It is a actual hangover from the previous, however a shocking variety of folks nonetheless assume that accepting hire from a tenant they’re evicting will by some means prejudice their case.
This dates again to pre 1988 Housing Act legislation.
The forfeiture guidelines
For a whole lot of years again into the previous, landlords have been capable of evict tenants beneath a rule often called ‘forfeiture’. Underneath this rule, if the tenant breached any of the phrases of the tenancy settlement then the owner may ‘re-enter’ and finish the tenancy.
Within the distant previous the owner would finish (or forfeit) the tenancy by bodily re-entering the property (and I perceive this may nonetheless be finished in some circumstances for industrial premises).
Nevertheless for the reason that Safety from Eviction Act 1977, mosy residential tenants are protected against this. The act offers that it is going to be a prison offence (and likewise entitle the tenant to assert compensation) if the owner repossesses the property aside from through the court docket bailiffs, after acquiring a court docket order for possession.
Forfeiture was maybe most regularly used for non fee of hire.
Nevertheless a landlord may additionally forfeit for different breaches of the tenancy settlement. It’s in these circumstances that landlords needed to be cautious to not settle for any hire, as this may imply that that they had accepted the breach. As by doing this they’d affirm the tenancy and now not have the ability to proceed with the forfeiture declare.
Forfeiture and the previous guidelines referring to it appear to have sunk deep into the collective reminiscence of landlords. Nevertheless their fears are (largely) groundless.
Forfeiture at the moment
Forfeiture was finished away with within the Housing Act 1988, and can’t now be used for assured or assured shorthold tenancies. Certainly, if a tenant provides hire and it’s refused, the tenant will then have a defence (for claims for possession based mostly on hire arrears) as they may have the ability to say that the owner has didn’t mitigate his losses by accepting hire which was proffered to him.
The place possession is claimed beneath part 21, whether or not or not the hire is paid is wholly irrelevant (to the court docket declare that’s), as s21 claims are usually not linked to hire. The landlords declare relies on the truth that the part 21 discover has been served, the discover interval has expired and the tenant has not left the property. Accepting hire just isn’t going to have an effect on this.
Forfeiture continues to be related for protected tenancies beneath the Lease Act 1977, and for frequent legislation tenancies, i.e. these which don’t come inside the scope of the Housing Act 1988. Widespread legislation tenancies largely happen the place the hire is over £100,000, the place there’s a resident landlord, or the place the tenant is a restricted firm.
Nevertheless if you’re forfeiting for non fee of hire, the tenant at all times has the suitable to ‘aid from forfeiture’ if he pays up, so refusing to just accept hire just isn’t going to do you any favours.
Technically it’s doable to forfeit, for these tenancy sorts, for different breaches of the tenancy settlement. Nevertheless you must serve a particular discover first and I’ve by no means recognized any precise instances, a minimum of for residential brief tenancies. In case you have any expertise of any, I might have an interest to listen to about them.
Nevertheless in these instances landlords would should be cautious about accepting hire.
Landlords’ Notices to Give up
The opposite scenario the place it is advisable to watch out about accepting hire is if you’re evicting a tenant after service of a landlords ‘Notice to Quit‘.
Notices to Give up are now not related for assueed or assured shorthold tenancies, however can nonetheless be used for ‘frequent legislation’ / unregulated tenancies, for instance for a corporation let or the place there’s a resident landlord.
Right here for those who settle for hire after the discover has expired, with out taking the correct precautions first, it could possibly be held that you’ve got created a brand new tenancy.
However aside from these conditions, you need to be secure to just accept the hire. And contemplate your self fortunate – only a few tenants pay up when they’re being evicted.