Knowing your way around a Section 8 Notice

by Toby on December 11, 2012

  • Sumo

As a landlord you may well come across a section 8 notice during your letting career – unfortunately this means you are dealing with bad tenants.

Even if you do a background check, confirm a person’s income and meet them in person, it will not fully prevent you from having to deal with poor tenants, who you will doubtless want to get rid of before the end of their fixed term. In order to do this, you can serve them with a Section 8 Notice, which allows you to evict the tenants if you have valid grounds.

Chances are you will want the offending tenants to get out as soon as possible, but unfortunately there are time periods specified for each one of the grounds – there are 17 in total from the Housing Act 1988 that you may be able to use to get rid of your troublesome renters.

Section 8 Notice

When you decide you have had enough and need to issue a Section 8 Notice, you will need to pick up or download the form and fill it in, before sending a copy of the completed form to each of the tenants you intend to evict. The form will ask you which grounds you are basing the notice on and you need to be clear as to why they apply.

A court will decide if what you have filled in is valid, so do not take your responsibilities lightly in this respect; there are many cases when a possession order is delayed significantly because the grounds are rejected or the form has been invalidated in some way. Read guidance carefully and take professional advice where possible.

In an ideal world, you serve the Section 8 Notice and once the given amount of time has passed – this depends on which grounds you are applying in reference to – you appear in court to hear that you are being granted a possession order and the offending tenant will be evicted within two weeks. Unfortunately, it is not always this easy and your tenants may find ways of extending their stay.


The pivotal point in all of this is of course whether your grounds for eviction are valid. There are two types of grounds, mandatory and discretionary. In the former case, if the grounds are proven then a possession order is mandatory; whereas in the latter case, it is up to the discretion of the court.

Grounds 1 – 8 are mandatory: they include reasons such as the landlord wanting to move back into a property that was their home previously; the property is subject to a mortgage that started before the tenancy started; and when the landlord wants to carry out works on the building.

Grounds 9 – 17 are discretionary: among them are catch-all reasons such as breaching the terms of the tenancy; failure to pay rent; the tenant had lied to the landlord; or when the tenant has created problems with neighbours.

Once you have read through the full list of grounds it should be obvious which one you should pursue, but seek professional help if you are unsure.




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