What is a Section 8 - Notice to quit?
A ‘section 8 notice to quit’, also known as a ‘section 8 possession notice’, is so called because it operates under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988. A section 8 notice is served on the tenant by a landlord wishing to regain possession of a property during the fixed term of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST). A section 21 notice can only be used for regaining possession at the end of a tenancy agreement.
A section 8 notice can only be issued to a tenant who has breached the terms laid out in the tenancy agreement and if certain conditions have been met, the most common being one involving rent arrears. The Housing Act 1988 provides 17 grounds on which a landlord may seek possession before the fixed term of tenancy has finished.
The landlord cannot evict the tenant without first obtaining an order for possession from a court. Before applying to the court for such an order, the landlord must serve a Section 8 notice to quit on the tenant. The notice states that the landlord intends to seek possession of the property and states the ground or grounds on which possession is sought.
The notice must be laid out in a prescribed format and must specify which grounds the landlord intends to use to gain possession and the landlord’s reasons for relying on those particular grounds. Any error made when issuing the section 8 notice is likely to delay the landlord gaining possession.