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


  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


    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


    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 notice before

    that time. Notice can also be served on the spouse of the

    tenant or any person whose duty it would be to inform...

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