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What is a Section 8 Notice to Quit Template?
A Section 8 Notice is a notice of eviction used by landlords in the United Kingdom when they want to evict a tenant from a property. It is a legal document that must be served to the tenant in order for the landlord to gain possession of the property. The notice must be served in accordance with the Housing Act 1988, which states that “The notice must contain prescribed information, including the grounds for eviction and the date by which possession is required” (Section 8, Housing Act 1988).
The notice must also be signed by the landlord or an authorised representative. The notice must give the tenant at least two weeks’ notice before the eviction is to take place. However, if the landlord is seeking possession of the property due to rent arrears, the notice must be served at least two months before the eviction.
When do you use a Section 8 Notice of Eviction in the UK?
A Section 8 Notice is only legally valid if the landlord has a legal reason for wanting to evict the tenant, for example if the tenant has breached the terms of the tenancy agreement or has not paid rent.
These include if the tenant has breached the terms of the tenancy agreement or has not paid rent. It can also be used if the tenant has caused a nuisance, used the property for illegal purposes, or is in rent arrears of 8 weeks or more. The landlord must provide evidence that the tenant has breached the tenancy agreement or is in rent arrears. More about the Grounds for Eviction below.
Once the notice has been served, the tenant must leave the property within 28 days, or they could be taken to court. If the tenant stays beyond the 28 days, the landlord can apply to the court for an order of possession.
The Housing Act 1988 provides 17 grounds on which a landlord may seek possession before the fixed term of tenancy has finished.
The landlord cannot evict the tenant without first obtaining an order for possession from a court.
Before applying to the court for such an order, the landlord must serve a Section 8 notice to quit on the tenant. The notice states that the landlord intends to seek possession of the property and states the ground or grounds on which possession is sought.
The notice must be laid out in a prescribed format and must specify which grounds the landlord intends to use to gain possession and the landlord's reasons for relying on those particular grounds. Any error made when issuing the section 8 notice is likely to delay the landlord gaining possession.
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.
For ground 2 the landlord must give two months' notice. For grounds 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 14A, 15 and 17 they can give just two weeks' notice.
Notice must be given in the prescribed manner in a section 8 notice. This is important because any errors the landlord makes when serving the section 8 notice is likely to lead to serious delays.
Grounds involving rent arrears
The most common reason for issuing a section 8 notice to quit is rent arrears and this is covered in 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 is paid weekly or fortnightly and at least eight weeks' rent is owed.
- Rent is paid monthly and at least two months' rent is owed.
- Rent is paid quarterly and at least one quarter's rent is more than three months overdue.
- Rent is paid yearly and at least three months' rent is more than three months overdue.
Section 8 Notice - Ground 10
Rent which is lawfully due to the landlord has not been paid by the time the possession proceedings are started and was owed at the time the Notice seeking possession was served.
If a landlord has been offered money for rent by the tenant but has refused to take it, the tenant will have a defence in the possession proceedings.
Section 8 Notice - Ground 11
The tenant has failed repeatedly to pay rent on time. There don't have to be rent arrears at the time possession proceedings started.
If the landlord is issuing the section 8 notice on the grounds of rent arrears, if possible he should include ground 8 in the grounds he relies upon, as this is the only ground covering rent arrears that is mandatory. This means that if the landlord can prove that this ground applies, the court will grant a possession order.
Nevertheless it is recommended that landlords make use of all the grounds that apply, as they will all help the court in making their decision on whether to grant a possession order.
What are the Grounds for issuing a Section 8 notice other than rent arrears
If any of the following grounds apply a landlord can apply to a court for possession after issuing a section 8 notice to quit upon the tenant.
Section 8 Notice - Ground 2
The property is subject to a mortgage which pre-dates the tenancy and the mortgagees are repossessing the property to enforce the charge. Written notice should be given before or at the time the tenancy begins 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 by 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.
The property is occupied by a couple, 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 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 which resulted in the landlord granting the tenant the tenancy.
When issuing a section 8 notice to quit on a tenant it is advisable to make use of all grounds that apply. This is because not only are certain grounds considered only at the court's discretion, but also certain grounds are often hard to substantiate.
How do I serve a Section 8 Notice on a tenant?
In the UK, a landlord or their representative is required to serve a Section 8 notice in order to begin the eviction process. This notice must be in writing and must be served in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules.
n the UK, a landlord or their representative is required to serve a Section 8 notice in order to begin the eviction process. This notice must be in writing and must be served in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules.
The Section 8 Notice must be served by one of the following means:
1. In person: The notice may be served on the tenant in person.
2. By post: The notice may be sent to the tenant by first-class post. If the landlord has a forwarding address for the tenant, the notice may be sent to that address instead.
3. By leaving it at the tenant’s last known address: The notice may be left 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: The notice may be sent by email to an address that the landlord reasonably believes to be the tenant’s current email address.
The landlord must keep a record of the date and method of service, as this will be required as evidence in court if the tenant disputes the notice.
It is important to note that service by email or post is only valid if the notice is received by the tenant within the required timeframe - depending on the grounds for eviction, this can be either 14 or 28 days. If the notice is not received within this timeframe, the landlord may need to serve a new notice.
What happens if a tenant does not leave after a Section 8 Notice has been served?
We have written a detailed guidance note on getting a possession order which you can read for FREE here.
If a tenant does not leave after a Section 8 Notice has been served, then the landlord can apply to the court for a possession order. This is an order from the court that legally requires the tenant to leave the property.
Before applying to the court, the landlord must make sure that the Section 8 Notice was validly served and that the notice period has expired.
The landlord can apply to the court online or can complete a paper form. If a paper form is used, the landlord must send it to the court office.
The court will then consider the landlord's application. They will check that the landlord has followed the correct legal process and that the tenant has breached the terms of the agreement.
If the court agrees that the tenant has breached the agreement, then they will issue a ‘possession order’. This is a legal order from the court that states that the tenant must leave the property.
Once the possession order has been issued, the landlord can then take further action if the tenant has still not left the property. The landlord can then apply for a ‘warrant for possession’. This is an order from the court that allows bailiffs to evict the tenant.
If the tenant has still not left the property after the warrant for possession has been issued, then the bailiffs will visit the property to evict the tenant.
It is important to note that the landlord must follow the correct legal process when evicting a tenant. Otherwise, the tenant may be able to take legal action against the landlord.
Does a Section 8 notice to quit guarantee a possession order?
You can Buy and Download an EASY & QUICK Section 8 Notice HERE
Issuing a section 8 notice to quit on a tenant does not guarantee that the court will grant a possession order. It depends largely on which grounds are relied upon as well as the strength of the the landlord’s argument.
Grounds 2 and 8 of a section 8 notice are mandatory, meaning that if a landlord relies on one of these grounds and can prove to the court that one of them applies, then the court will have no choice but to issue the landlord with a possession order.
Grounds 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 14A, 15 and 17 are discretionary, meaning that the court will not necessarily rule in the landlord's favour even if he can prove that one of the grounds applies. In these cases it is at the court's discretion whether to grant a landlord a possession order. They will weigh up the facts and make a decision based on what they see as fair and reasonable.
If a court is satisfied that a landlord is entitled to possession on one of the grounds, then the court will grant a possession order to take effect within 14 days. It is possible that this will be extended to six weeks if it will cause the tenant to experience exceptional hardship.
Use this form to evict a tenant and gain possession of your property when there has been a breach of the tenancy agreement (e.g. non-payment of rent) before the end of the fixed term of the tenancy.
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.
Generally speaking, the cost of serving a Section 8 Notice can include court-filing fees and the cost of a court bailiff to serve the Notice. The specific fees vary between different court jurisdictions, so it is best to check with the local court to get an exact figure.
In addition to court costs, landlords may also have to pay their own legal fees to draft the Notice and represent themselves in court if the tenant responds to the Notice. This cost can vary depending on the complexity of the case, the amount of time it takes to prepare the Notice, and the legal representation you choose.
Finally, landlords may also be liable to pay any costs associated with evicting the tenant from the property, such as removal costs, locksmith fees, and any other associated costs.
Helpful Resources related to Section 8 Notices