Section 6 Law of Distress

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  • Section 6 Law of Distress

    I work in a residential lettings company.

    A Landlord, whose property we manage, wants to evict the tenants for personal reasons. He has for years been managing this property himself and has now passed management to us.

    I have told him that I will serve a Section 21 notice and he has agreed but wants me to also serve a Section 6 notice, which he says enables him to send in bayliffs to recover losses, as he predicts that once the tenants receive the Section 21, they will stop paying rent.

    I have never had to use this Section 6 (although it sounds like it could be very useful!!)and cannot find anything on Google, except with reference to commercial tenants. There is also nothing in the forum section here.

    Does this actually exist? If so, why is it not in common use?


  • #2
    From what I can see it can only be used for commercial tenancy rent debts.

    Why can't the landlord use the normal procedures for getting a money order?
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg


    • #3
      Thanks jta.
      The Landlord is going to have to use the regular channels then.


      • #4
        Law of Distress Amendment Act 1908

        Section 6.

        To avoid distress

        In cases where the rent of the immediate tenant of the superior landlord is in arrear it shall be lawful for such superior landlord to serve upon any under tenant or lodger a notice (by registered post addressed to such under tenant or lodger upon the premises) stating the amount of such arrears of rent, and requiring all future payments of rent, whether the same has already accrued due or not, by such under tenant or lodger to be made direct to the superior landlord giving such notice until such arrears shall have been duly paid, and such notice shall operate to transfer to the superior landlord the right to recover, receive, and give a discharge for such rent.

        Even if it applies to contemporary ASTs in England/Wales (and I've no idea whether it does), it's about serving notice on a subtenant to pay rent to the superior landlord as opposed to mesne landlord. Nothing to do with a standard situation with an AST tenant who doesn't even owe any rent, and certainly doesn't entitle your landlord client to 'send in the bailiffs'. Only a court can order bailiffs to execute a warrant.


        • #5
          Refer your landlord to section 19(1) of the Housing Act 1988 which says it clearly:

          [...]no distress for the rent of any dwelling-house let on an assured tenancy shall be levied except with the leave of the county court[...]


          • #6
            Thank you Westminster and Lawcruncher. Most helpful.


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