Drafting section 8 possession notices (assured and assured shorthold tenancies only)
This notice is called a section 8 notice because the section in the Housing Act which provides for it, is section 8. This must not be confused with ground 8 which is the mandatory rent arrears ground. It is sometimes confusing because there are two eights!.
We have two notices that can be used.
There needs to be a schedule of rent arrears which must be accurate. (We discussed this earlier in this section)
Tenant information etc – you will need to click in, delete the holding wording and type the name of your tenant(s) and the property address in paragraphs 1 and 2.
The rent arrears – you will need to click in at pargraph 4 and add this. The field is formatted to add the £ sign and should also adapt to fit the space. Needless to say, this figure most be more than two months worth of rent AND match the figure given in the schedule.
The expiry date – this needs to be added at paragraph 5. The notice period should be ‘not less than two weeks from the date of service on the tenant’, for this type of notice, but I advise giving a few days more than two weeks – you do not want your notice to be made invalid due to the notice period being cut short by delays in service. I usually do three weeks.
Landlords / agents details – these need to be addeed at paragraph 6.
Once the notice has been completed and printed out, you will need to sign and date the form at the end in paragraph 6. The landlords form will automatically put todays date, but you can click in (before the form is printed) and change this if you want.
Even if you serve the notice by hand it should have a covering letter. Some suitable wording would be as follows:
Re: (put the address of the property here)
I enclose by way of service upon you a notice requiring possession under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988. Please can you arrange to pay the rent arrears set out in paragraph four of the notice before the date given in paragraph five.
I should inform you that if the rent arrears remain outstanding after the date given in paragraph five, I will be entitled to issue proceedings to evict you through the courts.
However, hopefully this course of action will not be necessary.
Please also note that I reserve the right to issue proceedings based on this notice, even if other notices have been or will be served on you, and the service of any other notices should not be taken as a revocation of this notice.
There is not much point in serving a notice if you are not able to prove this later, if challenged. “I never received the notice” is a common tenant ploy. Make sure it does not catch you out!
You will find guidance on service of notices in the article >> here.