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Section 8 & Section 21 Notice Evictions

Expert support for evicting tenants

Using the right process to end a tenancy is crucial. As a landlord, if errors are made in serving a notice or the correct procedure has not been followed, the court will not be able to order eviction, should this be necessary.

At Stephen Rimmer Solicitors, our expert landlord and tenant solicitors can advise you on the options open to you and the best way to secure vacant possession. Our team have extensive experience of advising private landlords in dealing with tenant removal, including where rent arrears have built up, where tenants are making matters difficult and in complex situations.

How we can help with tenant evictions

Before serving notice on a tenant, it is important to understand which process to use and ensure that there are no grounds on which the notice could be invalid. For example, the tenant’s deposit must have been treated in the right way and the rent reminders properly drafted, containing all relevant information.

We can deal with an eviction on your behalf. Our commercial property solicitors offer a full range of related services and guidance for landlords, including:

  • Advice on evicting a tenant
  • Preparing and serving a section 8 notice
  • Preparing and serving a section 21 notice
  • Taking action to repossess property
  • Collecting rent arrears
  • Enforcing orders of the court

Consult our landlord and tenant solicitors in Eastbourne and Hastings

For clear, expert advice on serving a section 8 notice or serving a section 21 notice, please contact a member of our landlord and tenant team for a no obligation discussion:

Tenant eviction FAQs

How do you serve a section 8 notice correctly?

A notice under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 is used to evict a tenant where certain conditions are met.

The notice will only be valid and enforceable by the court if it is prepared and served correctly. The process starts before the notice is served and landlords should make sure that if an issue arises, such as rent arrears or a breach of the rules, regular and detailed reminders are sent to the tenant.

The tenancy agreement may set out the process to be used in serving a section 8 notice and if it does, this must be followed.

The notice should be correctly drafted and must contain all relevant details, including the full address of the property, names of all of the tenants and the grounds for eviction. It should give the right notice period, which could be two months or two weeks, depending on the reason why the eviction is taking place. After expiry of the notice period, the notice should give a date on which court action can be commenced.

Serving a section 8 notice should be carried out in accordance with the tenancy agreement. This could be by first class post, special delivery, in person, by email or by delivery to the property.

You can also fill in form N215 which is a Certificate of Service giving details of how the notice was delivered. This will be needed by the court, should you ever need to bring proceedings against the tenant.

What is a section 8 notice?

A notice under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 is the first step on the road to taking possession of a property. It is issued when a landlord has a legal reason to evict a tenant and gives the tenant warning that proceedings are likely to be brought to secure eviction if the tenant does not leave.

What are the section 8 grounds for eviction?

There are eight mandatory grounds on which a tenant can be evicted under section 8 and nine discretionary grounds for possession.

The eight mandatory grounds for eviction are:

  1. As the landlord you wish to occupy the property as your main home
  2. There is a mortgage over the property which was taken out before the tenancy started and the lender wishes to exercise their power of sale
  3. As the landlord, you wish to use the property as a holiday rental. This is only possible if the property was used as a holiday let in the past year and the tenancy is for no more than eight months
  4. The landlord is an educational institution and requires the property to house students. This must be stated as a ground for eviction in the tenancy agreement
  5. The landlord is a religious organisation and requires the property to house its members
  6. As the landlord, you wish to develop the property
  7. The tenant has died and their heir moved into the property but is not named in the tenancy agreement
  8. The tenant has arrears of rent. If rent is payable weekly, then the arrears are eight weeks or more. If the rent is payable monthly, then two months or more are due. If the rent is payable quarterly, then one quarter is due.

There are a further nine discretionary grounds which may be used, depending on the circumstances, which are:

  1. As the landlord, you wish to repossess the property and you have offered the tenant suitable alternative accommodation
  2. There are rent arrears, but not enough for mandatory eviction
  3. The tenant is consistently late in paying the rent
  4. The tenant has breached the terms of the tenancy agreement, other than in respect of payment of the rent
  5. The property has been damaged or neglected
  6. The neighbours have made multiple complaints of nuisance
  7. The furniture at the property has been damaged or sold by the tenant
  8. The tenancy was arranged through the tenant’s employer and the employment has now ended
  9. The tenant gave the landlord false information when entering into the tenancy

What happens after a section 8 notice is served?

After a section 8 notice is served, the tenants have until the date specified in the notice in which to leave the property. If they do not, then as the landlord you can apply to the court for a possession order.

There will be a hearing and the court can order possession. The date by which this should happen will be specified and could be 14 or 28 days after the hearing.

The court can choose to suspend the order for possession if it chooses. This will be on condition that the tenant pays the rent. The court can make a money order requiring the tenant to pay the arrears of rent as well as legal costs and court fees.

If the tenant fails to leave the property by the specified date, then as the landlord you can ask the court to issue a warrant for possession. A bailiff will then evict the tenants. If you want a faster possession, you can ask for the warrant to be transferred to the High Court and ask for a writ of possession.

What is the difference between section 8 and section 21?

A section 21 notice is referred to as ‘no-fault’ notice and can be used by the landlord if they wish to take possession of the property but the tenant has not breached the tenancy agreement.

What is the difference between a section 8 and section 21 notice?

A section 21 notice can only be served after the end of a fixed term or a periodic term, if the tenancy has rolled over into a periodic tenancy after the fixed term has finished.

What are the grounds for a section 21 notice?

The landlord does not need to specify any grounds on which they require possession under section 21.

What is a section 21 notice used for?

Serving a section 21 notice is done when a landlord wants to repossess property and the tenant has an assured shorthold tenancy.

What makes a section 21 notice invalid?

It is crucial to make sure that the tenancy and the section 21 eviction notice are dealt with in the right way or the notice could be invalid. This includes making sure that:

  • The deposit was placed in a tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days of receipt
  • The tenant was given the prescribed information in respect of this within 30 days of your receipt of the deposit
  • You have the necessary licence if the property is a Home in Multiple Occupation
  • There are no errors on the section 21 notice and it is served in the correct way
  • Form 6A accompanied the section 21 notice and this was correct and the right version of the form was used
  • Possession proceedings were started within six months of the date of the notice, otherwise a new notice will usually need to be served
  • The tenancy started after 1 October 2015 and the tenant was not provided with:
    • An up to date gas safety certificate
    • An Energy Performance Certificate
    • A copy of the ‘How to Rent’ guide
  • The tenant had a legitimate complaint or had requested repairs
  • The tenant was charged fees other than certain specified expenses
  • The tenant was required to pay more than five weeks’ rent as a security deposit or more than six weeks’ rent if the total annual rent is over £50,000

Our landlord and tenant solicitors’ fees

We always aim to provide outstanding quality legal advice and an exceptional client service at a competitive rate.

We are able to offer fixed fees for some work so that you will know exactly how much the cost will be from the outset. Where fixed fees are not available, we will give you an accurate estimate of the likely costs and the hourly rates of the individuals who will be carrying out the work.

Speak to our landlord and tenant solicitors in Eastbourne and Hastings

From our offices in Eastbourne and Hastings, our team advises landlords all across East Sussex, including in Bexhill-on-Sea, Hailsham, Polegate, Battle, Pevensey and St Leonards-on-Sea.

To find out how we can help with section 8 notices and section 21 evictions, please contact our expert team now:

How can we help you?

Call us today on 01323 644222 to get the specialist help you need.