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Do I need a Section 8 or a Section 21 Notice?

Section 21 and Section 8 notices

You can evict tenants who have an assured shorthold tenancy using a Section 21 or Section 8 notice, or both.

Use a Section 8 notice if your tenants have broken the terms of the tenancy.

Section 21 notice of seeking possession

You can use a Section 21 notice to evict your tenants either:

  • after a fixed term tenancy ends - if there’s a written contract
  • during a tenancy with no fixed end date - known as a ‘periodic’ tenancy

When you can’t use a Section 21 notice

You can’t use a Section 21 notice if any of the following apply:

  • it’s less than 6 months since the tenancy started
  • the fixed term hasn’t ended, unless there’s a clause in the contract which allows you to do this
  • the property is categorised as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) and doesn’t have a HMO licence from the council
  • the council has served an improvement notice on the property in the last 6 months
  • the council has served a notice in the last 6 months that says it will do emergency works on the property
  • the tenancy started after April 2007 and you haven’t put the tenants’ deposit in a deposit protection scheme

Section 8 Notice is used in England & Wales by landlords to gain possession of a property that is let under an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) and are in rent arrears of at least two months or more (or eight weeks for a weekly tenancy).

Under the Housing Act, a landlord is entitled to an order for possession as of right if the tenant is in rent arrears of at least two months at the date of serving the notice and at the date of any court hearing.

When can a landlord serve a Section 8 Notice?

The notice cannot be served until the tenant’s rent arrears have reached two months. For example, if the monthly rent is £500, then the rent arrears must be at least £1,000.

The advantage of a Section 8 Notice is that a landlord only has to give the tenant 14 days’ notice and it can be used at any point during a fixed or statutory periodic tenancy (i.e. after the fixed term has come to an end).

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