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Eviction during a fixed term

Using a Section 8 Notice

  • A Section 8 notice is used to remove a tenant from a property due to their bad behaviour. This is a process that can be difficult, slow, expensive and painful and requires legal advice before proceeding. As the process is effectively seeking to throw a tenant out of the place where they live the landlord needs sound reasons to present before the court to avoid a judge finding in the tenant’s favour to avoid making them homeless.
  • As the Section 8 process can take so long to complete it’s often quicker to wait and use a Section 21 notice near the end of a tenancy. A claim cannot be made under a Section 21 for any unpaid rent, but a Section 21 notice can be used to remove a tenant and then proceedings can be issued in the county court for the unpaid rent.

    • Grounds for eviction

      There are seventeen grounds for eviction and as many as needed can be used in one case if there are multiple reasons for removing a tenant.
    • The following are mandatory grounds – if at least one is proven then the judge must grant possession:
    • Ground 1: Landlord taking property as their own home.
    • Ground 2: Mortgage property.
    • Ground 3: Holiday rent.
    • Ground 4: Property tied to an educational institution.
    • Ground 5: Housing for a minister of religion.
    • Ground 6: Refurbishment.
    • Ground 7: Death of the tenant.
    • Ground 7A: Conviction for serious offence.
    • Ground 7B: Service on landlord of notice by Secretary of State in respect of illegal immigrants.

    • Ground 8 Rent arrears.
    • The following are discretionary grounds. These are not likely to achieve eviction on their own and it’s better to wait for one of the mandatory grounds to apply to achieve an eviction:
    • Ground 9: Alternative accommodation.
    • Ground 10: Rent arrears.
    • Ground 11: Regular failure to pay rent.
    • Ground 12: Breach of tenancy agreement.
    • Ground 13: Neglect of property.
    • Ground 14: Anti-social behaviour.
    • Ground 14a: Domestic violence.
    • Ground 15: Poor treatment of furnishings.
    • Ground 16: Tied to employment.
    • Ground 17: False statements.

      How to serve a Section 8 notice

    • A Section 8 notice (form 3 from assured tenancy forms) from the website can be downloaded but if there are any errors made in the completion the judge will throw the case out of court. It’s best to get legal help to ensure the notice is completed correctly.
    • The notice needs to have an expiry date after which the court proceedings can begin. For the grounds relating to non-payment of rent (the most common reason for a Section 8 notice), this should be at least 14 days from the date the notice is served.
    • The process for calculating when the notice is deemed to be served is the same as with Section 21 notices, and it’s worth adding a few extra days in case the notice is served late for any reason.
    • Tenants may sometimes leave once they receive the Section 8 notice to avoid court proceedings. In this case, the landlord would need to get a county court judgment to claim the unpaid rent from the tenant.
    • If the fourteen days expire and the tenant hasn’t left or resolved the situation the landlord will need to apply to the local court for a hearing to get a possession order granted. If this doesn’t have the desired effect, then it’s back to the court to get the bailiffs to evict. The landlord will need to pay all the court and bailiff fees in this scenario.
    • although the eviction process can be complicated and protracted, tenants will often leave as soon as the notice is served. If they do not leave and are non-paying it’s probably best to acquire the services of an eviction specialist to ensure that no mistakes are made that will lengthen the process further.