What is the Difference Between a Section 8 and a Section 21 Notice?

Both are used to evict tenants so that you regain possession of your property. But there are differences between the two! Woodstock Legal Services explain...

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difference between section 8 and 21

What is the Difference Between a Section 8 and a Section 21 Notice?

What exactly is the difference between a Section 8 notice and a Section 21 notice? Both are used to evict tenants so that you regain possession of your property. But each notice has its own purpose. It is important that the correct notice is served to avoid any delays and unexpected additional costs.

Section 8 Notice

If your tenants have breached the terms of their assured short-hold tenancy, you can serve this notice on your tenants. You must state in detail the full reason for the breach and include the ground(s) for possession that the breach relates to. And it must be in accordance with the Housing Act 1988.

The majority of section 8 notices that we serve are due to tenants being in rent arrears. A tenant must be at least two months in arrears to serve the notice. And, to issue a claim in court. Rent arrears are grounds for mandatory possession. There are also discretionary grounds for possession where it would be the judge’s discretion to award possession on these discretionary grounds.

The tenants are given two weeks’ notice, plus a further two working days for service.

If the tenants do not vacate/clear the arrears by the expiry date of the notice, you can issue a claim for possession in court.

Section 21 Notice

Your tenant doesn’t have to be in breach of their assured short-hold tenancy to serve a section 21 notice.

You can issue a section 21 notice to evict your tenants after the fixed term has ended.

You cannot issue a section 21 notice if it’s less than 4 months since the tenancy started, or the fixed term has not ended unless there’s a clause in the contract which allows you to do this.

To serve a section 21 notice, you are required to have supplied your tenants with the property’s EPC certificate, the government’s How to Rent guide, Deposit Prescribed Information, and a valid gas safety certificate (if the property has a gas supply).

A section 21 notice gives your tenants two months’ (and two days for service) notice to vacate the property.

For both notices, you are required to complete a valid certificate of service to show to the court what notice has been served, whom it has been served on, what address it was sent to, and how it was delivered. Hopefully, this has clearly explained the difference between a section 8 and section 21 notice.

If you’re looking to serve a notice to your tenant but are unsure of which notice to serve. Please get in touch with us. We would be more than happy to assist you.

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