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MAKE YOUR FREE Section 8 notice

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Overview of the Section 8 notice

We are recommending that landlords suspend or delay evictions during the Covid-19 pandemic in line with Government Guidance. Any eviction proceedings you issue are at your own risk and at your own discretion.

For use in England and Wales only.

Make sure you follow proper procedure when you want to take possession of your property from a tenant that remains at the premises with this section 8 notice to quit. If your property is let on an assured shorthold tenancy, the most common form of tenancy with private landlords, you'll need to use this section 8 notice template to ensure that you have the grounds to obtain possession of the property.


  • 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

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

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.

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).

Please note that if you plan to serve the notice between 26 March until 30 September, you must give the tenants at least three months’ notice under the Coronavirus Act 2020.

The Act has increased the notice period required for section 8 eviction notices to three months during the ‘relevant period’. This refers to the period from 26 March until 30 September and may be extended by the Government. 

This means that you must give the tenants at least three months’ notice. If the tenants don’t leave the property by the date specified in the notice, then you can apply to the court for a possession order. You can’t force your tenants to leave without a court order. 

From the 27 March onwards, all eviction proceedings will be suspended for 90 days until the 25 June and the Government has urged landlords not to start or continue any eviction proceedings during this time without a good reason. 

All tenants and licensees that are protected under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 will be protected by the Coronavirus Act 2020. 

This includes most tenants in social housing and residential properties and some licensees, but excludes lodgers, holiday lets, and asylum seeker accommodations. 

As all court proceedings have been suspended until the 25 June, you can’t begin or continue eviction proceedings unless you have a good reason. While eviction notices issued before the 27 March are not affected by the new notice requirement, eviction proceedings will be subject to the 90-day suspension. As such, you should be mindful of your tenants’ situation and can’t expect them to move out.

There are 17 grounds you can use to seek possession using a section 8 notice. The court will only grant possession if you 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.

You must ensure that before serving a section 8 eviction notice on ground 8, your tenant is in arrears of the relevant amount of rent on the date you gave the tenant notice and/or on the date of the possession hearing in court. 

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.

You can start proceedings only after the notice was received by your tenant and the notice expires. This will depend on the ground(s) you're using. The limit for a landlord to start possession proceedings is within 12 months. If the tenant is still in arrears at this point you may apply to the Court for a Possession order. This can be done by filling the relevant forms with the court.

Please note that all court proceedings have now been suspended until the 25 June under the Coronavirus Act 2020, you can’t begin or continue eviction proceedings unless you have a good reason.

The notice can be served by an agent on your behalf. 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.

Other names for Section 8 notice

Eviction notice and Notice to quit.

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