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Housing (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2010

Section 9: Abandonment of introductory tenancies

Housing Executive and housing association tenancies are initially let as introductory tenancies, which become secure tenancies after 12 months if the tenant’s conduct is satisfactory. While there was provision in previous legislation for the Housing Executive and housing associations to take possession of accommodation abandoned by secure tenants and to deal with any personal effects left on the premises, there was no such provision in respect of introductory tenancies. Landlords would therefore be required to make a formal application to the court for an order for possession in such cases, and to store any personal property in case the tenant wished to reclaim it.

Section 9 therefore confers power on the Housing Executive and registered housing associations to enter (by force if necessary) a house held under an introductory tenancy, which it believes has been abandoned, for the purpose of making the house and contents safe. A right is also given to the landlord in these circumstances to terminate the tenancy without the need to go to court. Ancillary provision is made in connection with both of these rights. In particular, they may only be exercised after the service of a notice, and in the case of termination of a tenancy, after making further inquiries. Tenants have a right of appeal to the county court against termination of an introductory tenancy on the grounds of abandonment and the legislation makes provision in connection with the type of alternative accommodation which may be provided where the court rules in favour of the tenant.

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Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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