Serving a Section 8 Notice
A section 8 notice is also called a “notice seeking possession of a property let on an assured tenancy or an assured agricultural occupancy”, and is a process for a landlord to evict a tenant who has an assured shorthold tenancy and has broken one or more covenants of their tenancy agreement.
A section 8 notice can be done yourself, by printing out and filling in an official copy of the notice from the government’s website. However, it is advisable to receive legal advice when taking this step and have a legal expert help you through the process.
There can be ambiguities about whether a section 8 notice is the most appropriate way to evict your tenant, so it is important to ensure that this is the right course of action. If you fill in the notice incorrectly or serve the wrong notice, the process can become more costly and drawn out.
If you need help or advice on serving a section 8 notice to a tenant, call Percy Hughes & Roberts today on 0151 666 9090. to speak to one of our expert property solicitors. Alternatively, fill out our online enquiry form to arrange for a member of our team to call you back.
When can a landlord serve a section 8 notice?
A section 8 notice is appropriate under circumstances in which a tenant has broken the rules of their tenancy agreement. You will need to specify which grounds you are relying on to evict the tenant and take possession of the property within the notice, which is why it can be best to consult legal advice before taking this step.
Relevant grounds to serve a section 8 notice include:
● The landlord wishes to use the property as their main residence;
● The property is subject to a mortgage and the mortgage-payer intends to sell
● The property requires redevelopment
● The tenant is in rental arrears
● The tenant has failed to uphold other obligations (including taking care of the property)
● The tenant is using the property for illegal purposes or causing a nuisance
Many of these grounds for eviction are subject to a decision by the Court as to whether or not possession will be granted. For this reason, it is important to be thorough when serving a notice to a tenant.
You must give a tenant a minimum of two week's notice to a tenant to leave a property, so if you have plans for the property you should take this time limit into account when determining when you should serve your notice.
When is a section 8 notice not applicable?
A section 8 notice cannot be served in situations where a tenant has not broken their tenancy agreement. However, if you are seeking to evict a tenant after a fixed term tenancy ends or during a periodic tenancy, you may be able to serve a section 21 notice instead.
If a tenant owes you rent arrears, and you are seeking to obtain possession on those grounds (as listed above), a section 8 notice may not always be an appropriate step depending on the circumstances of the tenant. Some debtors are eligible for breathing space under the Debt Respite Scheme and if this is granted, creditors must cease efforts to collect debts until the breathing space concludes.
The Insolvency Service will notify you if a debtor has been granted breathing space. If you have been notified in such a way, you will be unable to serve a section 8 notice, you must not contact the tenant directly about debt arrears, and other restrictions may apply.
Contact Percy Hughes & Roberts
To speak to an employment law solicitor for advice, contact Percy Hughes & Roberts for a no-obligation phone consultation today. We provide ourselves on offering expert advice that's easy to understand, and we will be with you through every step of the legal process.
Call us on 0151 666 9090, or fill out an online enquiry form to arrange for us to get in touch at a time that's suitable for you.