There are different reasons and different ways that Orwell might bring your tenancy to an end depending on what type of tenancy it is, and the circumstances of your particular case.
If you want to end your tenancy there are also certain things that you must do, otherwise your tenancy may continue after you leave, and you could get into rent arrears without being aware of it.
Tenants are required to use their property as their main home. A long absence without telling us and without a clear intention to return will cause the tenancy to lose its security, so that Orwell could re-possess.
This section explains how your tenancy may be ended by you or by Orwell and what may happen to your tenancy if you leave home for a long time but fail to tell Orwell you intend to return.
How Orwell could end your tenancy
Orwell wants to provide homes, not take them away, so we rarely take legal action to end a tenancy.
- As long as you meet the conditions of your tenancy agreement and it remains a secure or a full assured tenancy you can live in your home as long as you want. We cannot end your tenancy nor make you leave unless the court gives us permission.
- Before applying to court Orwell must give you a formal Notice of Intention to Seek Possession or Notice Requiring Possession. The period of notice varies according to the type of legal action we are taking. In most cases it will be 28 days. For serious anti-social behaviour we could apply to the court immediately after giving you the notice, and there are some circumstances when 14 days or 2 months notice might apply.
- Usually your Housing Officer will deliver the notice. It is important that you speak to staff at the time, or as soon as possible after receiving the notice. Your Housing Officer will explain the reasons, and if appropriate, you can agree what you need to do to prevent Orwell applying to Court for a possession order.
- For a secure or a full assured tenancy there are only certain reasons (‘grounds’) for which a court will allow the landlord to end the tenancy. The notice will tell you the reasons we are considering applying to end your tenancy. In most cases it will also give you time to resolve the problem so that we do not need to apply to court.
- For a shorthold tenancy (including a fixed term tenancy) Orwell may use the same legal action as for a full assured tenancy or may use the special shorthold procedure outlined below.
Grounds (Reasons) for Possession
Grounds for possession are slightly different for secure and for full assured tenants. We may also use these grounds for shorthold tenancies which is explained in the 'Shorthold Tenancies' section below. Here are some of the reasons we might take legal action to end your tenancy.
You (this includes your family, household members and visitors, where relevant) have:
- Not paid your rent or accommodation charges regularly.
- Broken your tenancy conditions.
- Behaved badly, causing a nuisance, annoyance, disrespect, disturbance, disruption or distress to other Orwell residents, staff, neighbours or visitors.
- By your behaviour forced a family member to leave.
- Used your home for illegal or immoral purposes.
- Damaged your home, the communal areas or Orwell’s equipment.
- Obtained your tenancy under false pretences.
- Inherited or were passed the tenancy and would not otherwise be entitled to it.
We could also apply to end a tenancy if:
- You don’t need or use the support provided in sheltered, extra care or supported housing;
- Orwell needs to do major works or to demolish your home.
In these cases, we may find you somewhere else to live.
- You do not use your property as your main home, are absent for a long period without advising your intention to return, or have sub let the whole of it and moved out.
In this case your tenancy will no longer be secure nor assured and we may be entitled to repossess following the expiry of the appropriate notice.
Court Order for Possession and Eviction
If we apply to the Court under the secure or full assured procedure, a hearing will be arranged for the judge to consider if it is reasonable to end your tenancy.
- The Court could grant an outright order, entitling Orwell to ask the bailiff to evict you.
- The Court may grant a suspended or a postponed possession order. This means, that we may only apply for an eviction warrant if you fail to comply with the order. An order might require you to pay rent plus a set amount from arrears, or to stop antisocial behaviour.
- An Orwell Director will make the decision whether to apply to evict after you break the order, and you will have an opportunity to influence this decision and also to ask the court not to agree eviction.
- Orwell can use exactly the same notice and court procedure with hearing to end a shorthold tenancy as described above for full assured tenancies.
- We may do this if we feel you should be given one more chance to resolve a problem, using a suspended or a postponed possession order.
- The other method of ending your tenancy (called the S21 procedure) can only be used if you’ve been an Orwell shorthold tenant for at least six months but can be used at any time for a demoted tenant.
- We would need to give you two months notice but we would not need to prove any reasons.
- There is not usually a Court hearing and the judge must allow us to evict you.
- We would only use this procedure if you have shown little commitment to resolve a serious problem, or if it’s important that we take the property back.
A local authority or other Housing Association may not consider helping you if it believes you are homeless due to your own actions.