In the UK section 8 notices stand as a crucial tool for landlords seeking possession of a residential property due to tenant breaches. Here we outline the key information for both landlords and tenants involved in the rental process.

Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 provides landlords with a framework for seeking possession of a property when a tenant breaches specific terms of the tenancy agreement. Unlike Section 21, which allows for “no-fault” evictions, Section 8 requires landlords to cite grounds for eviction, which are categorised as ‘mandatory’ and ‘discretionary’ grounds.

Mandatory Grounds for Possession

These grounds are reasons that, if proven, compel the court to grant possession. Some common mandatory grounds include:

  • Non-payment of Rent: One of the most frequent reasons for eviction, this ground is applicable if the tenant consistently fails to pay rent.
  • Breach of Tenancy Agreement Terms: This covers a range of breaches, such as damaging the property, subletting without permission, or engaging in anti-social behaviour.
  • Persistent Late Payment of Rent: If the tenant habitually pays rent late, it can be grounds for eviction under this category.

Discretionary Grounds for Possession

These grounds provide the court with more flexibility in deciding whether or not to grant possession. Examples include:

  • Nuisance or Annoyance: If a tenant engages in behaviour that causes a nuisance or annoyance to neighbours, it may be grounds for discretionary possession.
  • Breach of Repair Obligations: Failure to maintain the property or carry out necessary repairs can be cited as discretionary grounds.

Landlord’s Responsibilities

Landlords must serve a Section 8 notice specifying the grounds for possession. The notice period varies based on the grounds cited, with some requiring shorter notice periods than others. Section 8 is often used where a section 21 notice can not be used usually due to a failure in the supporting documentation.

Landlords should compile relevant evidence supporting their case, such as records of non-payment of rent or documentation of anti-social behaviour.  Statements from other parties affected can assist but can be difficult to procure.

Tenant Rights and Protections

Tenants have the right to challenge a Section 8 notice in court. Common defences include disputing the grounds cited or presenting evidence that counters the landlord’s claims.

Tenants served with a Section 8 notice are advised to seek legal advice promptly. Legal professionals can help navigate the process and explore possible defences.


Section 8 notices are a powerful tool for landlords seeking possession in response to tenant breaches. Both landlords and tenants should be well-versed in the grounds for possession, notice periods, and their respective rights and responsibilities.

For any advice related to section 8 notices or any issues regarding property disputes do not hesitate to contact me on or call on 01243 943203.

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