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chatham-chamber
chatham-chamber, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 11614
Experience:  LL.B, Pg.Dip, LL.M, M.B.A (Pending), Solicitor-Advocate. UK Practising Certificate issued by SRA., DIFC Courts Registered (Dubai)
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Hi, I am in the process of signing assured shorthold tenancy.

Customer Question

Hi,

I am in the process of signing assured shorthold tenancy. The contract refers to the grounds of reposession named in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act of 1988:

"Notice is given to the tenant and is acknowledged by the tenant that the landlord being the the owner/occupier of the Property within the meaning of Ground 1 of part 1 of Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 as amended by the Housing Act 1996 possession of the Property may be recovered by the Landlord under the said Ground 1 and by virtue of Sections 7 and 8 of the said Act save that possession will not be sought under this clause during the first six months of the tenancy."

it further states in the definitions section:

"The basis upon which the landlord can recover possession from the tenant during the fixed term are set out in the Grounds of Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 (as amended) and which are referred to in this Agreement are as follows:
Ground 1: the landlord has given notice to the tenant that the landlord is the owner/occupier of the Property and that:
(a) at some time before the beginning of the Tenancy the Landlord (or joint landlords if applicable) who is seeking possession, at least one of them occupied the dwelling house as his only or principal home; or
(b) the landlord or joint landlords if applicable who is seeking possession, at least of them required the dwelling house as his or his spouse's only or principal home and neither the landlord nor any other person who, as landlord, derived title under the landlord who gave the notice mentioned above acquired the interest in the Tenancy for money or money's worth.
and that possession of the Property may be recovered under Ground 1 of part 1 of Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988."

I do not understand the meaning and the consequences of Ground 1 (a). To me it reads that just because the property has been the principal home of the landlord at some point in time in the past, he can claim recover possession of the property during the fixed term, i.e. without giving any further reason and without any need for the property as his main home at the time of claiming possession (as this seems to be covered by (b) and (a) and (b) are linked by an "or"). Is my understanding correct?

I also wonder what the term "dwelling-house" means. The property is the second floor flat of a converted building, now consisting of office space on the ground floor, a flat in the first floor (which is occupied by the landlord) and said flat ("the Property") on the second floor. I would guess that as long as he lives in the flat on the first floor, he cannot gain possession of the second floor flat based on Ground 1. Correct?

Thank you very much for our help

Florian
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  chatham-chamber replied 2 years ago.

chatham-chamber :

Hi, has Notice already been served upon you?

JACUSTOMER-gdbxmkl7- : No, i am just about to sign a tenancy agreement
chatham-chamber :

Good Morning, a Notice served under Section 8, Ground 1 allows the landlord to recover possession of the property if it was his principal home. The Landlord must provide the tenant with two months written notice.

chatham-chamber :

This would mean that the landlord would be able to recover possession of the property, during the term, if the correct Notice was served. In your case, provided the landlord was living in the premises, he would be able to claim possession of the said premises.

JACUSTOMER-gdbxmkl7- : Thanks. my question is a different one: is my understanding correct that Ground 1 letter (a) provides the landlord with the possibility to recover possession without him needing the property for his own, just because the property has been his principal home at one time in the past.
JACUSTOMER-gdbxmkl7- : or asking in a different way: does the landlord need to prove that he needs the property for himself because he has no other property to live in? only letter (b) seems to refer to that, letter (a) just speaks about the past.
JACUSTOMER-gdbxmkl7- : are you still there?
chatham-chamber :

Hi,

chatham-chamber :

I seem to be having problems with the chat facility

chatham-chamber :

Hi, the landlord would need to prove that he needs the property for his own use in order to be able to rely on Section 8, Ground 1

Customer : I would hope so, but to me this seems to be Ground 1 part (b). part (a) is separated by part (b) with an "or" so it could be read independently and nothing in part (a) says that he needs the property for his own use.
chatham-chamber :

Hi. I note your concern, however, from my experience, Ground 1 of the Section 8 Notice can be used where a landlord (or his spouse) has occupied the dwelling as his only or principle home at some time, and having given notice of his intention to return, now wishes to do so. Successors in title may also use this ground provided they did not purchase the dwelling.

chatham-chamber :

Therefore, provided that you have been notified that he may require the property, before signing the tenancy, the Landlord would be able to rely upon this ground.

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