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Who can bring a claim for possession of a residential rental property?

30 May 2024

What happens when a residential property has been rented out and you need it back? Our specialist property litigation team look into some key points owners and landlords need to know.

Who can bring residential possession claims?

The property owner or the landlord can bring residential possession claims. If you are the landlord but not the property owner, you should make sure that you have the relevant permission to bring proceedings as part of your agreement with the property owner.

Rent-to-rent scenario

What happens if you rent the property to a company who rents the property out on your behalf, but you need the property back? In this scenario, it is likely that you will need to terminate the agreement with the company you let the property to, and also serve notice on their tenant or occupier. This process can be complex and will depend on the type of agreement as to how it should be terminated.

If you are in this situation, you should seek specialist advice before taking any steps to ensure that the agreements are terminated correctly and that the matter is dealt with sensitively to try to preserve relationships where possible.


The property owner or landlord can bring a claim for possession once they have served a valid notice. It is important that the correct notice is served based on the type of agreement with the tenant or occupier.

There are three main types of notices: notice to quit, Section 21 notice and Section 8 notice. Each notice type has different rules and notice periods to be provided in order for it to be valid.

Possession claim

Once the correct notice has been served but the tenant or occupier has not left the property despite it having expired, a claim can be issued by submitting the correct claim paperwork to the court and paying the court fee.

Serving the correct notice and issuing possession proceedings can be a complicated process and can easily be done incorrectly. If you issue a claim based on an invalid notice, the claim will almost certainly fail, and you will have to start the process over again. For this reason, you should seek advice and assistance.

If you need to recover possession of a property from your tenant or occupier, please don’t hesitate to contact our highly rated team.

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Our property litigation experts are highly rated and deal with property disputes for a wide range of landlords and tenants.

Disclaimer: All legal information is correct at the time of publication but please be aware that laws may change over time. This article contains general legal information but should not be relied upon as legal advice. Please seek professional legal advice about your specific situation - contact us; we’d be delighted to help.
James Melvin-Bath LLB (Hons)
Senior associate, solicitor-advocate
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