The Public Liability Insurance Blog

17 grounds for evicting tenants

This is a guest post provided by Urban Sales and Lettings.

Evicting tenants is never a scenario that a landlord hopes to face, but knowing the relevant information and procedures can help make the process less stressful. The following grounds show for which reasons a landlord may look to evict a tenant, including the most common of these such as rent arrears, repossession and renovation.

Eviction There are several grounds on which a tenant may be evicted from a property. The most straightforward scenario is when a landlords wishes to terminate the tenancy at the end of the tenancy agreement. In order to do this the tenant must be served with a Section 21 notice two months before the tenancy is due to end.

A tenant may also be evicted under mandatory or discretionary grounds. The Housing Act of 1988 as amended from the Housing Act of 1996 lays out the grounds for possession which a landlord may use to apply to the courts under. This applies to tenancies entered into after 15th January 1989 and the terms of the tenancy agreement must make provision for this.

Mandatory grounds for possession

There are eight mandatory grounds for possession. The first five require the landlord to have given notice to the tenants before the tenancy began, informing them that possession may be sought for the stated reason the remaining three do not require notice to be given.

Ground 1: This states that the property may be repossessed if it was previously used as the landlord’s principal home and is to be used so again.

Ground 2: This states that a possession order may be issued when a mortgage provider will be repossessing the property.

Ground 3: Possession may also be used if the fixed term of the tenancy is no more than eight months and the property had been used as a holiday let at some point in the twelve months before the start of the tenancy.

Ground 4: This allows further and higher education providers to seek possession provided the fixed term was for no more than twelve months.

Ground 5: The property may be repossessed for the purpose of being available for occupation for a minister of religion, providing that the court is satisfied that it is required for this purpose.

Ground 6: A landlord can apply for possession if substantial building works are to be carried out on the property although it must be proved that the tenants will need to leave the property for the building works to be carried out.

Ground 7: The landlord can also regain possession should the tenant of the property die.

Ground 8: This concerns serious rent arrears and for this to be successfully used to gain possession, the tenant must be at least eight weeks in arrears for paying rent. If the paperwork is correct, the tenant will be unable to prevent the possession order being granted. This is the most common ground cited for possession.

Discretionary grounds for possession

A landlord may also seek a possession order on discretionary grounds or more subjective grounds that concern the tenancy agreement between the landlord and the tenant. In these cases, a possession order may be granted at the discretion of the court.

Ground 9:House Icon online This allows for the landlord to seek possession provided that suitable alternative accommodation is available for the tenant, or will be available when the order of possession takes effect.

Ground 10: This may be used by the landlord if the tenant was behind with his rent when the landlord served noticed that they wished to seek possession and when court proceedings began.

Ground 11: This may be used in cases where the tenant has persistently provided late rent payments, even if the tenant is not behind in rent payments when proceedings begin.

Ground 12: This allows for possession in cases where the tenant has broken one or more of his obligations under the tenancy agreement.

Ground 13: The landlord can file for possession due to deterioration of the condition of the property since the start of the tenancy. Whilst you must bear in mind that there will be a certain level of wear and tear when a property is occupied, damage may go beyond this and be caused to the interior or structure of the property.

Ground 14: This can be used in cases where anti-social behaviour has been committed by the tenant, any other person living at the property or anyone visiting the property if they have been guilty of conduct likely to cause a nuisance or have been convicted of using the property for immoral or illegal purposes.

Ground 15: This can be used to file for possession in cases where the condition of any furniture in the property has deteriorated due to ill treatment from the tenant or any sub tenant of the property, if the tenant has not taken reasonable steps to remove them.

Ground 16:This can be used should be used in cases where the tenant was granted the property in order to fulfil their employment duties and are no longer employed by the landlord.

Ground 17: This applies to cases in which the tenant or one of the persons to whom the tenancy was granted caused the landlord to grant the tenancy by a false statement made knowingly or recklessly by a tenant or someone acting on their behalf.


Should a landlord be seeking possession using any of the above grounds, they may use several on the application for possession if several apply. If a mandatory ground is used and proven then the judge must make an order for possession. It is generally recommended that you should seek legal advice if you are considering taking any legal proceedings against a tenant.

Written by Urban Sales and Lettings, nationwide online estate agents