheme is in its infancy it is less than clear just how it will work.

Sources for Further Information:

Housing Act 2004

If you have a problem with your landlord failing to correct any of the faults that require repair and which may be a hazard to your health or safety then you should contact the appropriate department of your local council IN WRITING not by telephone and describe your problem to them. Click on the following link relating to the requirements and definitions.

Prescribed information

relating to tenancy deposits

2.—(1) The following is prescribed information for the purposes of section 213(5) of the Housing Act 2004 (“the Act”)—

(a)the name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and any fax number of the scheme administrator(1) of the authorised tenancy deposit scheme(2) applying to the deposit;

(b)any information contained in a leaflet supplied by the scheme administrator to the landlord which explains the operation of the provisions contained in sections 212 to 215 of, and Schedule 10 to, the Act(3);

(c)the procedures that apply under the scheme by which an amount in respect of a deposit may be paid or repaid to the tenant at the end of the shorthold tenancy(4) (“the tenancy”);

(d)the procedures that apply under the scheme where either the landlord or the tenant is not contactable at the end of the tenancy;

(e)the procedures that apply under the scheme where the landlord and the tenant dispute the amount to be paid or repaid to the tenant in respect of the deposit;

(f)the facilities available under the scheme for enabling a dispute relating to the deposit to be resolved without recourse to litigation; and

(g)the following information in connection with the tenancy in respect of which the deposit has been paid—

(i)the amount of the deposit paid;

(ii)the address of the property to which the tenancy relates;

(iii)the name, address, telephone number, and any e-mail address or fax number of the landlord;

(iv)the name, address, telephone number, and any e-mail address or fax number of the tenant, including such details that should be used by the landlord or scheme administrator for the purpose of contacting the tenant at the end of the tenancy;

(v)the name, address, telephone number and any e-mail address or fax number of any relevant person;

(vi)the circumstances when all or part of the deposit may be retained by the landlord, by reference to the terms of the tenancy; and

(vii)confirmation (in the form of a certificate signed by the landlord) that—

(aa)the information he provides under this sub-paragraph is accurate to the best of his knowledge and belief; and

(bb)he has given the tenant the opportunity to sign any document containing the information provided by the landlord under this article by way of confirmation that the information is accurate to the best of his knowledge and belief.

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(d), the reference to a landlord or a tenant who is not contactable includes a landlord or tenant whose whereabouts are known, but who is failing to respond to communications in respect of the deposit.

Thursday, 28 June 2012


A notice can be issued more than two months before the 
end of a tenancy but it should not be dated to expire on or 
before the last day of the tenancy. For example, if a Section 
21 notice was issued four months before the tenancy was 
due to end, the notice would have to be dated after the last 
day of the fixed term.

If a section 21 notice is issued during the initial fixed term of a 
tenancy to regain possession at the end of the fixed term tenancy, 
then should the landlord decide to grant another fixed term, 
a new section 21 notice would be required to regain possession.


A Section 21 notice must be served before possession order will be 
issued by a court.  Possession under this section of the Housing Act 
1988 cannot take place during the fixed term of the tenancy, but the 
notice can be served at any time during the fixed term provided the 
tenant is given a minimum of two months' notice.  The tenant is not 
required to give up possession of a property until a minimum of two 
months after the Section 21 notice to quit was served.  This includes 
Section 21 notices served up until the last day of the fixed term.

The provisions in section 21(1)(b) applying to fixed term tenancies state:

"Without prejudice to any right of the landlord under an assured 
shorthold tenancy to recover possession of the dwelling-house let 
on the tenancy in accordance with Chapter I above, on or after the 
coming to an end of an assured shorthold tenancy which was a 
fixed-term tenancy, a court shall make an order for possession of  
the dwelling-house if it is satisfied-

a)  that the assured shorthold tenancy has come to an end and no 
further assured tenancy (whether shorthold or not) is for the time 
being in existence, other than a statutory periodic tenancy: and

b)  the landlord, or in the case of joint landlords, at least one 
of them has given to the tenant not less than two months' 
notice stating that he requires possession of the dwelling-house."

Section 21

Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 as amended by the Housing Act 
1996 requires that the landlord provides tenants of an Assured 
Shorthold Tenancy (AST) with a minimum of two months' notice in 
writing, stating that possession of the property is sought.  The two 
months starts when the tenant receives the notice not when the 
notice was written/posted. 


Under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 as amended by the 
Housing Act 1996, a landlord has a legal right to get his property 
back at the end of an assured shorthold tenancy. 

In order to invoke this right, he is required to follow the correct 
legal procedure which involves serving a section 21 notice to quit 
on the tenant or tenants.  A section 21 notice can be issued at 
any time during the fixed tenancy or during the periodic tenancy 
although different notices will be required depending on whether 
the tenant is in a fixed or periodic tenancy.

If a landlord wishes to regain possession before the end of the 
agreed term, this may be possible if he can show certain conditions 
have been met.  In order to do this he must first issue the tenant 
with a valid section 8 notice to quit.


A landlord has the legal right to retain possession at the 
end of a tenancy but must follow the correct legal procedure, 
which includes serving a section 21 notice. The Housing Act 
1996 amended the section 21 of the 1988 Act by requiring 
this notice to be given in writing.

Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 is divided into subsections 
with different procedures to be followed depending on whether 
the Section 21 notice is served before the fixed term has come 
to an end or after, when the tenancy has become a periodic tenancy. 

Before the section 21 Notice can be issued the Landlord must 
ensure that the deposit has been administered. Changes brought 
in by the Localism Bill give the landlord 30 days to attend to the 
deposit and to issue the presribed information. Unless this is 
done a Section 21 Notice cannot be enforced.

'Section 21 Notice to Quit'

A 'Section 21 Notice to Quit', so called because it operates under 
section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, is the notice a landlord can 
give to a tenant to regain possession of a property at the end 
of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST).  The landlord is able to 
issue the tenant with a section 21 notice without giving any reason 
for ending the tenancy agreement. It cannot be served until after the 
tenancy has commenced and it os good practice not to issue it the 
day the tenancy is created.

Arrears Letters Protocol

Civil Procedure 55, These are the rules that a Judge must follow in 
determining if a tenant should be evicted on the grounds of Rent 
arrears. Whilst Ground 8  of the Housing Act is defined as mandatory 
in reality, this is not so as the Judge has discretionary powers to  
grant a suspended possession order

To strengthen our case we MUST provide the Judge with a 
statement of account so they may see firsthand the tenant’s 
conduct of repeated arrears and missed payments.
This must be in a predefined layout Print letter

A statement of account MUST be supplied to the tenant within 7 days 
of making an application for possession for rent arrears.
Claims which may be started using Possession Claims Online


Nowadays there is a huge amount of resources and services 
that are readily available to tenants. Amongst these are Shelter, 
Legal Aid, Councils themselves, and Citizens Advice that are 
able and willing to assist the tenant’s “plight”. They have staff 
who are familiar with Tenant Landlord Law and will happily 
inform the tenants of their rights. In some cases, eviction is 
further delayed because innocent mistakes the Landlord has 
made are exploited for the tenants' benefit. Sometimes Tenants 
are incited to make accusations – such as the property is in disrepair, 
harassment, non-compliance with deposit protection process etc. 
In such circumstance, evictions may become a complicated court 
case and eviction can be delayed for months In this section we 
include possible steps that you can take to improve your situation 
to resolve rent arrears problems and to achieve a successful eviction.

Benefits Claimant Council Advice

Tenants who are claiming benefits are more likely to be 
advised to stay put, for they cannot be evicted until the 
Landlord obtains a court order and then appoints a Bailiff.

Rent Arrears Letters

Rent Arrears Letters

First rent payment this must comply with Section 47 of 
Landlord Tenant Act

Second letter 3 weeks after first missed payment, a week before 
second month due

Third letter 7 days after second missed payment

Issue a Section 8 Notice for rent arrears

Seven days after the Section 8 Notice has been issued you 
could send this letter Final demand before you make your 
application to the courts

If you apply for possession for rent  arrears civil procedure 
55 means you must send an up to date rent statement within 
seven days - it must be in this layout.

Rent Arrears Letters

It is only once the Tenant has failed to remedy the situation 
highlighted in your rent arrears letters that can you issue a 
valid legal Section 8 Notice.
Should the situation not be remedied 

ONLY then can you proceed with court action.

Where a Tenant is in rent arrears you have a legal obligation to 
provide them and if applicable guarantors, with a statement of 
account. (Section 47 Landlord Tenant Act)

Sending rent arrears letters is a requirement of the civil procedure 
55 this is the Judicial system Judges MUST follow when dealing with 
Tenant eviction.

In Molyneax-Child-v-Coe 1996 at Guildford County Court, a landlord 
who faxed a letter to his tenant at work about rent arrears had to pay 
£750 damages.

Tenancy Deposit Protection 
is designed to ensure:

Tenants get all or part of their deposit back, when they are entitled to it.
Any disputes between Tenants and Landlords or Agents will be easier to resolve.
Landlords and Letting Agents who do not protect tenancy deposits 
may have to pay their Tenant back three times the deposit.

Penalties for failing to comply

If a Landlord or Agent fails to comply with the deposit legislation
they maybe ordered to pay the Tenant three times the amount
of rent paid over the duration of the tenancy, with further
penalties that may include being unable to serve a
Section 21 Notice, until the deposit has been protected and
the prescribed information has been supplied to the
Tenant and any other relevant person.


Within 30 days of receiving a deposit the Landlord or Agent
must lodge the deposit in a scheme or insure it.

They must also give the tenant and any other person/entity
who provided the deposit, details about how their deposit
is protected including:

1. The contact details of the tenancy deposit scheme selected.

2. Provide the prescribed information and schemes' conditions
to the tenant and other person(s) who may have paid the
deposit (parent etc).

3. Details from the scheme of how to apply for the release of the deposit.

4. Information explaining the purpose of the deposit and
definition of how such monies would be returned.

5. What to do if there is a dispute about the deposit.