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Landlords’ guide to Gaining Possession under Section 8 Presented by Simon King and Peter Humpherson Pickerings Solicitors LLP 23rd October 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Landlords’ guide to Gaining Possession under Section 8 Presented by Simon King and Peter Humpherson Pickerings Solicitors LLP 23rd October 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Landlords’ guide to Gaining Possession under Section 8 Presented by Simon King and Peter Humpherson Pickerings Solicitors LLP 23rd October 2014

2 What is Section 21? Housing Act 1988 Section 21 gives a landlord an automatic right of possession without having to give any grounds once the fixed term tenancy has expired Minimum of 2 months’ notice required

3 What is section 8? Housing Act 1988 Section 8 allows a landlord to seek possession using various grounds listed in Schedule 2 to the act - these include rent arrears and anti-social behaviour Fixed term does not need to have expired We recommend, if the circumstances allow, service of both section 21 and section 8 notices on the tenant

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5 Rent Arrears - Ground 8 Minimum 8 weeks’ unpaid rent (if due weekly or fortnightly) or 2 months (if paid monthly) At both the time of service of section 8 notice AND the court hearing Two weeks’ notice must be given Mandatory Possession Order

6 Rent Arrears- Ground 10 Some rent lawfully due from the tenant is unpaid on the date the proceedings are begun AND at the time of a section 8 notice Two weeks’ notice Discretionary Possession Order

7 Rent Arrears - Ground 11 Whether or not any rent is in arrears at the date proceedings are begun, the tenant has persistently failed to pay rent lawfully due Two weeks’ notice Discretionary Possession Order

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9 Other Grounds - for example Ground 2: mortgagee requires possession of the property because of mortgage arrears on the property (two months notice) Ground 12: other obligations of the tenancy broken (two weeks’ notice) Ground 13: condition of the property deteriorated due to acts by the tenant (two weeks’ notice) Ground 14: tenant/other occupant causing a nuisance (no period of notice)

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11 Procedure Serve section 8 and/or section 21 notice/s Await expiry of relevant time limit/s Check which grounds can still be relied on and whether tenant has vacated Issue claim form at Court (fee £250 for online or £280 for paper) Witness Statement and/or attend Court If possession order granted and expired, and tenant has not vacated - instruct Bailiff

12 Content of a Section 8 Notice Full text of the grounds relied upon Full explanation of why each ground is being relied on Calculation of the relevant date for expiry - this must include 2 days service taking into account weekends and bank holidays. If sent today (23/10/14), it will not be DEEMED served until Monday (27/10/14) The 14 days will run from 27/10/14 meaning proceedings could not be commenced until after 10/11/14, so11/11/14 at the earliest

13 Pitfalls Contents of a section 8 (and 21) notice and time limits MUST be fully accurate

14 Pitfalls Contents of a section 8 (and 21) notice and time limits MUST be fully accurate A court will dismiss a claim for possession if the notice is defective Wasted time Wasted costs Possible accrual of further arrears

15 Serving a Section 8 Notice Serve a copy on each tenant Deliver by hand or 1 st class post Keep proof of service If possible get a copy signed and dated Take a picture of where it was served

16 Abandonment Even if the fixed term has ended or rent is not being paid, never assume the tenant has abandoned the property If the tenant has not returned the keys and confirmed in writing that they have left - get a Court order

17 Procedure Claim Form (N9) and Particulars of Claim (N119) Court fee of £ (online) or £ (paper) Can claim judgement for arrears Court lists matter for hearing in approximately 6- 8 weeks Witness Statement Attend hearing Are the ground 8 minimum periods still made out? If not, can no longer rely on it but can rely on other grounds

18 Court Procedure Be aware tenant may seek to defend proceedings Courts “block list” hearings and allocate for 5 minutes Adjournments are frequent and may delay matters It could be 3-4 months from service of the section 8 notice to the eviction of the tenant

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20 After the Possession Order If successful Court will set date on which tenant should leave If tenant does not leave- apply for bailiff’s warrant Might be a further 6-8 weeks for a warrant based on current Court timetables Transfer to High Court for enforcement? Can you enforce the money judgement or is the tenant not likely to pay? Check to see whether the tenant had a guarantor who is more likely to pay

21 Q & A

22 Pickerings Solicitors LLP Etchell House Etchell Court Bonehill Road Tamworth Staffordshire B78 3HQ Tel: Fax:

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