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Public Residential Notes

Law Notes > Landlord and Tenant Law Notes

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Public Residential A tenancy under which a swelling house is let as a separate dwelling is a secure tenancy at any time when the conditions in Housing Act 1985 s.80 (the landlord condition) and HA 1985 s.81 (the tenant condition) are satisfied. (HA 1985 s.79(1)) A tenancy The scope of secure tenancies includes licenses as well as leases (HA 1985 s.79(3)) But a licensee will only be a secure tenant if they have exclusive possession (Westminster v. Clarke) A former tenant who holds over with consent of the landlord authority after the secure tenancy has been terminated will not qualify for statutory protection (Burrows v. Brent) A dwelling house let as a separate dwelling Has the same meaning as in the HA 1988. But it excludes people who share living accommodation with other people as well. A tenant who has exclusive possession of a room but share a kitchen or living room with others did not have premises let as a separate dwelling so not a secure tenant (Thompson v. Glasgow) But the tenant does not need to be able to cook, he must merely be able to eat and sleep. People might want to go out and eat instead (Uratemp v. Collins) At any time when A letting can move into and out of secure tenancy status depending on whether the statutory conditions are met or cease to be met after commencement (Basingstoke v. Paice) Landlord condition The landlord must be a local authority, a development corporation or a housing action trust (HA 1985 s.80) A housing association before 1989 was also covered by HA1985 s.80, and if the tenancy was granted prior to 1989 then the secure tenancy rules will still apply as the change was not retrospective. Tenant condition The tenant must be an individual, or joint tenants must all be individuals. The tenant, or at least one of joint tenants, must occupy the dwelling house as his only or principle home (HA 1985 s.81) Where the secure tenancy is a subtenancy and the intermediate lease is terminated then the tenancy will cease to be secure even if the head landlord is also a public authority. A direct relationship of landlord and tenant must exist between the persons satisfying the landlord and the tenant condition (Lambeth v. Kay)

Where the tenant has held over then they can become a weekly tenant of the head landlord (Basingstoke v. Paice) Statutory exclusions HA 1985 Schedule 1 lists particular situation when a letting will not qualify as a secure tenancy.

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Para 1 - long leases, for a fixed term over 21 years or a perpetually renewable lease, are excluded

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Para 1A - introductory tenancies are excluded for the period of the introductory term. This will normally be 12 months but could be extended by 6 months provided 8 weeks notice is given.

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Para 2 - premises occupied in connection with council employment are excluded. The occupation must actually be required as a term in the employment contract. If the defendant retires or ceases to be employed then a secure tenancy will not come into existence (Griffiths)

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Para 3 - where land has been acquired by the local authority for development but has been let on a temporary basis then these are excluded

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Para 4 - accommodation provided for homeless persons will not be secure for the first 12 months

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Para 5 - when a person comes to an area looking for work and is provided with accommodation by the local authority then this will not be a secure tenancy for the first 12 months provided the tenant is notified of para 5

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Para 6 - when a local authority uses privately owned property on a short term basis then this is not secure

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Para 7 - if the local authority provides accommodation for persons whilst work is carried out on their own homes then this will not be a secure tenancy

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Para 8 - agricultural holdings are excluded

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Para 9 - premises licensed for the sale of alcohol are excluded

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Para 10 - no security of tenure for lettings enabling a person to attend a course at an educational establishment provided the tenant is notified in writing prior to the start

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Para 11 - business tenancies are excluded

Mechanics of security of tenure under HA 1985 Where the original contractual tenancy is a periodic tenancy or a fixed term tenancy subject to determination by the landlord, the landlord may not bring the tenancy to an end except on one of the grounds in Schedule 2 and using statutory possession proceedings (HA 1985 s.82 (1))

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