A tenancy is usually an assured tenancy if any of the following apply:
- the landlord provided the tenant with written notice that it’s an assured tenancy
- the tenant moved to a tenancy with the same landlord, but were an assured tenant immediately before the current tenancy began
- the original tenancy started between 15 January 1989 and 27 February 1997 and the landlord didn’t give the tenant a written agreement or notice (section 20 notice) that it was an assured shorthold tenancy
An assured tenancy has no fixed term, it is an indefinite tenancy (lifetime tenancy) but can be terminated if the tenant breaches any of their obligations.
An assured tenancy can also be terminated if before the tenancy agreement commenced, the tenant was given written notice that the landlord may require possession of the property on any of ground 1-5 of Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1988. On grounds 1 and 2 the court has discretion to waive the requirement to give the tenant prior notice if it is just and equitable to do so.
The notice to serve to to an assured tenant is a section 8 notice .
The notice must:
- be in the up to date prescribed form
- include the ‘grounds’ you are seeking possession on
- include the earliest date court action may commence
There are different notice periods for different grounds. Some grounds are mandatory grounds for possession, which if proven means the court must make a possession order.
Other grounds are discretionary grounds in which a court may make a possession order if the ground relied on is proven and it is reasonable to make a possession order. A court have discretion to dispense with the requirement for a section 8 notice to be served before court proceedings are issued.
Examples of mandatory grounds include:
- more than 8 weeks’ rent arrears owing, or two months if the tenant pays rent monthly,
- antisocial behaviour, if the courts have already convicted you or a member of your household for antisocial behaviour
- the landlord wants to live in the property (if prior notice of the possibility of this was given)
- redevelopment of the property
Examples of discretionary grounds include:
- some rent arrears
- persistent late payment of rent
- breach of tenancy agreement
- antisocial behaviour
- damage to the property
- providing false information which induced the landlord into granting the tenancy
Where a discretionary ground applies a court could make a suspended possession order which terms that the tenant must comply with. If the tenant breaches the terms, the landlord can then seek enforce the suspended possession order.
 Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988
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