Landlords; are you Convinced your Tenant’s Left your Property and are Thinking of Changing the Locks? Think Again
The case of Smith v Khan  is a stark reminder to Landlords of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.
The Landlord (K) in this case, granted an Assured Shorthold Tenancy to the Tenant (T) for a fixed term of 12 months commencing in June 2014. In March 2015, T, without telling anyone, travelled to Scotland to seek work leaving his wife (S) in occupation of the property. As K was concerned about the rent arrears, he gave S a letter purporting to give T notice to quit, on 1 April 2015.
S obtained advice that the notice was invalid, that she had a right to be in occupation of the property by reason of section 30 of the Family Law Act 1996 and subsequently issued proceedings against K. An order for S’s reinstatement was made on 18 May 2015, however, L had already re-let the property, so the claim continued as damages only.