What is a Notice of Seeking Possession (NoSP)?

When we serve a Notice of Seeking Possession it is the first step of legal proceedings to take possession of your home. You must take it very seriously.

We could serve a notice in a number of ways, including post, handing it to you (or a joint tenant), fixing it somewhere obvious on the property, or posting it to your last known address.

We normally give you four weeks’ notice. After this we can apply to court for a possession hearing. You should use this notice period to correct behaviour, for example, stop causing a nuisance or clear your rent account. We can apply to the court at any time in the 12 months after we serve the notice if you do not put matters right.

In cases of severe nuisance the notice period may be shorter than four weeks.

What are the reasons that we could apply to court for a possession order?

We can use all the Grounds from Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 for both Assured and Assured Shorthold tenancies issued by us. We will not use Grounds 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 or 11 for transferring Assured tenancies.

The main Grounds are summarised below. Grounds 1, 3, 4 and 5 rarely apply to Chorus Homes tenancies.

Ground 1

Not later than the beginning of the tenancy the landlord gave notice in writing to the tenant that possession might be recovered on this ground or the court is of the opinion that it is just and equitable to dispense with the requirement of notice and (in either case)

(a) at some time before the beginning of the tenancy, the landlord who is seeking possession or, in the case of joint landlords seeking possession, at least one of them occupied the dwelling-house as his only or principal home; or

(b) the landlord who is seeking possession or, in the case of joint landlords seeking possession, at least one of them requires the dwelling-house as his, his spouse’s or his civil partner’s only or principal home and neither the landlord (or, in the case of joint landlords, any one of them) nor any other person who, as landlord, derived title under the landlord who gave the notice mentioned above acquired the reversion on the tenancy for money or money's worth.

Ground 2

The dwelling-house is subject to a mortgage granted before the beginning of the tenancy and

(a) the mortgagee is entitled to exercise a power of sale conferred on him by the mortgage or by section 101 of the Law of Property Act 1925; and

(b) the mortgagee requires possession of the dwelling-house for the purpose of disposing of it with vacant possession in exercise of that power; and

(c) either notice was given as mentioned in Ground 1 above or the court is satisfied that it is just and equitable to dispense with the requirement of notice;

and for the purposes of this ground "mortgage" includes a charge and "mortgagee" shall be construed accordingly.

Ground 3

The tenancy is a Fixed Term tenancy for a term not exceeding eight months and

(a) not later than the beginning of the tenancy the landlord gave notice in writing to the tenant that possession might be recovered on this ground; and

(b) at some time within the period of twelve months ending with the beginning of the tenancy, the dwelling-house was occupied under a right to occupy it for a holiday.

Ground 4

The tenancy is a Fixed Term tenancy for a term not exceeding twelve months and

(a) not later than the beginning of the tenancy the landlord gave notice in writing to the tenant that possession might be recovered on this ground; and

(b) at some time within the period of twelve months ending with the beginning of the tenancy, the dwelling-house was let on a tenancy falling within paragraph 8 of Schedule 1 to this Act.

Ground 6

The landlord who is seeking possession or, if that landlord is a non-profit registered provider of social housing, registered social landlord or charitable housing trust, or (where the dwelling-house is social housing within the meaning of Part 2 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008) a profit-making registered provider of social housing a superior landlord intends to demolish or reconstruct the whole or a substantial part of the dwelling-house or to carry out substantial works on the dwelling-house or any part thereof or any building of which it forms part and the following conditions are fulfilled

(a) the intended work cannot reasonably be carried out without the tenant giving up possession of the dwelling-house because-

(i) the tenant is not willing to agree to such a variation of the terms of the tenancy as would give such access and other facilities as would permit the intended work to be carried out, or

(ii) the nature of the intended work is such that no such variation is practicable, or

(iii) the tenant is not willing to accept an Assured tenancy of such part only of the dwelling-house (in this sub-paragraph referred to as "the reduced part") as would leave in the possession of his landlord so much of the dwelling-house as would be reasonable to enable the intended work to be carried out and, where appropriate, as would give such access and other facilities over the reduced part as would permit the intended work to be carried out, or

(iv) the nature of the intended work is such that such a tenancy is not practicable; and

(b) either the landlord seeking possession acquired his interest in the dwelling-house before the grant of the tenancy or that interest was in existence at the time of that grant and neither that landlord (or, in the case of joint landlords, any of them) nor any other person who, alone or jointly with others, has acquired that interest since that time acquired it for money or money's worth; and

(c) the Assured tenancy on which the dwelling-house is let did not come into being by virtue of any provision of Schedule 1 to the Rent Act 1977, as amended by Part I of Schedule 4 to this Act or, as the case may be, section 4 of the Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976, as amended by Part II of that Schedule.

For the purposes of this ground, if, immediately before the grant of the tenancy, the tenant to whom it was granted or, if it was granted to joint tenants, any of them was the tenant or one of the joint tenants of the dwelling-house concerned under an earlier Assured tenancy or, as the case may be, under a tenancy to which Schedule 10 to the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 applied any reference in paragraph (b) above to the grant of the tenancy is a reference to the grant of that earlier Assured tenancy or, as the case may be, to the grant of the tenancy to which the said Schedule 10 applied.

For the purposes of this ground "registered social landlord" has the same meaning as in the Housing Act 1985 (see section 5(4)and (5) of that Act) and "charitable housing trust" means a housing trust, within the meaning of the Housing Associations Act 1985, which is a charity.

Ground 7

The tenancy is a periodic tenancy (including a statutory periodic tenancy) , or a Fixed Term tenancy of a dwelling-house in England, which has devolved under the will or intestacy of the former tenant and the proceedings for the recovery of possession are begun not later than twelve months after the death of the former tenant or, if the court so directs, after the date on which, in the opinion of the Court, the landlord or, in the case of joint landlords, any one of them became aware of the former tenant's death.

For the purposes of this ground, the acceptance by the landlord of rent from a new tenant after the death of the former tenant shall not be regarded as creating a new tenancy, unless the landlord agrees in writing to a change (as compared with the tenancy before the death) in the amount of the rent, the period of the tenancy, or the length of term, the premises which are let or any other term of the tenancy.

This ground does not apply to a Fixed Term tenancy that is a lease of a dwelling-house

(a) granted on payment of a premium calculated by reference to a percentage of the value of the dwelling-house or of the cost of providing it, or

(b) under which the lessee (or the lessee's personal representatives) will or may be entitled to a sum calculated by reference, directly or indirectly, to the value of the dwelling-house.

Ground 7A

Any of the following conditions is met.

Condition 1 is that

(a) the tenant, or a person residing in or visiting the dwelling-house, has been convicted of a serious offence, and

(b) the serious offence—

(i) was committed (wholly or partly) in, or in the locality of, the dwelling-house,
(ii) was committed elsewhere against a person with a right (of whatever description) to reside in, or occupy housing accommodation in the locality of, the dwelling-house, or
(iii) was committed elsewhere against the landlord of the dwelling-house, or a person employed (whether or not by the landlord) in connection with the exercise of the landlord's housing management functions, and directly or indirectly related to or affected those functions.

Condition 2 is that a court has found in relevant proceedings that the tenant, or a person residing in or visiting the dwelling-house, has breached a provision of an injunction under section 1 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, other than a provision requiring a person to participate in a particular activity, and

(a) the breach occurred in, or in the locality of, the dwelling-house, or

(b) the breach occurred elsewhere and the provision breached was a provision intended to prevent

(i) conduct that is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person with a right (of whatever description) to reside in, or occupy housing accommodation in the locality of, the dwelling-house, or
(ii) conduct that is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to the landlord of the dwelling-house, or a person employed (whether or not by the landlord) in connection with the exercise of the landlord's housing management functions, and that is directly or indirectly related to or affects those functions.

Condition 3 is that the tenant, or a person residing in or visiting the dwelling-house, has been convicted of an offence under section 30 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 consisting of a breach of a provision of a criminal behaviour order prohibiting a person from doing anything described in the order, and the offence involved

(a) a breach that occurred in, or in the locality of, the dwelling-house, or

(b) a breach that occurred elsewhere of a provision intended to prevent

(i) behaviour that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to a person with a right (of whatever description) to reside in, or occupy housing accommodation in the locality of, the dwelling-house, or
(ii) behaviour that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to the landlord of the dwelling-house, or a person employed (whether or not by the landlord) in connection with the exercise of the landlord's housing management functions, and that is directly or indirectly related to or affects those functions.

Condition 4 is that

(a) the dwelling-house is or has been subject to a closure order under section 80 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, and

(b) access to the dwelling-house has been prohibited (under the closure order or under a closure notice issued under section 76 of that Act) for a continuous period of more than 48 hours.

Condition 5 is that

(a) the tenant, or a person residing in or visiting the dwelling-house, has been convicted of an offence under

(i) section 80(4) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (breach of abatement notice in relation to statutory nuisance), or
(ii) section 82(8) of that Act (breach of court order to abate statutory nuisance etc.), and

(b) the nuisance concerned was noise emitted from the dwelling-house which was a statutory nuisance for the purposes of Part 3 of that Act by virtue of section 79(1)(g) of that Act (noise emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance).

Condition 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 is not met if

(a) there is an appeal against the conviction, finding or order concerned which has not been finally determined, abandoned or withdrawn, or

(b) the final determination of the appeal results in the conviction, finding or order being overturned.

In this ground
“relevant proceedings” means proceedings for contempt of court or proceedings under Schedule 2 to the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014;
“serious offence” means an offence which

(a) was committed on or after the day on which this ground comes into force,

(b) is specified, or falls within a description specified, in Schedule 2A to the Housing Act 1985 at the time the offence was committed and at the time the court is considering the matter, and

(c) is not an offence that is triable only summarily by virtue of section 22 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 (either-way offences where value involved is small).

Ground 8

Both at the date of the service of the notice under Section 8 of this Act relating to the proceedings for possession and at the date of the hearing

(a) if rent is payable weekly or fortnightly, at least eight weeks' rent is unpaid;

(b) if rent is payable monthly, at least two months' rent is unpaid;

(c) if rent is payable quarterly, at least one quarter's rent is more than three months in arrears; and

(d) if rent is payable yearly, at least three months' rent is more than three months in arrears;

and for the purpose of this ground "rent" means rent lawfully due from the tenant.


PART II

Grounds on which Court may Order Possession:

Ground 9

Suitable alternative accommodation is available for the tenant or will be available for him when the order for possession takes effect

Ground 10

Some rent lawfully due from the tenant

(a) is unpaid on the date on which the proceedings for possession are begun; and

(b) except where subsection (1)(b) of section 8 of this Act applies, was in arrears at the date of the service of the notice under that section relating to those proceedings.

Ground 11

Whether or not any rent is in arrears on the date on which proceedings for possession are begun, the tenant has persistently delayed paying rent which has become lawfully due.

Ground 12

Any obligation of the tenancy (other than one related to the payment of rent) has been broken or not performed.

Ground 13

The condition of the dwelling-house or any of the common parts has deteriorated owing to acts of waste by, or the neglect or default of, the tenant or any other person residing in the dwelling-house and, in the case of an act of waste by, or the neglect or default of, a person lodging with the tenant or a sub-tenant of his, the tenant has not taken such steps as he ought reasonably to have taken for the removal of the lodger or sub-tenant.

For the purposes of this ground, "common parts" means any part of a building comprising the dwelling-house and any other premises which the tenant is entitled under the terms of the tenancy to use in common with the occupiers of other dwelling-houses in which the landlord has an estate or interest.

Ground 14

The tenant or a person residing in or visiting the dwelling-house

(a) has been guilty of conduct causing or likely to cause a nuisance or annoyance to a person residing, visiting or otherwise engaging in a lawful activity in the locality,

(b) has been guilty of conduct causing or likely to cause a nuisance or annoyance to the landlord of the dwelling-house, or a person employed (whether or not by the landlord) in connection with the exercise of the landlord's housing management functions, and that is directly or indirectly related to or affects those functions or

(c) has been convicted of

(i) using the dwelling-house or allowing it to be used for immoral or illegal purposes, or

(ii) an indictable offence committed in, or in the locality of, the dwelling-house

Ground 14A

A tenant or adult residing in a dwelling house in England has been convicted of an indictable offence which took place during, and at the scene of, a riot in the United Kingdom.

In this Ground

“adult” means a person aged 18 or over;

“indictable offence” does not include an offence that is triable only summarily by virtue of section 22 of the Magistrates’ courts Act 1980 (either way offences where value involved is small);

“riot” is to be construed in accordance with section 1 of the Public Order Act 1986.

This Ground applies only in relation to dwelling-houses in England.

Ground 14A

The dwelling-house was occupied (whether alone or with others) by a married couple, a couple who are civil partners of each other or a couple living together as husband and wife or a couple living together as if they were civil partners and

(a) one or both of the partners is a tenant of the dwelling-house,

(b) the landlord who is seeking possession is a non-profit registered provider of social housing a registered social landlord or a charitable housing trust, or where the dwelling-house is social housing within the meaning of Part 2 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008, a profit-making registered provider of social housing.

(c) one partner has left the dwelling-house because of violence or threats of violence by the other towards

(i) that partner, or

(ii) a member of the family of that partner who was residing with that partner immediately before the partner left, and

(d) the court is satisfied that the partner who has left is unlikely to return.

For the purposes of this ground "registered social landlord" and "member of the family" have the same meaning as in Part I of the Housing Act 1996 and "charitable housing trust" means a housing trust, within the meaning of the Housing Associations Act 1985, which is a charity.

Ground 15

The condition of any furniture provided for use under the tenancy has, in the opinion of the court, deteriorated owing to ill-treatment by the tenant or any other person residing in the dwelling house and, in the case of ill-treatment by a person lodging with the tenant or by a sub-tenant of his, the tenant has not taken such steps as he ought reasonably to have taken for the removal of the lodger or sub-tenant.

Ground 16

The dwelling-house was let to the tenant in consequence of his employment by the landlord seeking possession or a previous landlord under the tenancy and the tenant has ceased to be in that employment.

For the purposes of this ground, at a time when the landlord is or was the Secretary of State, employment by a health service body, as defined in Section 60(7) of the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990, or by a Local Health Board, shall be regarded as employment by the Secretary of State.

Ground 17

The tenant is the person, or one of the persons, to whom the tenancy was granted and the landlord was induced to grant the tenancy by a false statement made knowingly or recklessly by

(a) the tenant, or
(b) a person acting at the tenant's instigation.

When will the court make a possession order?

If any of Grounds 1 – 8 are proved, the court must make an order for possession. However for Grounds 9 – 17 the court will only make an order where the ground is proved and the court is satisfied that it is reasonable to make the order.

If I get a possession order does this always mean I will be evicted?

No. The court may grant a suspended order. We will only apply for a possession date if the tenancy breach continues. We will then ask the court to fix a possession date and then to issue an eviction warrant and bring in the bailiffs. We would always tell you if we intended to do this.

Dealing with anti-social behaviour

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 has given social landlords a new power of mandatory possession for Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB). The new absolute ground for possession (Ground 7A) means that the court is able to hear the most serious cases in one hearing, speeding up the decision of the court. The court must grant possession, if the landlord (Chorus Homes) has followed the correct procedure and at least one of the following five conditions is met:

  • the tenant or a member of the tenant’s household, or a person visiting the property has been convicted of a serious offence;
  • the tenant or a member of the tenant’s household, or a person visiting the property has been found by a court to have breached a civil injunction;
  • the tenant, a member of the tenant’s household, or a person visiting the property has been convicted for breaching a Criminal Behaviour Order;
  • the tenant’s property has been closed for more than 48 hours under a closure order for Anti-Social Behaviour; or
  • the tenant or a member of the tenant’s household, or a person visiting the property has been convicted for breaching a noise abatement notice or order.

If you evict me from my home would you offer me somewhere else?

No, and in some cases the council might consider you to have caused your own homelessness by breaking your tenancy terms, and so would not consider finding you permanent alternative housing.

Assured Shorthold tenants: two months’ notice

If you have an Assured Shorthold tenancy and cause anti-social behaviour, we may serve 2 months’ notice to terminate your tenancy. If you failed to move out in that time, we could apply to the court for an order for possession. We do not have to prove any Grounds for possession.

This absolute ground for possession will be available to deal with anti-social behaviour and/or criminality caused either by the tenant, people living with them or their visitors.