What is a Section 8 Notice to Quit Template?
A Section 8 Notice is a legal document that landlords in the UK use to evict their tenants from a property. The Notice must be served to the Tenant to gain possession of the property according to the Housing Act 1988. The Notice should contain specific information, such as the grounds for eviction and the date possession is required (Section 8, Housing Act 1988).
The Notice must be signed by the landlord or an authorized representative, giving the Tenant at least two weeks’ Notice before the eviction occurs. However, if the landlord is evicting the Tenant for rent arrears, the Notice must be served at least two months before the eviction date.
When do you use a Section 8 Notice of Eviction in the UK?
A Section 8 Notice is legally valid only if the landlord has a good reason to evict the Tenant. This could be because the Tenant still needs to pay the rent or breached the tenancy agreement’s terms. The Notice can also be used if the Tenant has caused a nuisance, used the property illegally, or is in rent arrears of 8 weeks or more. To support the eviction, the landlord must provide evidence that the Tenant has breached the tenancy agreement or is in rent arrears. More information about the grounds for eviction is available below.
After the Notice has been served, the Tenant must vacate the property within 28 days; otherwise, they could be taken to court. If the Tenant stays beyond 28 days, the landlord can apply to the court for an order of possession.
The Housing Act 1988 provides 17 grounds for a landlord to seek possession before the fixed term of tenancy has finished.
To evict a tenant, a landlord must obtain a court order for possession. However, before applying to the court, the landlord must serve a Section 8 notice to quit on the Tenant. This Notice informs the Tenant that the landlord intends to seek possession of the property and specifies the ground(s) on which possession is sought.
The Section 8 notice must follow a prescribed format and include the grounds on which the landlord intends to gain possession and the reasons for relying on those grounds. Failure to issue the Notice will likely ensure the landlord’s ability to gain possession of the property.
What are the Grounds for issuing a Section 8 notice to quit?
Under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988, there are 17 separate grounds on which a landlord can seek possession of a property.
If the landlord wants to give Notice for ground 2, they must do so two months in advance. However, grounds 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 14A, 15 and 17 only need to give two weeks’ Notice. The landlord must follow the appropriate procedure when serving a Section 8 notice. Any mistakes made can result in severe delays.
Grounds involving rent arrears
The most common reason for a landlord to issue a section 8 notice is rent arrears, which falls under grounds 8, 10, and 11.
Section 8 Notice – Ground 8
Rent is unpaid when the Notice seeking possession is served and at the time of the hearing for a Possession Order:
Rent can be paid weekly or fortnightly, and the Tenant must owe a minimum of eight weeks’ rent. If rent is paid every month, at least two months’ rent must be owed. For quarterly payments, the Tenant must owe a minimum of one quarter’s rent over three months overdue. For yearly payments, the Tenant must owe a minimum of three months’ rent, which is also over three months due.
Section 8 Notice – Ground 10
If the rent owed to the landlord has not been paid by the time the possession proceedings are initiated and was due when the Notice seeking possession was served, it can lead to eviction. However, if the Tenant has offered to pay the rent, but the landlord has refused to accept it, the Tenant can use this as a defence in the possession proceedings.
Section 8 Notice – Ground 11
If a tenant repeatedly fails to pay rent on time, a landlord can start possession proceedings against them, even if there are no rent arrears.
Suppose the landlord is issuing a section 8 notice based on rent arrears. In that case, it is advisable to include ground 8 in the grounds relied upon, as it is the only mandatory ground covering rent arrears. If the landlord can prove that this ground applies, the court will grant a possession order.
However, it is recommended that landlords make use of all the grounds that apply, as they will all help the court decide whether to grant a possession order.
What are the Grounds for issuing a Section 8 notice other than rent arrears?
If a landlord can prove any of the grounds listed in a Section 8 notice, they can apply to a court for possession against the Tenant.
Section 8 Notice – Ground 2
The property has a mortgage that was taken out before the tenancy. The mortgagees are now repossessing the property to enforce the charge. If you plan to rent the property, the landlord should inform you in writing before or when the tenancy starts that possession may be required under this ground.
Section 8 Notice – Ground 12
The Tenant has breached any term of the tenancy agreement (other than the ones relating to the payment of rent).
Section 8 Notice – Ground 13
The property has deteriorated due to neglect by the Tenant or someone living with the Tenant, and the Tenant has failed to remove that person.
Section 8 Notice – Ground 14
The Tenant or someone living with or visiting the Tenant is causing or is likely to cause a nuisance to neighbours or visitors to the area, or has been convicted of using the property for immoral or illegal purposes, or has been convicted of an offence in the local area.
Section 8 Notice – Ground 14A
Note that this ground is only open to registered social landlords or charitable housing trusts and can not be used by private landlords.
A couple occupies the property, one of them being a tenant, and one of them has left due to violence or threats of violence from the other partner or from a member of that partner’s family who is also living in the property.
Section 8 Notice – Ground 15
Furniture at the property has deteriorated because the Tenant or someone living with it has neglected the furniture, and the Tenant has failed to remove that person.
Section 8 Notice – Ground 17
The Tenant, one of the tenants, or a person acting on behalf of the Tenant has given false information to the landlord, resulting in the landlord granting the Tenant the tenancy.
When issuing a Section 8 notice to quit on a tenant, it is advisable to use all applicable grounds. This is because specific grounds are considered only at the court’s discretion and are often hard to substantiate.
How do I serve a Section 8 Notice on a tenant?
Landlords or their representatives must serve a written Section 8 notice to start the eviction process in the UK. This Notice should be served following the Civil Procedure Rules.
The Section 8 Notice must be served by one of the following means:
Please find below a more precise and error-free version of the text you shared earlier:
There are four ways to serve a notice to a tenant:
1. In-person: You can serve the Notice to the Tenant in person.
2. By post: You can send the Notice to the Tenant by first-class post. If you have a forwarding address for the Tenant, you can send the Notice to that address instead.
3. By leaving it at their last known address: You can leave the Notice at the Tenant’s last known address, either with a person of suitable age and discretion or affixed to a conspicuous part of the premises.
4. By email: You can send the Notice to an address you reasonably believe to be the Tenant’s current email address.
Please note that you need to keep a record of the date and method of service, as you may need to provide evidence in court if the Tenant disputes the Notice.
It’s important to remember that service by email or post is only valid if the Tenant receives the Notice within the required timeframe. Depending on the grounds for eviction, this can be either 14 or 28 days. You may need to serve a new notice if the Notice is not received within this timeframe.
Please refer to Practice Direction 55A of the Civil Procedure Rules for further information.
What happens if a tenant does not leave after a Section 8 Notice has been served?
If a tenant fails to vacate the property even after receiving a Section 8 notice, the landlord can apply to the court for a possession order to legally require the Tenant to leave. Before applying to the court, the landlord must ensure that the Notice was validly served and that the notice period has expired.
The landlord can apply to the court online or by completing a paper form and sending it to the court office. The court will review the application and check if the landlord has followed the correct legal process and if the Tenant has breached the agreement. If the court decides that the Tenant has breached the deal, they will issue a possession order requiring the Tenant to vacate the property.
If the Tenant still refuses to leave, the landlord can apply for a warrant for possession from the court, which allows bailiffs to evict the Tenant. However, it is essential to note that the landlord must follow the correct legal process when evicting a tenant, or the Tenant may take legal action against the landlord.
Does a Section 8 notice to quit guarantee a possession order?
If you are a landlord and want to evict a tenant before the end of the fixed term of the tenancy due to a breach of the tenancy agreement, you can issue a section 8 notice to quit. It’s important to note that giving such a notice doesn’t guarantee that the court will grant a possession order. The outcome largely depends on the grounds relied upon and the strength of the landlord’s argument.
Grounds 2 and 8 are mandatory grounds for a section 8 notice. If the landlord relies on one of these grounds and can prove to the court that it applies, then the court will have no choice but to issue the landlord with a possession order.
On the other hand, grounds 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 14A, 15 and 17 are discretionary. This means that even if the landlord can prove that one of these grounds applies, the court may sometimes rule in their favour. In such cases, the court will weigh up the facts and decide based on what they consider fair and reasonable.
If the court is satisfied that the landlord is entitled to possession on one of the grounds, they will grant a possession order to take effect within 14 days. However, if the Tenant experiences exceptional hardship, the court may extend this period to six weeks.
If you need to evict a tenant and gain possession of your property, you can use a form such as the one provided on this website.
What are the costs associated with a Section 8 Notice?
The costs of serving a Section 8 Notice for a landlord in the UK depend on the specific circumstances of the tenancy.
When serving a Section 8 Notice, landlords may incur court filing fees and the expense of hiring a court bailiff to deliver the Notice. The costs may vary depending on the court’s jurisdiction, so it is advisable to contact the local court to obtain an accurate estimate.
Aside from court costs, landlords may also need to pay their legal fees to create the Notice and represent themselves in court should the Tenant respond to the Notice. The cost of legal fees may differ depending on the case’s complexity, the time required to prepare the Notice and the legal representation chosen.
Lastly, landlords may be responsible for paying any expenses related to evicting the Tenant from the property. These may include removal costs, locksmith fees, and other associated expenses.