When should I use a section 8 notice?
- if the property is let on an assured shorthold tenancy
- the tenant has not paid the rent and remains at the property
- the tenant has damaged the property
- if you want to take possession of your property
What's included in a section 8 notice?
This section 8 notice covers
- the prescribed form of notice needed before any court proceedings can start
- a list of the grounds to obtain possession of the property as set out in the Housing Act 1988
What's a section 8 notice?
A section 8 notice is a notice seeking possession of a rented property from a tenant on grounds set under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988. These grounds include rent arrears, irregular rent payments or damage to a property.
Do I need a section 8 notice?
You need a section 8 notice if you want to get possession of your property during a fixed term tenancy or during the first six months of a tenancy. Use this notice if the tenant has not paid rent or they have damaged the property without repairing it. Ask a lawyer if you wish to gain possession for any other reason.
This notice should be used before you apply to the court for possession during a fixed term, i.e. the period for which the landlord and tenant agreed to contract for the tenancy).
In what circumstances can a landlord serve a section 8 eviction notice on tenants?
There are 17 grounds a landlord can use to seek possession using a s.8 notice. The court will only grant possession if a landlord can prove one of these grounds. The following are examples of the most common grounds used for possession of property:
Ground 8 is a mandatory ground and if successful, the court must make a possession order in 14 days without the need for landlord to show the court that it would be reasonable for the tenant/s to lose their home. However, it must be satisfied that when the notice is served and at the time of hearing there are relevant amounts of rent outstanding:
- at least eight weeks of arrears, where rent is payable weekly or every two weeks
- at least two months of arrears, where rent is payable monthly
- more than three months in arrears, where rent is payable every three months
- more than three months in arrears, where rent is payable yearly
Ground 10 applies if the rent is unpaid when the section 8 notice is served and has not been paid by the start of the possession proceedings.
Ground 11 applies if the tenant has regularly been late at paying the rent whether or not the tenant is actually in arrears.
Ground 13 applies where the tenant damaged property including damage to any common areas to which the tenant has access in the building of their property. Also, a tenant will be deemed to have damaged the property where they allow someone living with them, eg a sub-tenant to cause damage.
In this document, you can choose any of the above grounds for the purposes of serving a section 8 notice. If you have doubts as to which ground is most suitable to your circumstances Ask a lawyer.
What measures must a landlord take before serving a section 8 eviction notice on ground 8?
A landlord must ensure that before serving a section 8 eviction notice on ground 8, the tenant is in arrears of the relevant amount of rent on the date the landlord gave the tenant notice and/or on the date of the possession hearing in court.
How must this notice be served on the tenants?
The notice must be sent or handed personally to the tenant. Where there are joint tenants, the notice must name all of the tenants who are on the agreement. A notice addressed to only one joint tenant would be invalid. Where there are joint landlords, the notice can be served by one landlord or all of them.
When can the landlord begin court proceedings for possession?
The landlord can start proceedings only after the notice was received by the tenant and the notice expires. This will depend on the ground(s) the landlord is using. The limit for a landlord to start possession proceedings is within 12 months. If the tenant is still in arrears at this point the landlord may apply to the Court for a Possession order. This can be done by filling the relevant forms with the court.
Can an agent serve the notice on a landlord's behalf?
The notice can be served by an agent on behalf of the landlord. In this document you can choose who will be serving the notice.
Ask a lawyer for:
- advice on the reason to bring the tenancy to an end
- assistance with completion of this Section 8 notice
- advice or assistance with obtaining possession of your property
This Section 8 notice is governed by the law of England and Wales.