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Section 8 eviction notices

What is a section 8 notice?

Your private landlord can give you a section 8 eviction notice if:

  • you have an assured or assured shorthold tenancy (AST)

  • they have a legal reason to evict you, for example, rent arrears

Most private renters have ASTs.

Housing associations also use section 8 notices.

See this guide if you owe rent to a council or housing association.

Why landlords use section 8 notices

Most people get a section 8 notice because they have rent arrears.

The reasons your landlord can evict you are called 'grounds for possession'.

The grounds to evict you for rent arrears are:

  • ground 8 - if you owe at least 2 months' rent

  • ground 10 - if you owe some rent

  • ground 11 - if you keep paying your rent late

Your landlord might wait until they can use ground 8 on the notice.

With ground 8, the court cannot usually stop an eviction if you still owe at least 2 months' rent at the hearing.

Try to keep any rent arrears below 2 months so your landlord cannot use ground 8.

Find out how to deal with rent arrears.

Example: section 8 notices and rent arrears

Mel rents from a private landlord.

She tries to pay her rent on time. But Mel works on a zero hours contract. She has been late with rent a few times. For 2 months, she could not pay her rent at all.

Mel's landlord gives her a section 8 notice. Her landlord can use ground 8 because Mel owes more than 2 months' rent.

Her landlord also puts grounds 10 and 11 on the notice because she owes some rent and has paid late in the past.

What Mel needs to do

Mel should:

  • get free legal advice to check the notice is valid

  • try to pay off her arrears or get them down to below 2 months

The court might stop or suspend the eviction if she can get her arrears below 2 months by the hearing date.

Where to get help

Get help as soon as your landlord gives you a section 8 notice.

Anyone at risk of losing their home can get free legal advice.

An adviser can:

  • check the notice

  • deal with your landlord

  • help if your landlord goes to court to evict you

The breathing space scheme can help people with rent arrears.

This scheme could pause debt recovery and eviction for rent arrears for up to 60 days while you get debt advice.

Find out about the breathing space scheme.

If you are going to be homeless

Speak to your council if you're at risk of eviction. They must help if you're likely to be homeless.

If you get a section 21 notice

Some landlords give you both types of notice - a section 8 and a section 21.

Ask a legal adviser to check they are both valid.

A section 21 notice is sometimes called a 'no fault' eviction notice. This is because private landlords do not need to give tenants or the court a reason for a section 21 eviction.

Your rent and bills

You have to pay rent and bills until your tenancy ends properly.

This means you may have to pay rent, council tax and utility bills until either:

  • the landlord's notice ends even if you leave before

  • the court ends your tenancy if you stay after the notice ends

You do not have to pay if you leave and the landlord rents the property to someone else straight away.

Last updated: 17 July 2024

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