Sending a section 8 notice is rightly the first step the landlord uses to evict a tenant where there is a breach of the tenancy; for this reason, it’s commonly referred to as an eviction notice although it is accurately termed a notice seeking possession under the Housing Act 1988. The landlord should not issue a section 8 notice if the tenant hasn’t breached the terms of the tenancy. Instead, they should serve a section 21 notice.
When Is A Section 8 Notice Served?
A landlord can issue a section 8 notice at any time during the tenancy period if the tenant has breached the terms of the tenancy or any other statutory obligation. Examples include, but are not limited to; breaching a specific clause in the tenancy agreement, malicious damage to the property, the giving of false details to secure the tenancy, anti-social behaviour, illegal activity in and around the property for which they have been charged, or where the tenant has fallen into rent arrears.
The most common use of a section 8 notice is where a tenant has fallen significantly behind with their payment of rent. Excessive Rent arrears is regarded as a mandatory ground for possession whereas many breaches are discretionary grounds for possession. By this, we refer to the input a Judge can exercise when deciding whether to agree to a Landlord’s request to terminate the tenancy.
The landlord is required to follow the legal procedure by completing form 3, in the first instance, which clearly states the details of the breach, and serving on the tenant. A mandated time frame must also be offered in accordance with the ground(s) relied upon before possession proceedings may commence. It is advisable, but not essential, that the landlord send letters at regular intervals to notify the tenant that they are in breach of the contract. Following this, the landlord may inform the tenant they’re seeking possession of the property. The notice will be relied upon in county court proceedings so it is essential that you retain a copy and detail explicitly how the notice was served.
Who The Section 8 Notice Is Addressed To?
All tenants’ names and addresses should be stated in the notice by the landlord, as they are listed in the tenancy agreement. The court can reject a form that is not up to date, is missing essential information, such as the landlord’s details, or where the form fails to state the wording for the grounds of eviction as they appear in the Housing Act. The section 8 notice can be served through personal delivery, recorded delivery, process server, left at the property address, email, or postal service although it is advisable that a copy is served on the property address as a minimum.
What Happens After Serving The Section 8 Notice?
Upon receiving a section 8 notice, some tenants vacate the property before the notice expires to avoid the court hearings but if this is not the case, a possession order can be applied for by way of the county court. The tenant may attempt to rectify the breach and this should be encouraged.
If you wish to further understand the details on how to send Section 8 notice, you could get help from Kent’s foremost residential eviction specialist, Landlord Assist. Their tenant eviction services UK reduce financial losses and tackle non-performing tenancies at affordable rates.