Landlord!, Struggling to get possession?
Posted on 21st July 2022 at 11:21
What can a Section 21 be used for?
A Section 21 enables private landlords to repossess their properties without having to establish any fault on the tenant’s part. You can use a Section 21 notice to evict your tenants during a tenancy with no fixed end date, often referred to as a periodic tenancy, for example an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) or after a fixed term tenancy ends.
Criteria for a Section 21 to be valid:
To issue a Section 21 and for this to be valid there are certain requirements that must be met:
You must provide the Tenant/s with copies of:
- The property’s Energy Performance Certificate
- The governments ‘How to Rent Guide’
- A current gas safety certificate (if applicable)
- If the Tenancy started after 2007 you must have a protected deposit.
The Gas Safety Certificate and How to Rent Guide must has been given to the tenants before they move in, and evidence will be needed to prove they have received these documents.
If this criterion has been met, then you can issue a Section 21.
You must give the tenant/s at least two months’ notice to leave your property. During the coronavirus pandemic the notice periods were extended as below:
26th March 2020 – 30th September 2020 = at least three months’ notice
29th August 2020 – 31st May 2021 = at least six months’ notice
1st June 2021 – 30th September = at least four months’ notice.
After you give notice
You must fill in the Certification of Service form (n215) which can be downloaded from the government website. This simply tells the court when, where and how you served the Section 21.
When a Section 21 cannot be used:
- The tenancy started after April 2007, and you have not protected the Tenant’s deposit.
- It is less than four months since the tenancy started or the fixed term has not ended.
- The council have issued an improvement notice on the property within the last six months.
- The property is categorised as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) and does not have a valid HMO licence from the council.
The future of Section 21’s
The future of Sections 21’s is somewhat problematic. The Renters’ Reform Bill was put forward in April 2019 which promised a better deal for renters by abolishing no-fault evictions, to enhance renters’ security and improve protections on short-term tenants. This comes as a direct result of those working within the sector along with private tenants and their representative bodies, arguing that allowing a landlord to have the ability to end an AST with no valid reason has a detrimental effect on a tenant’s wellbeing.
What can a section 8 be used for?
A Section 8 also referred to as the ‘Section 8 notice to quit’, allows a landlord of an AST to regain possession of their property for a reason based on the grounds put forward. Unlike the Section 21 you must give a reason or reasons as to why you are seeking possession, these are set out in two categories Mandatory Grounds and Discretionary Grounds.
If you issue a Section 8 under the following grounds the court must grant possession:
Ground 1: The landlord requires possession of the property to use this as his permanent home. Only permitted when the landlord has previously used the property as his main home.
Ground 2: The property is subject to a mortgage and the mortgagee is now entitled to exercise the power of sale.
Ground 3: The tenancy is a fixed term of no more than 8 months, and the property was previously a holiday let within twelve months prior to the start of the tenancy.
Ground 4: The tenancy is a fixed term of no more than 12 months, and the property belongs to an educational institution.
Ground 5: The property is being used by a minister of religion from which to perform the duties of his office.
Ground 6: The Property requires redevelopment.
Ground 7: The tenant has died, and the tenancy has passed to a new tenant, but the new tenant does not have the right to carry on with the tenancy.
Ground 7a: Conviction of a serious offence by the tenant.
Ground 7b: The Secretary of State has given notice to the landlord relating to their tenant’s immigration status.
Ground 8: The tenant is in rental arrears. Where the rent is due weekly at least eight weeks rent must be in arrears. Where rent is due monthly, at least two months of rent must be in arrears.
If a Section 8 is issued under the following grounds the court has the discretion to grant possession or not.
Ground 9: Suitable alternative accommodation is available for the tenant upon possession.
Ground 10: The tenant is in arrears of rent. Rent must be in arrears on the date the Section 8 notice is served.
Ground 11: The Tenant has persistently delayed paying rent. Rent does not have to be in arrears at the date the Section 8 notice is served.
Ground 12: When there has been a breach of any term of the tenancy.
Ground 13: Due to the tenant’s conduct the property has deteriorated. This also includes sub-tenants or someone who is living in the property with the tenant.
Ground 14: The tenant is causing a nuisance or annoyance to people residing at the property or visiting the property. The tenant is convicted in engaging in illegal or using the property for immoral purposes.
Ground 14a: Where the property is owned by a couple and one member of the couple has left due to violence. This ground only applies to properties which are owned by a charitable housing trust or registered social landlord.
Ground 15: The tenant has allowed the landlords furniture to deteriorate due to ill-treatment.
Ground 16: The property was only let to the tenant due to their employment with the landlord and now that employment has ended.
Ground 17: The landlord granted the tenancy as a result of a statement made by the tenant which is later found to be false.
You must give the tenant at least two weeks’ notice to leave your property. During the coronavirus pandemic the notice periods were extended as below:
26th March 2020 – 28th August 2020 = at least three months’ notice
29th August 2020 – 31st May 2021 = at least six months’ notice unless other conditions were met for example you owed them at least six months’ rent.
1st June 2021 – 31st July 2021 = at least four months’ notice unless other conditions were met (as above).
After you give notice
You must fill in the certification of service from (n215) which can be downloaded from the government website. This simply tells the court when and where you served the Section 8.
What happens if the tenant does not vacate the property?
Should the tenant not leave once the notice period comes to an end after serving a Section 21 or a Section 8 notice then you can issue proceedings through the court.
Call our team today on 0113 200 7480 and we will be more than happy to assist you to resolve your landlord and tenant issues.
Tagged as: Commercial Property
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