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Eviction Crisis: Become expert at Section 8 powers - legal advice to landlords

Landlords who are smarting at the end of their Section 21 powers should make sure they are experts at the expanded role of Section 8 evictions. 

That’s the advice of Gary Ekpenyoung, landlord and tenant partner at law firm Shakespeare Martineau.  

The Renters Reform Bill, published yesterday, confirms that so-called ‘no fault’ evictions will end when the Bill becomes law, later this year or in 2024.


But Ekpenyoung says: “The reforms represent a turning point for tenants’ rights. However, it’s vital that the legislation does not discourage landlords from renting out their properties, which could further fuel the UK housing crisis.

“Axing Section 21 sees ‘no-fault’ evictions becoming a thing of the past, meaning that private tenants can no longer be evicted with two months’ notice, without reason from the landlord.

“However, to avoid the legal balance tipping too far in favour of tenants, the Government has broadened the scope of section 8, or the reasons for ‘at-fault’ evictions. In order to protect their rights, landlords should develop a clear understanding of these changes.

“These changes address a long-standing tension in the relationship between tenants and landlords, and it’s vital that landlords get expert advice around how these reforms affect their rights and obligations. 

“However, avoiding disputes and fostering good tenant relationships are always the best course of action in order to avoid potentially costly and time-consuming disputes.”

Currently a Section 21 warns the tenant that they will need to vacate the property after a stipulated period, and the landlord is not required to give a reason. 

A Section 8 Notice must give a reason or reasons described in law as ‘grounds for possession’. There are 17 official grounds for possession. 

Landlords often use a Section 8 Notice when the tenant breaks the terms of the tenancy agreement.

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    Legal profession licking their lips at the fees they are going to get claiming damages and fees from landlords, and legal aid. This bill is very confusing, since it seeks to amend another bill and in a rather truncated manner, although it clearly outlaws section 21.

    • B L
    • 18 May 2023 10:00 AM

    Been there, we can assure you the legal profession doesn't work and only consume more money and time. A case under a full management by a letting agent, tenant owed 7 months rent, followed all procedures advised to pay debt collector, eviction solicitor, court solicitor but no returned investment. We lost 27K. Abolishing S21 means PRS have lost ownership, surely this is unlawful. Seems the minority takes over the majority in this democratic country. In the U.S., you can rob a shop under $1000 and it is not a criminal offence. We are just opening a door heading to anarchy.

  • Philip Savva

    The issue with S8 in reference to rent arrears is that if you serve it after 2 months of arrears & then a tenant pays you a small amount off the arrears, you can no longer to court to evict & so the tenant can constantly be in arrears & you can never evict, so how can this be fair, this is one issue that absolutely needs to over hauled & allow us to evict persistent rent arrears offenders, as this was the area that I pets would you use S21


    I think there’s 3 strikes then they are out so this has been addressed. Please check this though.

    Ferey Lavassani

    If the tenant pays small amount to bring the arrears below two months, then your remedy is Grounds 10 and 11. However, you have got less than 1% chance to get your eviction order under discretionary grounds such as these two.

  • icon

    Another expert stating the obvious. Of course we need to know about S8 now it’s the only way we can get our properties back. Providing we are still around when in comes in 💨

  • icon

    Not required thanks…... By then I should have sold up 💵💵💰💰

  • icon

    I don’t want to give you a reason if the Contract ends that’s the reason. I didn’t need your advice when I bought the Property or get any financial support from anyone while paying taxes through the nose.
    A Contact without end is not a Contract, World without end Amen, sitting Tenants again.
    The Renter’s Deform Bill taking years of Parliamentary Time to go backwards 35 years to Assured Tenancies congratulations, before which Private Renting didn’t exist did you not know this.
    Please tell me for example how many letting Agents were there in London come on tell me.
    The Whole of PRS was founded and created by S.21 because of homeless situation back then when no one could find anywhere to live so going back there again.
    Shame we had Covid it slowed the Big Boys Plans and are 2 years behind with unsuitable High Rise Flat to take over.
    There is no doubt the homeless situation and shortage of housing was the brain child of Government. Well done.

  • icon

    You are right Michael, and they know that this will bring about the demise of the private rental sector.

    It is not a vote winner because the majority of tenants know it, too.

  • Taifoor Chaudhry

    The problem stems from people/ government not willing to accept BTL as a business. They actually see BTL as an alternative to Social housing and wonder why landlord wants to evict tenant and destroy their normal life. My argument is always simple, can Tesco give me basic essentials free or at subsidy? Afterall food is as important as housing.
    Just learn to adjust with this mindset and carryon

  • Mohammad Kamran  Iqbal

    Government should set up a fund to pay landlords who lose out on rent. Place debt on tenants name and they recover the amount from the tenant.

  • Ferey Lavassani

    Let me give you one example as how Section 8 works in reality. The tenant falls behind with rent. Currently they have to be two months or more behind, on the day that you issue the claim and on the day of Hearing. If the tenant is on housing benefit, the local authority the day before the Hearing will settle the arrears in full. Why, because the tenant is entitled to a "one off discretionary payment". So you will have to sit back and wait until the tenant is behind again. The same scenario of two months or more behind. Eventually you end up in court. These cases will not get more that five or ten minutes on the hearing day. Next, the tenant start coughing and all of a sudden, with the advise of the clever duty solicitor, brings about a counter claim for disrepair. Something that was never mentioned before. Under the Civil Procedure Rules, any counter claim must be submitted at least fourteen days prior to the Hearing. But judges seem to accept the counter claim on the day and who is the lord to argue with the honourable district judge. Since the tenant is becoming homeless, they are entitled to legal aid. The tenant's solicitors then instruct a chartered surveyor to prepare a report not only with regards to the alleged disrepair, but the whole house. We all know that even brand new properties will no get 100% OK upon a survey. Never mind if the property is a terraces house built good few years ago. You will have to get things sorted and instruct your own chartered surveyor to prepare a report for the courts. By the way I forgot to mention that you say good bye to your rent arrears against the tenant's counter claim. So far you have paid court fees, solicitor fees and surveyor fees. Now if the tenant is getting housing benefit, you will have to wait for the shortfall to become two months or more. Let me explain. For example if the tenant gets £450.00 and current market rent is £750.00. Then these £300.00 should add up to £1500.00 which means another five months. And then back to court. Section 21 however, solves the problem. Get your possession and go on to money claim on line for the rent arrears. Although you cannot claim rent arrears under Section 21, nonetheless a debt is a debt and you are entitled to go after the debtor tenant. Repealing Section 21 means the end of AST and bring back Assured Tenancies. In my opinion its worst than that. I bring back Protected Tenancies. For those of you who are not familiar with Protected Tenancies, check Rent Act 1977.Finally, no matter who decent your tenants are and how perfect the condition of your property is, you do not want to stay in this game. I call it a game because for as long as successive governments treat PRS landlord as investors and not business, things can and will get tougher. Mrs Thatcher brought Housing Act 1988, the Act brought Section 21 and then came Fery Lavassani. Mrs. Thatcher has long gone, now Section 21 is going, so is Fery Lavassani. I am out.


    A good summary. I am terrified of S8. I have heard plenty of BS stories about judges, counter claims, unreported disrepairs. I will not go up against anyone on legal aid. You fund everything. These useless turds get paid for by us all too. With their benefits and their legal aid.

  • Ferey Lavassani

    Nick, I am sure there are judges out there who seems not to know what mandatory grounds are. Have seen cases that the tenant claimed to have paid the arrears and the judge gave him two weeks to produce the receipt. Of course there was no receipt as the arrears were never paid. But the point is that the judge had no discretion to do that. Argue with him on the point of law and you will be charged with contempt of court.


    I have read about judges not accepting the issuing of a S21. Desperate to put the hammer down and dismiss the case but the experience landlord pulled out a witness statement and reluctantly got his possession. The judge was disappointed.

    I'm not aware of any procedure where you can complain about a judge at all. Only try and appeal if possible. Otherwise go again.

    It's disgusting they have no discretion but still exercise it!

  • Sarah Fox-Moore

    Government doing their best to destroy the Private Renter Sector. It's game over. The mass exodus of Landlords will be breath taking.


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