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Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 -

Rent arrears possession & other grounds

Landlords can give the tenant a section 8 notice if the tenants:

  • have rent arrears

  • are involved in criminal or antisocial behaviour

  • break other terms of their tenancy agreement like damaging the property


Under this route the landlord needs to prove at a Hearing before a Judge that the tenant has breached one of the terms of the tenancy, and/or satisfies one of the grounds for possession in the relevant legislation.


The landlord can issue a Section 8 notice of seeking possession using Form 3 or a letter with the same information. It must include the reasons for eviction. Depending on the reason of the eviction, the notice period will be either 14 days, 4 weeks or 2 months. The notice is valid for 1 year after the date it was served.


The most common of these is rent arrears, but there are other grounds such a deterioration of the property, antisocial behaviour, or breach of particular terms of the tenancy agreement. If the tenant is in at-least two months’ arrears (assuming that the rent is payable monthly in advance) then the Court must make the order for possession.


If the rent owing dips below this during the process, then the Judge can exercise his/her discretion whether or not to make the possession order.


When recovering possession of residential property because of rent arrears:


  • there must be no dispute or counterclaim by the tenants which may be set off against the rent

  • there must be at least eight weeks or two months’ rent arrears depending on whether the rent is paid weekly or monthly in order to qualify for the mandatory ground for the court to order possession (the court may order a possession if the rent arrears are lower, but this is discretionary)

  • if the landlord has not complied with the tenancy deposit provisions before serving a notice requiring possession, this could entitle the tenant to make a counterclaim for statutory compensation there should be a written tenancy agreement.

Our Fees

Issuing a Section-8 Notice £200 plus VAT & Disbursements. 
Assessing the file, advice, drafting and serving notice by recorded post on tenant/s. If you have obtained our initial consultation at the fixed fee, this service is included in the initial consultation fees.


Issuing a Court claim pursuant to Section-8 Notice £850.00 plus VAT & Disbursements. 
These are the most common cases under Section 8 proceedings. The fixed-fee covers checking notice, case preparation, but excludes court fee, VAT and any other disbursements where needed.


This fee includes taking your instructions and advising you as to the best course of action to take, preparing the Claim Form and any associated documents, assembling any other evidence which the Court may require but excludes any Court fees, attendance at Court, disbursements, or replies to defence to be filed. The above fees do not include any subsequent Court hearings if required by the Court and any such work after the first hearing will be charged at an hourly rate.


County Court Bailiff instructions for arranging an eviction is £180.00 plus VAT & Disbursements. 

This includes our fees in applying for a Warrant for Eviction and liaising with the Court bailiff but excludes Writ to transfer the Claim to the High Court for enforcement by a High Court Sheriff.


If you win

If your possession claim succeeds, the Court will usually order your tenant to pay a fixed costs fee set out under the Civil Procedure Rules. This fixed cost can change from time to time but regardless of what you have actually spent, the court will most likely award much less.

If you lose

You’re likely to be ordered to pay the tenant’s legal costs, if any.


Please note, the above fixed fees are on the basis of straightforward, undefended claims. If complications arise (which sometimes leads to the claim being defended) then correspondence, advice or negotiations outside the standard procedures will be charged at an hourly rate. 


If the tenant satisfies the court that there is a defence, or the Judge on review of the papers wishes for both parties to attend a Court hearing, the costs after this process are not limited to the costs detailed above. If the matter is defended, this will be charged at an hourly rate. We will seek your instructions before incurring costs which fall outside the fixed fee scheme.

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