Section 8 Notice

Section 8 Notice

Whether you have served your own section 8 notice and need us to check it, or wish for us to serve the notice for you, it is imperative that the content is accurate, to avoid delays further on into the process. There are many grounds in which a landlord can serve a Section 8 notice, some are rarely used and some are now seen as an alternative to a Section 21 notice, when the section 21 route cannot be started.

A section 8 notice is not just for rent arrears, although widely used for this purpose. Often landlords confuse section 8 and ground 8 as being the same thing. Put simply, Ground 8 is one of the grounds (rent arrears related) that a landlord can rely on to be able to serve a Section 8 notice. “Section” relates to the section within the Housing Act. “Ground” relates to one of the “reasons” that the notice can be served.

Rent arrears grounds (8, 10 & 11) are generally seen as the strongest of the grounds, however, more often than not, it transpires that various other breaches of the tenancy agreement have occurred where additional, or alternative grounds can be stated within the section 8 notice. Some grounds are mandatory, some discretionary. Statute says that a Judge “must” grant a possession order if the claim is pursuant to a mandatory ground for possession, with the Judge having discretion over the discretionary grounds. However, the harsh reality is that if a claim is brought under a mandatory ground, a Judge can still adjourn a case if he/she so wishes.

Note that the Section 8 notice has changed a few times over recent years. Ensure that you have the correct version. If in doubt, ask us to serve it or use our document checker service, to ensure accuracy and compliance.

Depending on the ground in which you are issuing the section 8 notice, depends on the length of notice that you must give the tenant as to when you will start court action. This can vary from 1 day to 2 months.

Grounds (reasons a landlord can ask) for Possession:

Ground 1

Not later than the beginning of the tenancy the landlord gave notice in writing to the tenant that possession might be recovered on this ground or the court is of the opinion that it is just and equitable to dispense with the requirement of notice and (in either case)—

  • (a) At some time before the beginning of the tenancy, the landlord who is seeking possession or, in the case of joint landlords seeking possession, at least one of them occupied the dwelling-house as his only or principal home; or
  • (b) The landlord who is seeking possession or, in the case of joint landlords seeking possession, at least one of them requires the dwelling-house as his, his spouse’s or his civil partner’s only or principal home and neither the landlord (or, in the case of joint landlords, any one of them) nor any other person who, as landlord, derived title under the landlord who gave the notice mentioned above acquired the reversion on the tenancy for money or money’s worth.

Ground 2

The dwelling-house is subject to a mortgage granted before the beginning of the tenancy and—

  • (a) The mortgagee is entitled to exercise a power of sale conferred on him by the mortgage or by section 101 of the Law of Property Act 1925; and
  • (b) The mortgagee requires possession of the dwelling-house for the purpose of disposing of it with vacant possession in exercise of that power; and
  • (c) Either notice was given as mentioned in Ground 1 above or the court is satisfied that it is just and equitable to dispense with the requirement of notice; And for the purposes of this ground “mortgage” includes a charge and “mortgagee” shall be construed accordingly.

Ground 3

The tenancy is a fixed term tenancy for a term not exceeding eight months and—

  • (a) Not later than the beginning of the tenancy the landlord gave notice in writing to the tenant that possession might be recovered on this ground; and
  • (b) At some time within the period of twelve months ending with the beginning of the tenancy, the dwelling-house was occupied under a right to occupy it for a holiday.

Ground 4

The tenancy is a fixed term tenancy for a term not exceeding twelve months and—

  • (a) Not later than the beginning of the tenancy the landlord gave notice in writing to the tenant that possession might be recovered on this ground; and
  • (b) At some time within the period of twelve months ending with the beginning of the tenancy, the dwelling-house was let on a tenancy falling within paragraph 8 of Schedule 1 to this Act.

Ground 5

The dwelling-house is held for the purpose of being available for occupation by a minister of religion as a residence from which to perform the duties of his office and—

  • (a) Not later than the beginning of the tenancy the landlord gave notice in writing to the tenant that possession might be recovered on this ground; and
  • (b) The court is satisfied that the dwelling-house is required for occupation by a minister of religion as such a residence.

Ground 6

The landlord who is seeking possession or, if that landlord is a registered social landlord or charitable housing trust, a superior landlord intends to demolish or reconstruct the whole or a substantial part of the dwelling-house or to carry out substantial works on the dwelling-house or any part thereof or any building of which it forms part and the following conditions are fulfilled –

  • (a) The intended work cannot reasonably be carried out without the tenant giving up possession of the dwelling-house because –
  • (i) The tenant is not willing to agree to such a variation of the terms of the tenancy as would give such access and other facilities as would permit the intended work to be carried out, or
  • (ii) The nature of the intended work is such that no such variation is practicable, or
  • (iii) The tenant is not willing to accept an assured tenancy of such part only of the dwellinghouse (in this sub-paragraph referred to as “the reduced part”) as would leave in the possession of his landlord so much of the dwelling-house as would be reasonable to enable the intended work to be carried out and, where appropriate, as would give such access and other facilities over the reduced part as would permit the intended work to be carried out, or
  • (iv) The nature of the intended work is such that such a tenancy is not practicable; and
  • (b) Either the landlord seeking possession acquired his interest in the dwellinghouse before the grant of the tenancy or that interest was in existence at the time of that grant and neither that landlord (or, in the case of joint landlords, any of them) nor any other person who, alone or jointly with others, has acquired that interest since that time acquired it for money or money’s worth; and
  • (c) The assured tenancy on which the dwelling-house is let did not come into being by virtue of any provision of Schedule 1 to the Rent Act 1977, as amended by Part I of Schedule 4 to this Act or, as the case may be, section 4 of the Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976, as amended by Part II of that Schedule. For the purposes of this ground, if, immediately before the grant of the tenancy, the tenant to whom it was granted or, if it was granted to joint tenants, any of them was the tenant or one of the joint tenants of the dwelling-house concerned under an earlier assured tenancy or, as the case may be, under a tenancy to which Schedule 10 to the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 applied, any reference in paragraph (b) above to the grant of the tenancy is a reference to the grant of that earlier assured tenancy or, as the case may be, to the grant of the tenancy to which the said Schedule 10 applied. For the purposes of this ground “registered social landlord” has the same meaning as in the Housing Act 1985 (see section 5(4) and (5) of that Act) and “charitable housing trust” means a housing trust, within the meaning of the Housing Associations Act 1985, which is a charity, within the meaning of the Charities Act 1993

Ground 7

The tenancy is a periodic tenancy (including a statutory periodic tenancy) which has devolved under the will or intestacy of the former tenant and the proceedings for the recovery of possession are begun not later than twelve months after the death of the former tenant or, if the court so directs, after the date on which, in the opinion of the court, the landlord or, in the case of joint landlords, any one of them became aware of the former tenant’s death. For the purposes of this ground, the acceptance by the landlord of rent from a new tenant after the death of the former tenant shall not be regarded as creating a new periodic tenancy, unless the landlord agrees in writing to a change (as compared with the tenancy before the death) in the amount of the rent, the period of the tenancy, the premises which are let or any other term of the tenancy.

Ground 7(a)

Any of the following conditions is met. Condition 1 is that—

  • (a) the tenant, or a person residing in or visiting the dwelling-house, has been convicted of a serious offence, and
  • (b) the serious offence—
  • (i) was committed (wholly or partly) in, or in the locality of, the dwelling-house,
  • (ii) was committed elsewhere against a person with a right (of whatever description) to reside in, or occupy housing accommodation in the locality of, the dwelling-house, or
  • (iii) was committed elsewhere against the landlord of the dwelling-house, or a person employed (whether or not by the landlord) in connection with the exercise of the landlord’s housing management functions, and directly or indirectly related to or affected those functions.

Condition 2 is that –

a court has found in relevant proceedings that the tenant, or a person residing in or visiting the dwelling-house, has breached a provision of an injunction under section 1 of the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, other than a provision requiring a person to participate in a particular activity, and –

  • (a) the breach occurred in, or in the locality of, the dwelling-house, or
  • (b) the breach occurred elsewhere and the provision breached was a provision intended to prevent—
  • (i) conduct that is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person with a right (of whatever description) to reside in, or occupy housing accommodation in the locality of, the dwelling-house, or (ii) conduct that is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to the landlord of the dwellinghouse, or a person employed (whether or not by the landlord) in connection with the exercise of the landlord’s housing management functions, and that is directly or indirectly related to or affects those functions.

Condition 3 is that –

the tenant, or a person residing in or visiting the dwellinghouse, has been convicted of an offence under section 30 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 consisting of a breach of a provision of a criminal behaviour order prohibiting a person from doing anything described in the order, and the offence involved –

  • (a) a breach that occurred in, or in the locality of, the dwelling-house, or
  • (b) a breach that occurred elsewhere of a provision intended to prevent –

            behaviour that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to a person with a right (of whatever description) to reside in, or occupy housing accommodation in the locality of, the dwelling-house, or (ii) behaviour that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to the landlord of the dwelling-house, or a person employed (whether or not by the landlord) in connection with the exercise of the landlord’s housing management functions, and that is directly or indirectly related to or affects those functions.

Condition 4 is that—

  • (a) the dwelling-house is or has been subject to a closure order under section 80 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, and
  • (b) access to the dwelling-house has been prohibited (under the closure order or under a closure notice issued under section 76 of that Act) for a continuous period of more than 48 hours.

Condition 5 is that—

  • (a) the tenant, or a person residing in or visiting the dwelling-house, has been convicted of an offence under—
  • (i) section 80(4) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (breach of abatement notice in relation to statutory nuisance), or
  • (ii) section 82(8) of that Act (breach of court order to abate statutory nuisance etc.), and
  • (b) the nuisance concerned was noise emitted from the dwelling-house which was a statutory nuisance for the purposes of Part 3 of that Act by virtue of section 79(1)(g) of that Act (noise emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance). Condition 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 is not met if—
  • (a) there is an appeal against the conviction, finding or order concerned which has not been finally determined, abandoned or withdrawn, or
  • (b) the final determination of the appeal results in the conviction, finding or order being overturned. In this ground— “relevant proceedings” means proceedings for contempt of court or proceedings under Schedule 2 to the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014; “serious offence” means an offence which—
  • (a) was committed on or after the day on which this ground comes into force,
  • (b) is specified, or falls within a description specified, in Schedule 2A to the Housing Act 1985 at the time the offence was committed and at the time the court is considering the matter, and
  • (c) is not an offence that is triable only summarily by virtue of section 22 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 (either-way offences where value involved is small).

Ground 7(b)

Both of the following conditions are met in relation to a dwelling-house in England.

Condition 1 is that –

the Secretary of State has given a notice in writing to the landlord or, in the case of joint landlords, one or more of them which identifies –

  • (a) the tenant or, in the case of joint tenants, one or more of them, or
  • (b) one or more other persons aged 18 or over who are occupying the dwellinghouse, as a person or persons disqualified as a result of their immigration status from occupying the dwelling-house under the tenancy.

Condition 2 is that –

Both of the following conditions are met in relation to a dwelling-house in England.

Condition 1 is that –

the Secretary of State has given a notice in writing to the landlord or, in the case of joint landlords, one or more of them which identifies –

the person or persons named in the notice –

  • (a) fall within paragraph (a) or (b) of condition 1, and
  • (b) are disqualified as a result of their immigration status from occupying the dwelling-house under the tenancy. For the purposes of this ground a person (“P”) is disqualified as a result of their immigration status from occupying the dwelling-house under the tenancy if –
  • (a) P is not a relevant national, and
  • (b) P does not have a right to rent in relation to the dwelling-house. P does not have a right to rent in relation to the dwelling-house if –
  • (a) P requires leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom but does not have it, or
  • (b) P’s leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom is subject to a condition preventing P from occupying the dwelling-house. But P is to be treated as having a right to rent in relation to a dwelling-house if the Secretary of State has granted P permission for the purposes of this ground to occupy a dwelling-house under an assured tenancy. In this ground “relevant national” means—
  • (a) a British citizen,
  • (b) a national of an EEA State other than the United Kingdom, or (
  • (c) a national of Switzerland.”

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