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A Guide to Legally Evicting Tenants with Section 21 and Section 8 Possession Proceedings

For landlords in England, evicting a problematic tenant starts with serving proper notice under Section 21 or Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988. These notices allow landlords to legally end tenancies, but each has specific requirements. Mistakes can lead to delays obtaining a possession order from the court for the eviction. This guide examines how Section 21 and Section 8 work, what makes notices invalid, and the process to get a court order to evict a tenant.

Understanding Section 21 Notices

A Section 21 notice to end a tenancy, allows a landlord to repossess a property without having to prove fault by the tenant. It is the most common way for landlords to start the eviction process. However, landlords must meet all legal obligations before serving a Section 21 notice. Missing requirements can make the notice invalid and prevent getting a possession order.

Requirements for a Valid Section 21 Notice

For a Section 21 notice to be valid in England, landlords must first provide tenants with:

  • An Energy Performance Certificate

  • Electrical Installation Condition Report

  • Gas Safety Certificate (if relevant)

  • How to Rent Guide

  • Prescribed deposit information (if relevant)

  • Property licence (if relevant)

Landlords should review their records to confirm all these were supplied to the tenant before serving a Section 21 notice to end the tenancy. Omitting any of the required documents can make the Section 21 notice invalid. An invalid notice prevents obtaining a possession order from the court to legally evict the tenant.

Serving the Section 21 Notice on the Tenant

Once landlords confirm they have met all requirements, I can assist with drafting and serving a valid Section 21 notice on the tenant. This gives formal notice of the landlord's intent to repossess the property. I will record key dates and guide landlords through the next steps to get a possession order from the court.  Fees for preparing and serving the Section 21 Notice are £225.

Eviction with a Section 8 Possession Order

While Section 21 evictions do not require proving tenant fault, Section 8 possession proceedings allow landlords to evict based on things like rent arrears, property damage, antisocial behaviour, or other tenancy breaches. Under Section 8, there are 17 grounds for possession.  If established, some will entitle the landlord to a mandatory possession order whilst some will allow the courts discretion.  The amount of notice that has to be given under a Section 8 notice varies between 2 weeks and 2 months, depending on the ground(s) being relied upon.

I can help landlords serve the required Section 8 notice and initiate court proceedings. I will handle drafting court documents, communicating with the court, and arranging representation for landlords at hearings to obtain a possession order. Estimated fees for Section 8 eviction proceedings start at £995 plus disbursements.

Avoiding Claims for Unlawful Eviction

It is unlawful for landlords to physically evict or lock out a tenant without first obtaining a possession order from the court, even if the tenant is at fault. I can provide advice to help landlords avoid unlawful eviction claims through proper compliance and early dispute resolution when possible.

Get Expert Help With Tenant Evictions

The laws around Section 21 and Section 8 eviction notices and possession orders can be complex for landlords. Mistakes in the process can lead to delays reclaiming your property. I have extensive experience helping landlords legally and efficiently evict problematic tenants. Contact me on 07587 653098 or via my online form to discuss your situation. I'm ready to help successfully guide you through the eviction process.