Section 8 notice (grounds-based possession)
Last updated 25 March - reversion to pre-covid notices periods
The Housing Act 1988 and its subsequent amendments lays down certain circumstances or grounds under which a landlord applying for possession of a residential property may be successful. A landlord may use one ground or a combination of grounds if appropriate.
The grounds for possession fall into two categories:
- mandatory; the tenant will definitely be ordered to leave if the landlord can prove the ground exists, and
- discretionary; the judge has discretion on whether to grant possession
For assured shorthold tenancies most landlords prefer to serve a Section 21 notice instead as it is generally seen as more effective. However, as this notice cannot expire before the end of the fixed term, the Section 8 notice is a very useful tool if you are still inside the fixed term of the tenancy and the tenant is causing serious issues that cannot be resolved.
When can I serve a Section 8 notice?
A Section 8 notice is available where you have granted an assured or assured shorthold tenancy and one of the grounds for possession apply.
In practice, most landlords only use this notice where the tenant is in at least two months of rent arrears and the fixed term of the tenancy has still got some time to run. In most other situations where a ground applies, the majority prefer to use the Section 21 notice instead.
Last Updated: 31/03/2022
For resources on serving a Section 21 notice to end the tenancy.