Can they make granny move house?

Our lawyer Fiona McNulty looks at the legal issues relating to protected tenancy
Rents Act 1977 cartoon
© Malcolm Willett (
Question: My grandmother has lived in her house for 45 years and brought up my father and his brothers there. The landlords now say that she has to move to another property that they own, which they say is suitable for her.

My grandfather has recently died and she is really upset about the move. It doesn’t seem fair to me - does she have to go?

Answer: Your grandmother’s tenancy will be protected under the Rent Act 1977. As such, the landlords cannot force her to move, unless specific grounds are proved. One of the grounds is that suitable alternative accommodation has been made available and is offered to your grandmother.

However, assuming the accommodation is suitable, the landlords must still show that any relocation is reasonable, which involves balancing their interests against the interests of your grandmother.

Matters to be considered will include the nearness of the new property to your grandmother’s family and any ties she has with her local community and on the other hand, any financial hardship caused to the landlords.

If the landlords will not suffer hardship as a result of your grandmother staying where she is, the court is unlikely to order her to move out. Each case will turn on its own particular facts and I recommend that your grandmother consults a solicitor who specialises in housing or landlord-and-tenant law.

The Law Society ( has details of specialist solicitors or your local county court may have a list of specialist firms.

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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, email We regret that questions cannot be answered individually.

Fiona is a partner in the property team at Thring Townsend Lee & Pembertons Solicitors

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