Recently a landlord contacted us regarding a problem tenant who had been living in his property for the last couple of months.
The tenant had moved in and almost immediately stopped paying rent.
Not only that, they had also been throwing wild parties and at one point, they’d picked a fight with the next door neighbour, an old friend of the landlady, who had been scared to leave the house ever since.
This landlord was keen to evict the tenant as soon as possible but was only familiar with the section 21 notice.
She knew this could not be used as the tenancy still had 10 months left to run. Thankfully, we could advise the member regarding the section 8 form.
The section 8 notice is less commonly used than the section 21 notice. The main reason for this, is most of the time it is significantly easier to gain possession through the section 21.
The process is easier to complete, and all the defences the tenant can raise are within the control of the landlord. So most landlords where possible use that notice instead.
Unfortunately it’s not always available, and with a fixed term set to run for ten more months, we had to figure out what grounds the landlord could use to evict the tenant and what dates would be required.
Section 8s have a number of different grounds, some are mandatory and some are discretionary. Ideally a landlord wants at least one mandatory ground to when applying to court.
This is because the judge has to give possession in cases where the mandatory ground can be proved. But discretionary grounds can still be useful.
In this case, the tenant had broken a number of grounds, one of which was mandatory.
We advised the landlord that, as the tenant was in two months of arrears she could use grounds 8 (the mandatory one), 10 and 11. In addition, the tenant had breached their contract (ground 12) and been anti-social to the neighbour (ground 14). We then had to calculate a date.
Section 8s do not have a fixed notice period.
They have a few varying ones, usually two weeks or two months, and some take precedence over others.
In this particular case, it would normally be two weeks notice for ground 8, the mandatory ground.
However, the anti-social behaviour ground 14 takes precedence here, and that notice is only 24 hours long. We advised the landlord to fill this out, giving the tenant 24 hours to leave and then apply to court straight afterwards.
The landlord did this and was very happy when the tenant failed to show up at court to defend themselves.
Without any defence to make, the judge was happy to give possession because of ground 8, but the landlord had managed to get there faster, because he’d smartly utilised the shorter notice period of the discretionary ground 14.
Rupinder Aujla, Landlord Advice Team Manager, said “We’re always very happy to help our members in navigating more complex eviction cases like this.”