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
|Key Legislative Excerpts
|Landlord moving back into a property they previously lived in, to use as their principal home
|At some time before the beginning of the tenancy, the landlord who is seeking possession …occupied the dwelling-house as his only or principal home
|Property being possessed and sold by mortgagee
|The mortgagee requires possession of the dwelling-house for the purpose of disposing of it with vacant possession
|Property was a holiday let and is going to be used as such again
|A 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 holiday
|Student accommodation being repossessed by educational institutions
|A tenancy which is granted to a person who is pursuing, or intends to pursue, a course of study provided by a specified educational institution
|Religious institutions’ property being repossessed for use by ministers
|The dwelling-house is required for occupation by a minister of religion as such a residence
|Major works on the property
|Landlord intends to demolish or reconstruct the whole or a substantial part of the dwelling-house
|Within 12 months of a tenant inheriting the tenancy from a deceased previous tenant
|The tenancy…has devolved under the will or intestacy of the former tenant
|More than 2 months’ rent arrears
|if rent is payable monthly, at least two months’ rent is unpaid
Discretionary grounds for Section 8 eviction
|Key Legislative Excerpts
|Suitable alternative accommodation is available
|Suitable alternative accommodation is available for the tenant
|Minor rent arrears
|Some rent lawfully due from the tenant is unpaid
|Persistently late paying the rent
|Whether or not any rent is in arrears…the tenant has persistently delayed paying rent which has become lawfully due
|Breach of tenancy
|Any obligation of the tenancy (other than one related to the payment of rent) has been broken or not performed
|Damage to the property
|The condition of the dwelling-house has deteriorated owing to…waste…neglect or default of the tenant
|Guilty of conduct causing or likely to cause a nuisance or annoyance
|Damage to furnishings
|The condition of any furniture…has…deteriorated owing to ill-treatment by the tenant
|Tenant 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 employment
|Tenancy granted through false statement by tenant
|The landlord was induced to grant the tenancy by a false statement made knowingly or recklessly
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.