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Section 8 of the Housing act 1988 provides one of the ways in which a Landlord can obtain possession of his property from the Tenant before the fixed term of the tenancy has come to an end. This legal route may be used for both Assured and Assured Shorthold tenancies.
The Landlord's claim for possession involves serving notice of his intention to seek possession. This Notice is called a Section 8 Notice.
Section 8 proceedings are normally used in cases where the Tenant has defaulted in some way and the Landlord wishes to end the tenancy and to repossess his property as a consequence of such default.
The requirements of Section 8 include the following:
Section 2 of the Housing Act 1988 provides 17 grounds that the Landlord may use in order to obtain possession of his property from the Tenant. Where there is more than one ground for possession, all the applicable grounds should be included on the Section 8 Notice.
A brief summary of the 17 grounds of possession follows:
There are certain grounds for possession that are mandatory, which means that where the Landlord can prove that the ground is applicable, the court has no option but to grant possession to the Landlord. The following grounds are mandatory: Grounds 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
There are other grounds for possession which are discretionary. In these cases the court will only grant possession where it is deemed reasonable in the circumstances. The following grounds are discretionary: Grounds 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17.
Grounds 1 through to 5 are known as prior notice grounds. This means that the Landlord may only use one of these grounds where he has informed the Tenant in writing and prior to the commencement of the tenancy that he may utilise one of these grounds during the tenancy.
A Section 8 Notice should be drawn up in the prescribed format and served on the Tenant. Where there is more than one Tenant, service on all of the Tenants is necessary. Service may be effected either by post (preferably by registered or recorded delivery) or in person (preferably with an independent witness present).
Once the Notice has been served on the Tenant, the Landlord must wait until the Notice has expired (the expiry date should be provided on the Notice). Should the Tenant not have vacated the property or otherwise rectified any applicable default, the Landlord should apply to court for an order claiming possession.
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