Grounds for possession when using a Section 8 notice
Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 creates a number of grounds under which a landlord may successfully apply to court for possession using a Section 8 notice.
These grounds for possession apply to all assured or assured shorthold tenancies entered into after 15 January 1989. The terms of your tenancy agreement must make provision for termination on these grounds and the ground needs to be written in full on the Section 8 Notice.
This document is designed to provide a summary of each ground, explaining when they should be used and what each ground means. These summaries are not to be inserted into the Section 8 Notice itself.
The full text of the grounds should be inserted in full into your Section 8 notice and can be found in full in the legislation.
Will I always get possession if I can prove the existence of a ground for possession?
It depends on which ground is being relied upon.
The grounds for possession are split into mandatory or discretionary grounds. For mandatory grounds (1-8), a judge must order possession if the landlord can prove the existence of the ground. For discretionary grounds (9-17), the judge will decide whether or not the circumstances justify a possession order.
Is there a limit on how many grounds I can use?
No, as long as you have evidence of the ground then you should insert it on the Section 8 notice.
Have there been any changes to the grounds for possession during coronavirus?
Until 30 September 2020 the notice period for all grounds have changed to a minimum of three months.
In addition to this, all applications to court are stayed until at least 20 September 2020. Once the stay on court hearings is lifted, the Government has also indicated that they will be introducing a new pre-action protocol for private landlords which is likely to have some impact on when you can rely on the grounds for rent arrears.
This new pre-action protocol has not been published yet. Once it is available the NRLA will inform all our members of the new requirements.