Section 8 what grounds to use

A few years ago I made a massive mistake and reluctantly rented out a property to a family member. A few months before Christmas he informed me that due to ill health he no longer.intended to pay the full rent and wanted to only pay half. I wrote to him letting him know that i couldn’t afford to let this happen but when the rent was due he still paid less than half. I have written to him every month with a rent arrears letter and he continues to ignore my correspondence and underpay. Obviously our relationship has now broken down completely and I am exploring ways of getting my property back.

In March the rent arrears will have built up to 2 months worth and from my understanding I can start a section 8 notice for rent arrears using grounds 8, 10, 11 with 2 weeks notice. Given my naeivity on the subject and reading through some of the horror stories i thought it best if i got a solicitor to do this and have been quoted £3,000 + to read through the history and serve the notice. I was considering this but something else has occurred to me.

Before I rented out the property I lived there for 10 years plus and have checked the tenancy agreement and it has a clause where I can get the property back if I want to live in it as my main home.

My current home Is up for sale and and I was considering the option of moving back in to my other property to renovate and sell. I was wondering if I should consider section 8 ground 1 would this be more straightforward, I know it’s 2 months notice but would it be more likely to be granted hassle free without a bs defence?

What are the potential pitfalls and is there anything I need to be aware of e.g. if i move back in do i need to live in the property for a certain amount of time before I can sell and would I still be better off getting a solicitor to serve this notice?

Also should I issue notice on all grounds 1,8.10,11 or does this complicate the process and give the tenant more of a chance to cook up a defence?

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If you can serve a valid s21 notice, then I would suggest you use that.

Whether you can use s8 ground 1 will depend on exactly what the notice in the tenancy agreement says. Incidentally, if you have lived there previously and a ground 1 notice would be valid, there is no requirement for you to move into the property. Its enough that you used to live there.

The issues with ground 8 are mainly:

  1. the tenant can defend it with claims of disrepair
  2. the tenant can defeat it by bringing the amount owed a little below the 2 month threshold just before the court case.

Which country in the UK are you in as the laws may be different in each .

Thanks for the reply. I think i need to get a solicitor because I’m feeling out of my depth. I really didn’t think a family member would betray me like this and have potentially caused myself huge problems through good intentions. Because it was a family member i didn’t get a gas safety or epc cert from the start of tenancy this has now been rectified but I’m guessing this will go against me? I let him live there free initially but as time went on i had to charge him rent because of my circumstances changing. I havent been in the property for a while and have discovered he has changed the locks and made alterations to the property, in affect he is treating the house like he owns it. He has never told ne of any maintenance problems but will i need to prove that in court? I’m guessing whichever route i take he could claim i haven’t maintained the property as a defence even s8 ground 1?

Hi thanks for the reply i live in England

get him out before he claims you gave him the house

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Choose a firm of solicitors that specialises in housing law or use an eviction company.

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Does this person have any assets or a regular income? When you get solicitors involved you have already lost in real terms and their fees tend to increase

You might consider just issuing a section 21 and see how it goes then ask for some viewing times for prospective new tenants. They might just go and you save money.

Section 8 should maybe your fallback position with. Professional help
Dont suppose you will be doing business with family again

HI thanks for the reply. My worry if i go down the s21 route is that he has lived in the property for a while and i have never given a goverment rent guide, never asked for a deposit and have only recently got epc and gas safety. In all honesty i have never wanted to be a LL but felt pressurized because of family. It’s no excuse i know and.i should have researched this more when we did tenancy but i don’t know how i can explain this. I’m finding it very stressful and don’t know if I’ll ever trust anyone again but i’ve definately learnt a harsh lesson. The tenant has no assets or income and relys on pension also has son and daughter living there both on benefits.

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dont be too hard on yourself, no one on here has been error free. you might be overthinking it, just try a s21 and if it doesn’t work do something else. you simply cannot predict how the tenant will jump as its out of your control.
I would think people on here empathize with you rather than think you foolish. a few bad experiences are perhaps a rite off passage to harden you up as a LL. good liuck

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Thanks for the kind comments. Won’t the s21 br invalid because of epc, gas and renters guide?

Some things can be corrected, some cant. Its complex and too much to explain here. As I said, contact an eviction specialist.

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Hi Jamie25,

How far did you get with this? I’m in a really similar situation.
Like you, I’m worried about issues with the section 21 (missing gas safety cert at beginning of start of tenancy) so I’m wondering about using section 8 grounds 1a.
We lived in the property for 7 years before renting and don’t own any other property. We just want to property back to sell for a deposit for our next home. We could use Grounds 8 as there is substantial rent arrears, but want assurance that we can remove the tenant even if the rent arrears are paid back hence the thought of grounds 1A.

The general view we are finding online with legal advice pages is that it’s expected that you move back into the property and it’s not for people intending to sell, yet the Housing Act doesn’t say this for Grounds 1A. I’m wondering if this is because solicitors rarely deal with Ground 1A, as most people would just issue a S21 for a no-fault eviction.

Any advice appreciated.

You dont need to move back in to the property to satisfy section 8 ground 1, just to have lived in it previously. However, you must have given the tenants written notice before the tenancy began that you may wish to use that ground to evict at some time in the future.