How can a landlord prove that they require a property for their own occupation under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954?

To prove that they require a property held under a business tenancy for their own occupation under s.30(g) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, a landlord must provide evidence to support their claim. The specific evidence required may vary depending on the circumstances, but here are some common methods used to establish this ground:

1. Written Statement:

The landlord can provide a written statement explaining their personal circumstances and the reasons why they require the property for their own occupation. This statement should be detailed and specific, outlining the intended use and the need for the property.

2. Supporting Documentation:

The landlord can provide supporting documentation to substantiate their claim. This may include documents such as employment contracts, medical records or other evidence that demonstrates the need for the property.

3. Affidavit or Witness Statements:

The landlord can submit an affidavit or witness statements from themselves, attesting to the need for the property and their intention to occupy it.

4. Financial Evidence:

The landlord can provide financial evidence, such as bank statements or mortgage applications, to demonstrate their ability to finance the occupation of the property.

5. Correspondence:

The landlord can provide correspondence, such as letters or emails, that show discussions or arrangements made regarding their occupation of the property.

It is important to note that the burden of proof lies with the landlord to establish their genuine requirement for the property. The evidence provided should be credible, consistent and persuasive to convince the court or tribunal.

Regarding relevant case law, there have been various court decisions that have interpreted and applied the grounds for recovery under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. Some notable cases include:

– S Franses Ltd v The Cavendish Hotel (London) Ltd [2018]: This case clarified the requirement for a landlord to establish a genuine intention to carry out works on the property and the prohibition of “sham” works intended solely to satisfy the ground for recovery.

– Thorner v Major [2009]: This case emphasized the importance of the landlord’s subjective intention to occupy the property and the need for evidence to support that intention.

– O’May v City of London Real Property Co. Ltd [1983]: This case highlighted the need for the landlord’s intention to be genuine and not merely a pretext to evict the tenant.

These cases provide guidance on the interpretation and application of the relevant grounds under the Act. However, it is advisable to consult with a solicitor specialising in landlord and tenant law for the most up-to-date and accurate information on relevant case law and its implications for specific situations.

If you are a landlord seeking to recover a property under the provisions of s25 of the Act or a tenant who thinks your landlord is not intending to occupy but using it as a sham to seek possession, then look no further than Alexander JLO’s landlord and tenant experts. For a free, no obligation consultation call us on 020 7537 7000 or email to see what we can do for you?

This blog was prepared by Alexander JLO’s senior partner, Peter Johnson on the 6th October 2023 and is correct at the time of publication. With decades of experience in almost all areas of law, Peter is happy to assist with any legal issue that you have. His profile on the independent Review Solicitor website can be found Here

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