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Last edited 03 Jun 2021
Section 8 notice
A notice under Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 (also known as a Notice to Quit) is part of the procedure landlords in England and Wales must follow to evict tenants when the terms of the contract have been broken. The most common reason for a Section 8 notice is significantly late payment of rent.
 Types of tenancies and conditions of Section 8 notices
The procedure associated with Section 8 notices applies to assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs). ASTs are the types of residential tenancy agreements used by most private landlords and housing associations. ASTs are typically given for a period of six months but can be for longer. After this initial agreed period, the landlord is able to evict the tenant without a legal reason.
There are two types of ASTs - periodic (those that run weekly or monthly with no fixed end date) or fixed-term (which run for a specified period of time).
Section 8 notices also apply to assured tenancies. An assured tenancy provides tenants with far greater security of tenure in the long-term, as they are able to stay in a property until they choose to leave or the landlord gains possession on one of the grounds listed in the Housing Act 1988. This usually requires waiting until a certain condition has arisen which enables them to seek a possession order, for example, the tenants go into arrears on the rent.
- Excluded tenancies or licences. These occur when a lodger is living in the home of the landlord and shares certain communal rooms (such as a kitchen or bathroom). Tenants under these agreements have less protection from eviction.
- Regulated tenancies. These can be tenancies that began before 15 January 1989. Tenants under these agreements have greater protection from eviction.
 Specifics of a Section 8 notice
In order to give tenants notice under Section 8, the landlord must complete a Tenancy form 3: notice seeking possession of a property let on an assured tenancy (including an AST) or an assured agricultural occupancy. The completed notice must include the terms of tenancy that have been broken. Section 8 notices continue to be valid for 12 months after they have been served.
- If issued between 26 March 2020 and 28 August 2020 - at least three months (in England).
- If issued on or after 29 August 2020 and 31 May 2021 - at least six months (in England).
- If issued on or after 1 June 2021 - at least four months (in England), including cases where there are less than four months of unpaid rent.
- If issued on or after 24 July 2020 - at least six months (in Wales), unless the eviction is due to anti-social behaviour, in which case the notice period is three months or more.
- Rent arrears of six months or more.
- Anti-social behaviour (including rioting).
- Some instance of domestic abuse (in the social sector)
- False statements.
- Situations where the tenant doesn’t have the right to rent under immigration legislation.
 Steps to possession
Landlords should follow technical guidance for possession as modified by the Coronavirus Act 2020. As of 1 June 2021, the Government strongly advises landlords not to commence or continue possession proceedings during the pandemic without a very good reason to do so.
If justification is warranted and tenants have not moved out of the property by the date on the Section 8 notice, then the landlord must apply to the court for a standard possession order. Additional guidance can be found here.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Difference between assured shorthold tenancy and assured tenancy.
- Section 13 notice.
- Section 21 notice.
- Gov.uk, Assured tenancy forms.
- Gov.uk, COVID-19 and renting: guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities.
- Gov.uk, Evicting tenants (England and Wales).
- Housing advice for Northern Ireland, Right to evict.
- Legislation.gov.uk, Coronavirus Act 2020.
- Legislation.gov.uk, Housing Act 1988, Section 8.
- mygovscot, Ending a tenancy as a landlord.
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