Although not a true legal classification; the phrase ‘non-secure tenancy' is often used to refer to a tenancy which would otherwise be secure, (i.e. the landlord and tenant conditions are satisfied), however fall within one of the statutory exceptions. (HA 1985 Sch 1). A landlord may gain possession of a non-secure tenancy with relative ease.
The most common use of non-secure tenancies will be pursuant to a local authority's duties to provide temporary accommodation for homeless persons. Schedule 1 paragraph 4 HA 1985 specifies that such an arrangement will not be a secure tenancy unless the landlord has notified the tenant that the tenancy is to be regarded as secure before the commencement of the tenancy.
Termination and Possession:
In order to terminate, and gain possession of, a non-secure tenancy, the landlord is not required to prove any statutory ground.
All that is required is for the landlord to serve on the tenant a valid Notice to Quit (see here). Following which, a claim for possession may be brought. The tenancy will subsequently end on the date specified in the court order for possession.
Two further points should be mentioned in relation to gaining possession of non-secure tenancies:
- It should be noted that, although no statutory ground need be proven, the landlord should not act capriciously in seeking to evict the tenant. There must be some rational reason for the desire to gain possession; otherwise the tenant may succeed in a judicial review of the landlord's decision
- It should be further noted that, in consequence of the tenant's limited protection under such a tenancy, the court is likely to be very strict in ensuring the NTQ provisions have been adhered to. In particular, judges are very keen to make certain that the tenant received a copy of the NTQ. In well-drafted tenancies, there will be a clause specifying that the NTQ will be deemed to have been served on the tenant provided it is left at the property. However, without such a clause, the landlord will have to serve the tenant personally or else confirm with the tenant that he/she has received the NTQ by some other method.