Common Law Distress For Rent Abolished

Today, distress for rent (a remedy that enables a landlord to recover rent arrears by seizing property found on premises subject to a tenancy) has limited application in residential property cases. This is mainly because the court's permission is required before distress for rent can be levied where the tenancy is assured or assured shorthold [section 19 Housing Act 1988]:

… no distress for the rent of any dwelling-house let on an assured tenancy shall be levied except with the leave of the county court …

However, there was still a common law right in other residential cases. From 6 April 2014, this common law right was abolished by section 71 of Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007:

71 Abolition of common law right The common law right to distrain for arrears of rent is abolished.

Chapter 2 Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007] contains a whole new procedure for commercial rent arrears recovery (CRAR) which is out of the scope of this article.

View Related Handbook Page

Preventing, Controlling and Recovering Rent Arrears

The tenant's responsibility is to make sure rent is paid in full, on time and in the manner agreed in the tenancy agreement.