Section 8 Notice
The Section 8 notice is generally used when a tenant has rent arrears and you wish to evict because of this fact. Not all landlords use the Section 8 notice though as it is only a mandatory eviction ruling by the judge if a certain amount of rent (2 months for a monthly tenancy, 8 weeks for a weekly tenancy) is due both at the time of the serving of the notice and at the court date. If this is not the case then the judge can side with the tenant and you won't get possession. The nice thing with a Section 8 notice is that if you win you get a county court judgement awarded against the tenant, which helps stop them re-offending. The Section 8 must be served in a very specific manner, with very specific wording on the nature of the arrears and delivered to the tenant on a specific date - our unique system takes care of ALL of this for you!
With a section 8 notice either you and/or your legal representative (a solicitor, not your letting agent) MUST attend court.
Section 8 in summary: Takes 2 weeks to expire. A court appearance is always required. Use the Section 8 if more than 2 months' rent is unpaid, use the Section 21 if it is not. With a Section 8 you'll get a CCJ (County Court Judgement) against the tenant for the outstanding rent, whereas you won't with a Section 21.
Section 21 Notice
The Section 21 notice is a mandatory notice, which means a judge must always issue you a possession order as long as you filled out and served the notice (and completed the court papers) correctly. Evicting a tenant under a Section 21 does not generally require you to attend the court hearing, unless you should so wish. If you are having any problems with your tenant when you issue your Section 21 notice, we recommend asking for a hearing. The reason being that if you don't, and the tenant disputes receiving the notice or offers some other defence (spurious or otherwise) then the judge will call a hearing and the whole process will take much longer. Section 21 notices are generally used if you require your property back for any other reason than 2 months' rent arrears, but, can also be used for rent arrears if you do not wish to get a CCJ for money owed awarded against the tenant, but are just happy to get them out of your property. Section 21s need to cover 2 whole rent months before they expire and the court process can start. This is why they are not so good if you have a tenant that is not paying.
Our unique system will create the right format Section 21 notice seeking possession as there are two variants depending on whether the tenancy is still within its original time frame as written on the tenancy agreement or if the end date of the agreement has passed and the tenancy is what is known as 'statutory periodic'. All this will be taken care of for you by our system.
Section 21 in summary: Takes 2 rent months to expire. Mandatory possession as long as everything is done correctly. Court appearance not always required. No award of any rent arrears.
Once the notice has expired after the prescribed amount of time since service (2 weeks for a Section 8, 2 whole rent months for a Section 21) if you still wish to evict the tenant (i.e. they have not paid their rent or stopped the action that was forcing you to evict them) then you have to fill in the court paperwork and pay the court application fee.
If you are not confident about completing the court papers, we can do it for you. Like with the notices you must get these right or your possession claim is doomed to certain failure.
The courts will write to you and the tenants giving all parties the date of the hearing.
For a section 8 you and/or a solicitor must attend. A tenant does not have to attend and in our experience rarely do. For a section 21 notice you initially have a choice whether to attend court or not.
As long as everything is done right the judge will award possession and give the tenants a date they must vacate the property by.
If the tenants have not vacated your property by the date the judge ordered you cannot throw them out, but must apply to the courts for a bailiff to attend and evict them.
Visum can again help with this stage if it comes to it.