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Will the S8 procedure be reformed?

The Government has launched a consultation on how to get rid of the section 21 procedure and the subsequent amendments to related legislation that will need to be made.

Section 21 Housing Act 1988 essentially allows a landlord to evict a tenant without reasons by serving a notice called a section 21 notice after a fixed term tenancy has come to an end and the tenant has lived in the property for at least six months.

The Government has decided that section 21 notices must go. This is because of a number of reasons including that the procedure gives too much power to landlords and not enough security to tenants. For example, a tenant complains about damp in their property and then finds they are served with a section 21 eviction notice.

The other way landlords can evict tenants is by the section 8 procedure and this can be done at any time during an assured or assured shorthold tenancy. However, the landlord must have a ground in order to use the section 8 procedure, and these are listed in section 8 of the Housing Act 1988. The process also involves applying to the Court.

The section 8 procedure has received a lot of criticism for being too lengthy. Therefore, following the Government consultation, legislation such as the section 8 procedure needs to be amended so that landlords are still able to evict bad tenants. For example, those who fail to pay their rent.

Top Tip: If you do need to evict your tenants, take legal advice promptly as the section 8 procedure can take up to four months.

For advice on Property matters, please contact Gemma Wright, Head of Property.