Section 8 or Section 21?

June 29, 2017
June 29, 2017 JUSTINLAW

Section 8 or Section 21?

Tenancy eviction notices are covered under s8 or s21 of the Housing Act 1988.

As a landlord, there may come a time when it becomes necessary for you to evict your tenant and understandably there is often confusion between which type of notice to serve, how to serve it or which legal process to follow. The last thing you want on your mind is whether you are going by the right process, so we’re here to simplify for you.

Section 8

The most important thing to understand about the difference between the two is that a section 8 can be served at any time during a fixed term of a tenancy, however, the landlord can only serve such a notice where there are grounds for doing so; the most common being rent arrears but it can be for any broken terms of the tenancy, such as damage to the property, breach of contract or late payment of rent.

For you to give you tenants a notice using Section 8, you must fill in a ‘Notice seeking possession of a property let on assured tenancy or an assured agricultural occupancy’ and specify which terms they’ve broken and how much notice you intend to give, between 2 weeks’ and 2 months’, dependant on the broken terms.

Where landlords try and serve a Section 8 notice on their own, it is common for there to be errors which then delays the process for the landlord to regain possession, which is why it is recommended that you seek legal advice before doing so.

 

Section 21

A Section 21 is applicable where you want to claim your property back after your tenants’ fixed term ends; this is applicable when your tenant has a written agreement with a fixed term that has ended or if you have an oral or written periodic agreement with no fixed end date.

To serve your Section 21 notice, there are 2 specifics that you should keep in mind:

  • If the tenancy started on or after the 1st October 2015, you must fill out and serve a Form 6A.
  • If the tenancy started before 1st October 2015, you can write your own notice citing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1998.

When serving your notice, you must keep proof that you gave the notice to your tenants through either an N215 Form or writing on the notice that it has been served by you.

With a Section 21 notice you must give your tenant a minimum of 2 months’ notice for them to leave the property if they are a fixed term tenant and they cannot be evicted until their term ends. If, however, your tenants don’t leave by the specified date; you can use your completed N215 or apply for an accelerated possession order.

Don’t forget that you will need to show that you have protected your tenant’s deposit and given them the prescribed information within 28 days or you may not be able to use the section 21 route.

 

So what applies to you?

Which notice is right for you will depend on the facts of your case, and the circumstances you find yourself in.

Our team of experts at Justin Law Solicitors can provide a full service from start to finish with your residential property matters; ranging from simply drafting your correct notice to full representation before the County Court. We provide an expert touch and keep you updated at every stage of your issue.

Call us today on 01752 325100 or email us at enquiries@justinlaw.co.uk to book an appointment and start your hassle free and tailored legal advice; we even have Saturday appointments available by request!

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