Landlord And Tenant Procedures And Remedies

Author:Ms Linda Conway
Profession:Dillon Eustace

1. Introduction This update examines the procedures open to landlords facing difficulties where (i) tenants remain in possession beyond the expiration of the stated term of the lease, or (ii) the landlord wishes to terminate the tenancy prior to expiration of the stated term. The correct procedure for terminating a tenancy when the tenant is overholding is to serve a notice to quit on the tenant. In contrast, the procedure for terminating a tenancy prior to the expiration of the stated term is called 'forfeiture'. A notice to quit is usually used to end a periodic tenancy that is, year to year or for lesser period. The landlord is entitled to terminate a periodic tenancy without giving any reason. The tenant does not have to be in breach of his/her lease and the motive of the landlord is irrelevant. In contrast, forfeiture will be applied only when the tenant is in breach of a condition or covenant of his/her lease. 2. Notice Any person may serve a notice to quit. However, any person other than the landlord who serves the notice must have received prior express authorisation from the landlord to serve the notice. Where the landlord is a company, a director, a company secretary or other authorised officer must have express authorisation to serve the notice. In practice, this authorisation should always be in writing. If the tenant refuses to quit, authorisation will have to be proven in court. The notice must be in writing in accordance with Section 16 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992. This notice should be clear and unambiguous, and should contain an explicit demand for possession of the premises on expiry of the stated period. The minimum notice period within which a notice must be served and vacant possession given is four weeks under Section 16 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act. Longer periods are required for certain tenancies. The period of notice for a monthly tenancy is one month expiring on a gale day (i.e. the day on which rent is due). The period of a quarterly tenancy is three months' notice expiring on a gale day. For a year-to-year tenancy, 183 days' notice expiring on the anniversary of the tenancy is required. The notice must come into the possession of the tenant before the period of notice begins to run. Personal service is best to ensure the tenant actually receives the...

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