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A section 8 notice is sent to tenants who are in breach of the terms of the tenancy agreement (normally for none, or late, payment of rent). A section 8 notice can be served irrespective of whether the term of the tenancy agreement has expired. The section 8 notice must list which of the mandatory and/or discretionary grounds the landlord relies on.

Mandatory Grounds

There are eight mandatory grounds, or reasons, which a landlord (where applicable) can rely upon when sending a section 8 notice. If any of the grounds are proven at court, the judge must make an order for possession. For example, in order to prove ground eight, a landlord must show that there was at least two months of rent arrears at the time that the section 8 notice was sent and at the date of the hearing.

Discretionary Grounds

There are ten discretionary grounds, or reasons, which a landlord (where applicable) can rely upon when sending a section 8 notice. If any of the grounds are proven at court, the judge can decide to make an order for possession. For example, grounds ten and eleven relate to none, or late, payment of rent.

When deciding whether to order possession on discretionary grounds, a judge will typically consider –

×             The circumstances of both the landlord and the tenants.

×             Financial considerations.

×             Professional considerations.

×             Social considerations.

×             Perceived hardship.

×             Instances of harassment caused by either the landlord and/or the tenants.

×             The detriment that would be suffered by both parties.

Provided they apply, a landlord may rely on as many mandatory and/or discretionary grounds as they wish and often do so in order to strengthen any claim for possession.