However, during the Bill’s passage through Parliament examples were provided of cases where, for various reasons, the leaseholder failed to respond to communications from the landlord and the court, and subsequently lost their home by default. This is because mortgagees will be made aware of possession proceedings and have the opportunity to seek relief from forfeiture in their own right to protect their security. SEO services The Government’s objective is to protect leaseholders who are unable to respond to proceedings for reasons that are beyond their control.
Categories include people who are mentally impaired and unable to manage their affairs, people who are in long term hospital care, people who are illiterate or whose understanding of English is very poor and people who are unavoidably detained overseas because of hostilities or civil emergency. It is not the intention to provide protection to leaseholders who simply cannot be bothered to manage their affairs properly or to provide a loophole which could be exploited by certain categories of leaseholder, for example, leaseholders who lived abroad and sub-let their property.
Quite apart from the difficulty in defining the target group, landlords will not normally be aware of the leaseholder’s circumstances. In considering options, we need to take account of burdens that would be imposed on landlords, the courts or any other agencies. The landlord will normally have started the procedure by writing to the leaseholder alleging the breach. In all three circumstances, it is likely that a significant period of time will elapse between the occurrence of the default and the commencement of possession proceedings in the court.
And, in the latter two circumstances, a number of communications will be sent to the leaseholder at either the premises in question or another address notified to the landlord. Short term absences, for any reason, should not, by themselves, deny the leaseholder an opportunity to respond. We have considered a number of options for additional procedures which would have to be exercised before a court could award possession. This requirement could be satisfied either by an additional “final warning” notice, or by personally serving one of the notices required at an earlier stage of the proceedings.