The wording of the Act:
The landlord who is seeking possession or, if that landlord is a registered social landlord or charitable housing trust, a superior landlord intends to demolish or reconstruct the whole or a substantial part of the dwelling-house or to carry out substantial works on the dwelling-house or any part thereof or any building of which it forms part and the following conditions are fulfilled—
(a) the intended work cannot reasonably be carried out without the tenant giving up possession of the dwelling-house because—
(i) the tenant is not willing to agree to such a variation of the terms of the tenancy as would give such access and other facilities as would permit the intended work to be carried out, or
(ii) the nature of the intended work is such that no such variation is practicable, or
(iii) the tenant is not willing to accept an assured tenancy of such part only of the dwelling-house (in this sub-paragraph referred to as “the reduced part”) as would leave in the possession of his landlord so much of the dwelling-house as would be reasonable to enable the intended work to be carried out and, where appropriate, as would give such access and other facilities over the reduced part as would permit the intended work to be carried out, or
(iv) the nature of the intended work is such that such a tenancy is not practicable; and
(b) either the landlord seeking possession acquired his interest in the dwelling-house before the grant of the tenancy or that interest was in existence at the time of that grant and neither that landlord (or, in the case of joint landlords, any of them) nor any other person who, alone or jointly with others, has acquired that interest since that time acquired it for money or money’s worth; and
(c) the assured tenancy on which the dwelling-house is let did not come into being by virtue of any provision of Schedule 1 to the Rent Act 1977, as amended by Part I of Schedule 4 to this Act or, as the case may be, section 4 of the Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976, as amended by Part II of that Schedule.
For the purposes of this ground, if, immediately before the grant of the tenancy, the tenant to whom it was granted or, if it was granted to joint tenants, any of them was the tenant or one of the joint tenants of the dwelling-house concerned under an earlier assured tenancy or, as the case may be, under a tenancy to which Schedule 10 to the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 applied], any reference in paragraph (b) above to the grant of the tenancy is a reference to the grant of that earlier assured tenancy or, as the case may be, to the grant of the tenancy to which the said Schedule 10 applied.
For the purposes of this ground “registered social landlord” has the same meaning as in the Housing Act 1985 (see section 5(4) and (5) of that Act) and “charitable housing trust” means a housing trust, within the meaning of the Housing Associations Act 1985, which is a charity, within the meaning of the Charities Act 1993.
Now let’s pick it apart.
Right, we are outside of the first 5 grounds so no pre-notice required for this but it is still a mandatory ground for eviction if it can be proven to the court’s satisfaction.
There are a few things to note here:
The ground is for demolition or reconstruction, not for decorating or putting in a new damp course
In other words, it is a genuine set of major works. There must be a ‘genuine desire’ for the works to be carried out and a ‘reasonable prospect’ of the works being conducted. A tenant can complain about the inconvenience of major works but that is a different ballgame to gaining possession in order to do it because there is no alternative.
The works required can’t be done around the tenant
Bearing in mind that the tenant will lose their home over this, the courts will take this seriously. It isn’t about rights of access to do the works. Remember Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 gives the landlord right of access to carry out repairs. This isn’t the same thing.
The works proposed will be performed shortly after the date of possession
A landlord will have to show the court that the proposed works are immanent, not that they simply want possession of the property and will then figure out how and when to do the works at a later date.
It is for the whole of the premises or a substantial part of it
Somewhat self explanatory.
It is not available for landlords by purchase
So you can’t buy a property with the intention of demolishing it and rebuilding and then use ground 6 to evict the little old lady who refuses to move out.
Finally, if the ground is made out, the landlord must pay the tenant’s reasonable removal expenses.
Defending this ground
Housing advocates should look at the genuine requirement to demolish or reconstruct. One good starting point is council served notices or planning permission approval or an application that is likely to succeed.
Check the immanence of the proposed works. In the case of Edwards v. Thompson (1990) the landlord had not engaged a construction company to do the works and could not at the hearing provide proof that they could pay for the works. Its that level of detail you are looking at with this ground.
Its that level of detail you are looking at with this ground.