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How to Serve a Section 8 Notice

There may be a time during your tenancy when you need to regain possession of your property using a Section 8 notice. 

It can be difficult to know exactly when and how you’re able to serve notice as a landlord and it can cause a certain degree of stress for many.

In this article, we will go through everything you need to know about Section 8 notices and the grounds under which it can be served.

What is a Section 8?

Section 8 of The Housing Act 1988 lays out certain grounds under which a landlord can seek to evict a tenant and regain possession of their property.

Alongside a Section 21 notice, a Section 8 notice is the other type of notice you can use to end a tenancy.

How Can I Serve a Section 8?

First of all, you will need to fill out Form 3 from the government website.

You can then serve the notice to your tenants by any of the following methods:

  • Personal delivery
  • Leave it at the address
  • Recorded delivery
  • Process server – you can pay for a professional service that serves legal notices on your behalf
  • First class post
  • Email – when serving notice by email you must check your contract to see whether the tenants have agreed to receiving notice via email

You can read more about the methods for serving notice to help you decide how you would prefer to do so in this article.

Landlords should be aware that in order to use certain grounds (e.g. the landlord moving back into a property they previously lived in) you must have informed tenants that the ground may be relied on at the start of the tenancy. 

When Can I Serve a Section 8 Notice?

You can serve a Section 8 at any time during the tenancy.

The length of the notice period will then depend on the ground that you are relying on to regain possession.

What are the Grounds for Serving a Section 8?

The grounds are also split into mandatory and discretionary grounds.

‘Mandatory’ means that if the ground exists, then the court has to grant possession to the landlord. ‘Discretionary’ means that if the grounds exist, the judge will decide whether to grant possession or not.

Mandatory grounds for Section 8 eviction

GroundExplanationKey Legislative ExcerptsNotice Period
1Landlord moving back into a property they previously lived in, to use as their principal homeAt some time before the beginning of the tenancy, the landlord who is seeking possession …occupied the dwelling-house as his only or principal home2 months
2Property being possessed and sold by mortgageeThe mortgagee requires possession of the dwelling-house for the purpose of disposing of it with vacant possession2 months
3Property was a holiday let and is going to be used as such againA some time within the period of twelve months ending with the beginning of the tenancy, the dwelling-house was occupied under a right to occupy it for a holiday2 weeks
4Student accommodation being repossessed by educational institutionsA tenancy which is granted to a person who is pursuing, or intends to pursue, a course of study provided by a specified educational institution 2 weeks
5Religious institutions’ property being repossessed for use by ministersThe dwelling-house is required for occupation by a minister of religion as such a residence2 months
6Major works on the propertyLandlord intends to demolish or reconstruct the whole or a substantial part of the dwelling-house2 months
7Within 12 months of a tenant inheriting the tenancy from a deceased previous tenantThe tenancy…has devolved under the will or intestacy of the former tenant2 months
8More than 2 months’ rent arrearsif rent is payable monthly, at least two months’ rent is unpaid2 weeks

Discretionary grounds for Section 8 eviction

GroundExplanationKey Legislative ExcerptsNotice Period
9Suitable alternative accommodation is availableSuitable alternative accommodation is available for the tenant2 months
10Minor rent arrearsSome rent lawfully due from the tenant is unpaid2 weeks
11Persistently late paying the rentWhether or not any rent is in arrears…the tenant has persistently delayed paying rent which has become lawfully due2 weeks
12Breach of tenancyAny obligation of the tenancy (other than one related to the payment of rent) has been broken or not performed2 weeks
13Damage to the propertyThe condition of the dwelling-house has deteriorated owing to…waste…neglect or default of the tenant2 weeks
14Anti-social behaviourGuilty of conduct causing or likely to cause a nuisance or annoyancevaries
15Damage to furnishingsThe condition of any furniture…has…deteriorated owing to ill-treatment by the tenant2 weeks
16Tenant leaves employment of landlord (if tenancy was a consequence of employment)The dwelling-house was let to the tenant in consequence of his employment by the landlord…and the tenant has ceased to be in that employment2 months
17Tenancy granted through false statement by tenantThe landlord was induced to grant the tenancy by a false statement made knowingly or recklessly2 weeks

What if the Tenant Doesn’t Leave at the End of the Notice Period?

If the tenant does not leave the property at the end of the notice period, you can read our full advice on gaining a possession order here. This article also covers everything you need to know about recovering rent arrears if this is why you are seeking to evict your tenant.

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This article is not intended to form legal or investment advice. Investments in property are not guaranteed and can decrease in value as well as increase.

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