Section 8 Notices – Grounds of Possession

Following our recent blog highlighting the changes to Section 8 forms, Brady Solicitors’ Harpreet Lehal explains the grounds of possession landlords need to use when serving Section 8 Notices to recover rent arrears or regain possession of a property.

The Section 8 procedure under the Housing Act 1988 is used where the landlord wishes to regain possession of the property during the term of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST).

The new prescribed form for the Section 8 Notice must be used in order for the Notice to be valid – but using the correct notice does not mean you will be automatically granted possession. There are a number of grounds for possession which the Court will deem as either ‘mandatory’ or ‘discretionary’ possession, as outlined below:

Mandatory grounds where the Court must grant Possession

  • Ground 1: The Landlord requires possession as he used to occupy the property as his main home or he now wishes to occupy the property as his main home.
  • Ground 2: The property is subject to a mortgage and the mortgagee is now entitled to exercise a power of sale.
  • Ground 3:The tenancy is a fixed term of not more than 8 months and the property was previously a holiday let.
  • Ground 4: The tenancy is a fixed term of not more than 12 months and the property is student accommodation let out of term.
  • Ground 5: The property is that of a minister of religion.
  • Ground 6: The property requires redevelopment.
  • Ground 7: The tenant has died.
  • Ground 8: The tenant is in rental arrears.

Discretionary grounds where the Court may grant possession:

  • Ground 9: Suitable alternative accommodation is available for the tenant upon possession.
  • Ground 10: The tenant is in arrears of rent.
  • Ground 11: The tenant has persistently delayed paying rent, whether or not the rent is currently in arrears.
  • Ground 12: Any obligation of the tenancy has been broken, other than payment of rent.
  • Ground 13: Due to the tenant’s conduct, the property has deteriorated.
  • Ground 14: The tenant is causing a nuisance or annoyance to people residing at the property or visiting the property. The tenant is convicted in engaging in illegal or using the property for immoral purposes.
  • Ground 15: The tenant has allowed the landlords’ furniture to deteriorate due to ill-treatment.
  • Ground 16: The tenant occupies the property due to his former employment by the landlord.
  • Ground 17: The Landlord granted the tenancy as a result of a statement made by the tenant which is later found to be false.

If you do not use the correct statutory grounds with the notice and the correct prescribed forms the Court will be unlikely to grant possession, which potentially leaves you with mounting rent arrears.

Expert help for landlords and letting agents

Brady Solicitors offer a wide range of services for landlords and letting agents and we are happy to happy to provide you with further advice on which grounds would be applicable in a Section 8 situation. To find out more give one of our friendly experts a call us on 0115 985 3450 or click here to email us.

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With hundreds of years’ worth of combined experience, our experts have dealt with nearly every leasehold property matter you can imagine. If you’re currently in need of legal support or advice, please get in touch.

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