AST, Fixed Term and Section 8

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    AST, Fixed Term and Section 8

    I have recently been conducting viewings on a property and have some prospective Tenants lined-up who are just going through checks.

    I shared my draft AST with them (fixed term of 6 months) and they came back saying that they would prefer to have a 12 months fixed term if possible. I quickly realised this is because of a baby that is shortly due - I expect they want a longer fixed term for added security and to minimise the risk of them having to move again in a short time (they are only moving now - they say, and I have no reason currently to not take this at face-value - because their Landlord is selling-up and wants vacant possession).

    Therefore I am minded to change the fixed term of the AST from 6 months to 12 months.

    I am not a fan of break clauses, so I'd like to keep that aspect simple.

    However, I [think I] would like to have a clause inserted into the AST so that I can make use of Section 8 Grounds during the fixed term (if I ever needed to).

    Most likely scenario, I suppose, would be Ground 8 or Ground 11... relating to non-payment / late payment of rent. I doubt the others would be required.

    So - can I add a simple clause into my AST that says I can use Section 8 Grounds during the fixed term?

    I believe I've read that this is commonly known as a "forfeiture clause" and that it's not supposed to be applicable to residential tenancies, but people must include something along these lines otherwise they can't use a Section 8 Ground(s) during the fixed term.

    Is that right?

    I don't want a clause to put into my AST that goes over pages and pages - detailing each Ground and all that... nor do I want more verbiage echoing all the Protection from Eviction stuff... I'm just looking for a one-liner (or a paragraph) that states something like "The Landlord can initiate possession proceedings during the fixed Term using The Housing Act 1988 Section 8 Grounds if necessary."

    Is this possible / wise / inadvisable / incomplete / not worthwhile? Googling various articles seems to imply it's a complex area of law and maybe it is not something worth having in the AST in the simple way I desire?

    Additionally, I am not overly worried about this, I was just reviewing my AST template and altering a few things, getting ready for the new tenancy.

    Here's what I've always had in all my agreements, and used s8 in fixed terms countless times. No doubt someone far cleverer than me is going to point out I need to tweek it though! Hope it's helpful....

    (e) If at any time the rent (or any part) is unpaid for 14 days after becoming due (whether or not formally demanded) or if any agreement or obligation on the tenant’s part is not complied with, or if any of the circumstances mentioned in Grounds 2, 8, 10 to 15, or 17 of Parts I and II of Schedule II to the Housing Act 1988 (as amended) shall arise, then the landlord may re-enter the premises and the tenancy shall be ended. This is to be without prejudice to any right of action the landlord may have in respect of the tenant’s obligations under this agreement. This right of re-entry is not to be exercised by the landlord without a court order whilst anyone is residing in the premises or whilst the tenancy is an assured tenancy.


      Thanks for this. I do like the shortness, very much... I think I could probably make it even shorter too.

      I, too, wonder if anyone else will have insight.


        Minor point but ensure that the tenancy agreement does not have rent payable 4-weekly: S8G8 can't be used for 4-weekly rent... (weird I know but..)
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


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