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Landlords - Back to basics

We thought that it might be useful to provide a reminder of some of the basics for landlords when looking to regain possession.

1. Check the tenancy agreement to make sure that there are no obscure notice requirements within the agreement.
2. Select whether a Section 8 or Section 21 Notice is going to be served on the tenant. You can of course serve both at the same time.
3. If you are relying on Section 8 then proceedings must be started within 12 months of the Notice. The Notice must be in the correct format and include specific information required.
4. A Section 8 Notice must clearly set out the grounds for possession. It is recommended that you rely on both mandatory grounds and discretionary grounds just in case you get to the date of the hearing and the mandatory ground cannot be made out, you then have a fall back of discretionary grounds.
5. Engage with the tenant before issuing proceedings and getting to the hearing stage as this may assist you in agreeing payment plans etc.
6. Ensure that you provide evidence of rent arrears if you are replying on Section 8 Notices e.g a witness statement with a schedule of rent arrears attached
7. If you are relying on section 21, this is a no fault notice and has recently become quite controversial with suggestion that this may be abolished. Any proceedings must be issued within 6 months of the Notice.

Common pitfalls to watch out for
a)    Incorrect information on the notice, claim form and/or particulars of claim
b)    Prescribed documents (e.g How to Rent guide, EPC, Valid Gas Safety Certificates) not being served on the tenant
c)    Wrong notice period being provided in the Section 8 or Section 21 Notice
d)    Incorrect calculation of rent arrears can lead to the hearing being adjourned

If you require any advice on this, or any other matter relating to Landlord and Tenant issues, including the drafting of new tenancy agreements, please contact the litigation department at Barwells on 01323 875050 or

Posted in: Litigation

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