All section 8 is, is the means to end a shorthold tenancy agreement during the fixed period of your tenants agreement.
Or to put it more simply: should you ever wish to terminate an agreement with a tenant you can use the grounds under section 8 to do so.
Section 8 is particularly useful if their agreement is still valid for a period beyond your allowable notice time.
Now before you jump the gun and fill in one of these forms, it is important that you understand the relevance of section 8 before you decide to use it.
For example, for your use of section 8 to be valid, you also need to use certain grounds found in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988.
However, if you are still not sure how best to utilise this form and ensure that your properties ALWAYS contain top quality tenants, one of our Property Mentor experts can help. With over 20+ years of property investment experience under our belts we can provide you with an insight into all the ins and outs of this elusive form.
Alternatively download a Section 8 form today by clicking here, and use the following breakdown to make the most of your section 8.
REMEMBER: With these grounds at the helm of your eviction, you can ensure that it all runs more smoothly.
So first questions first: how much notice do you have to give?
This will greatly depend on which ground you choose to evict your tenant for. Don’t worry though we will outline these grounds for you shortly.
But if for example you choose to use ground 2, two months notice must be given. Whereas if you opt for grounds 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 14A, 15 or 17, you will only have to give them 2 weeks.
So what happens once your tenant receives notice? They will have 14 days to respond, either by paying the due rent or moving out of your property. But if this notice expires (given under section 8), and they have still not performed any of the above, you can apply for a hearing at a County Court.
Now understanding what each of these grounds entails is fairly simple, so don’t worry if law is not your niche.
The following explanations will give you the details you need, so you can fill your section 8 form out effectively.
This one is probably the most simplest, yet at the same time the most complicated to use.
Under this ground, if the property was subject to a mortgage before it became a tenancy property, a lender can exercise its rights and essentially repossess it. Yet to use this, the notice must first be served BEFORE the creation of the tenancy. Meaning, before any agreement has been completely formed or signed.
This ground can only be used when any one of the following 3 scenarios occurs.
ONE – under an agreed weekly or fortnightly rental repayment, a tenant has still failed to pay their rent for at least 8 weeks (this includes the date the notice was served).
TWO – under an agreed monthly repayment, a tenant has not paid their rent for 2 months.
THREE – renting under a quarterly agreement, their rent is more than 3 months in arrears.
Here if any amount of rent has still not been paid to you - both upon the date you served out notice and when proceedings for possession have begun – you have the grounds to evict them.
This one is an easy one. All it really stands for is when a tenant has repeatedly failed to pay their rent.
You’ll find yourself quoting this ground the most on your section 8 form. Here if a tenant has breached any part of their agreed rental contract (other than not paying their rent), such as letting the property deteriorate, vandalising the premises, using illegal substances etc, you can evict them.
In either case, if a tenant themselves allows the property to deteriorate through neglect or misuse, or someone who is living with them has caused these deteriorations (and the tenant has failed to remove them), this ground can be used to evict them.
This ground is another one you might find yourself quoting. Under this ground if a tenant (or someone who is living with them) has been reported to you as being a nuisance to their neighbours, visitors or anyone else in the area, you can evict them.
This ground also covers them using your rental property for immoral or illegal purposes (drugs) or them being convicted of performing an intractable offense in the local community.
This ground is restricted for use by registered social landlords or charitable housing trusts. Under this scenario if your property is occupied by a couple and one of them is forced to leave due to violence or threats of violence from their other half or their family, this ground can be used to evict the dangerous party.
PLEASE NOTE: If you do ever have to use this one, you will also need to send the notice to the member of the couple who has left the property.
This ground relates back to vandalism within the property, where the tenant or someone who is living with them has purposefully ill-treated the furniture.
This one is less rare but does still sometimes happen. Under this ground, if you have falsely been persuaded to form an tenancy agreement with a tenant who has knowingly provided you with a false statement (either directly from themselves or someone acting on their behalf), you can give them notice.
And that about sums them up. So choose carefully, and make sure you are listing on your section 8 form the right grounds for your reasons to evict them.
You cannot evict to simply evict. There needs to be a real and provable reason.
Another factor to note is that if you do choose to use Ground 8, make sure you cite more than this one ground. Why? Well if your tenant pays off part of their overdue rent before the hearing, your grounds for evicting them will no longer be valid, and possession proceedings will be abandoned.
And this can be applied to them all. If your tenant falls into any one of these grounds, list them on your form. The more reason and proof you have, the more easily your eviction will run.
Still need help? No problem! Contact our Property Mentor team today on 01908 309274.