2. Streamlined Eviction Process – Legislation
2.1 Section 14(2) of the 2014 Act amends section 16 of the 2001 Act to alter the powers of the court in possession proceedings in certain cases where there has been a conviction for an offence punishable by imprisonment. Section 16 is shown in a consolidated way at Annex A.
2.2 Section 16(2)(aa) of the 2001 Act removes the requirement that the court considers whether it is reasonable to make an eviction order, in cases where the landlord has a ground for recovery of possession set out in paragraph 2 of schedule 2 of the 2001 Act and a notice of proceedings under section 14(2) of that Act has been served before the specified day.
2.3 The grounds for recovery of possession set out in paragraph 2 of schedule 2 are as follows: ‘The tenant (or any one of joint tenants), a person residing or lodging in the house with, or subtenant of, the tenant, or a person visiting the house has been convicted of:
a) using the house or allowing it to be used for immoral or illegal purposes; or
b) an offence punishable by imprisonment committed in, or in the locality of, the house.’
2.4 An ‘offence punishable by imprisonment’ means that the offence carries imprisonment as a possible penalty but does not require that a custodial sentence was imposed as the penalty in the particular case.
2.5 The landlord must have served the tenant with a notice of proceedings before the specified day which is 12 months after:
a) the day on which the person was convicted of the offence forming the ground for recovery of possession; or
b) where that conviction was appealed, the day on which the appeal is dismissed or abandoned.
2.6 In summary, this means that where a court has convicted a tenant (or subtenant, or someone living with the tenant or visiting the house) of using the house for immoral or illegal purposes or of a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment, committed in, or in the locality of the house, and the landlord has served a notice of proceedings on the tenant under section 14(2) within 12 months of the conviction or the dismissal or abandonment of an appeal, the court must make an order for recovery of possession of the house without considering whether the court thinks it is reasonable to do so.
2.7 Section 16(3A) of the 2001 Act provides that the requirement placed on the court to make an order for repossession in any proceedings brought under these grounds does not override any other rights that a tenant has. This includes any arguments regarding proportionality in terms of article 8 of ECHR. Section 4 of this guidance provides more details of the factors landlords should consider before raising streamlined eviction action.