In the modern day, distress for rent (a remedy which enables a landlord to recover arrears of rent by seizing property found in premises subject to a tenancy) has limited application in residential property cases. This is mainly because the courts 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 has been abolished by section 71 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.

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