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What Are The Grounds For Tenant Eviction In 2024?

Updated June 2024

contains all current legal information in accordance with the latest laws of England & Wales

Grounds for Eviction Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (UK)

Many landlords are now managing the eviction process independently by serving a Section 8 notice, but precision is critical to avoid delays and invalid notices. A valid notice is essential for a smooth eviction process, reducing potential lost rent due to delays.

Section 8 Notice

A Section 8 notice, also known as a Section 8 possession notice, must be accurately completed and served on the tenant(s). This notice allows landlords to seek possession of the property during the term of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) if the tenant breaches the tenancy agreement. Breaches can include non-payment of rent, property damage, antisocial behavior, or unauthorized subletting.

For a Section 8 notice to be valid, it must specify the exact grounds for eviction as outlined in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988.

Grounds for Possession

The grounds for possession under Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 fall into two categories:

  • Mandatory Grounds: Grounds 1 to 8. If these grounds are cited, the court must grant possession.
  • Discretionary Grounds: Grounds 9 to 17. The court has the discretion to grant possession based on the circumstances.

Summary of Grounds for Possession

1The landlord requires the property as their main residence. This ground is applicable if the property was the landlord’s main residence before the tenancy began.
2A mortgage lender has served notice to repossess the property, with the mortgage predating the tenancy.
3The property was previously a holiday let and is required to return to that use.
4The property, let by an educational institution, is required for its students. Notice must be given before the tenancy starts.
5The property is owned by a religious body and needed for a religious official.
6The landlord plans to demolish, reconstruct, or redevelop the property. The tenant must have refused to stay during the work. The landlord must cover reasonable relocation costs.
7The current tenant is an heir and not named in the original agreement. Notice must be served within 12 months of the tenant’s death.
8Rent arrears exceed 8 weeks for weekly payments, 2 months for monthly payments, or 1 quarter for quarterly payments. It is advisable to cite additional grounds (e.g., Grounds 10 and 11) to ensure proceedings are not halted by partial payments.
9Suitable alternative accommodation has been offered and refused. Reasonable removal costs must be paid by the landlord.
10The rent is in arrears but less than 8 weeks for weekly payments, 2 months for monthly payments, or 1 quarter for quarterly payments.
11Persistent late payment or non-payment of rent.
12Breach of any term listed in the tenancy agreement.
13The tenant has neglected or damaged the property, or a subtenant has caused damage.
14The tenant is a nuisance to neighbors or other tenants and has received complaints.
15Misuse, damage, or sale of property inventory items by the tenant or household members.
16The property was let as a condition of employment, which has now ended.
17The property was let based on false information provided by the tenant or their referees/guarantor.

Notice Period for Section 8

The notice period varies by the grounds cited:

  • Grounds 2: Minimum of 2 months.
  • Grounds 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17: Minimum of 2 weeks.

Post-Service of Section 8 Notice

  • Notice Expiry: The notice must state a clear expiry date by which the tenant must pay arrears or vacate.
  • Court Proceedings: If the tenant does not comply, landlords can commence court proceedings the day after the notice expiry by submitting forms N5 and N119 and paying the court fee.
  • Possession Order: The grant of a possession order depends on the grounds cited. Mandatory grounds like 2 and 8 generally guarantee an order, while discretionary grounds are subject to the court’s assessment of circumstances, including tenant hardship.

Professional Assistance

Navigating tenant eviction can be complex for landlords. Engaging a tenant eviction specialist can ensure accurate paperwork and professional legal representation, potentially speeding up the process and mitigating risks.

This updated guidance reflects current English law and practices under The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and the Housing Act 1988. Always consider consulting legal experts for advice tailored to specific circumstances.

Using A Solicitor To Handle The Legal Process On Your Behalf

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