Notice Seeking Possession: Do’s and Do not’s

In the UK, a tenant’s rights and responsibilities depend on the type of tenancy they have.

A registered social landlord may provide a tenant with an assured tenancy – this can either be a full assured tenancy, or an assured shorthold tenancy.

Assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) are used by social landlords in supported housing and or as starter tenancies, but they are most commonly used by private landlords. ASTs are typically given for a period of six months, though they can be for longer.

In contrast, a full assured tenancy provides tenants with far greater security of tenure in the long-term, as they can stay in a property until they choose to leave or the landlord gains possession on one of the grounds listed in the Housing Act 1988.

In order to evict a tenant of a full assured tenancy, the registered social landlord must follow the correct procedure, which includes the service of a notice, a claim for possession and an eviction warrant. To obtain an order for possession a landlord must rely on a Ground for Possession. The grounds for possession relating to assured tenants for social landlords can be found in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988. A copy of the grounds can be found, here:

The grounds for possession come in two categories: Mandatory Grounds and Discretionary Grounds for possession.

Before a social landlord can start a possession claim against an assured tenant, a Notice Seeking Possession (NSP) should be served.

The purpose of this NSP is to offer the tenant a final warning before possession proceedings commence and It will include the ground and or grounds for possession.

Below we have outlined MSB’s do’s and do nots to assist landlords when drafting a NSP:

  • Do use a template NSP that has the prescribed information in it. You can usually get the most up to date version, here:
  • Do read the government’s NSP guidance notes for landlord and tenants.
  • Do attach a copy of the guidance notes to the NSP. A copy of the guidance notes can be found, here:
  • Do insert the full name of the tenant.
  • Do insert the full names of ALL joint tenants in the NSP.
  • Do include all relevant Grounds for Possession.
  • Do include sufficient detail of the particulars of breach of each Ground for Possession.
  • Do remember to insert the correct date after which possession proceedings can be issued.
  • Do sign and date the Notice before it is served.
  • Do serve all joint tenants – you must serve both. This means if you serve by posting it through the letterbox, you must serve two copies if there are two joint tenants.
  • Do remember to make a copy of the signed and completed Notice before it is served.
  • Do complete a Certificate of Service as soon as the Notice has been served. This is known as Court Form N215 and can be found at:
  • Do not be brief. Remember insufficient particulars of the allegations against the tenant may invalidate the Notice, which means the claim for possession issued in reliance of the NSP may not be successful.

If you need any advice on drafting an NSP, please do not hesitate to contact Louise Murphy, Head of Social Housing and Regeneration at MSB, at

Law is correct as of 11th November 2022.

*Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure that the law in this article is correct, it is intended to give a general overview of the law for educational purposes. You are respectfully reminded that it is not intended to be a substitute for specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No liability is accepted for any error or omission contained herein.

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