Standard Possession Proceedings

S8 Notice

Quite often a landlord’s reason for seeking possession of a property is that the tenant has fallen into rent arrears. In which case, the appropriate first step is to serve a detailed rent statement together with a notice pursuant to Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988. 

If there are more than two months’ arrears, the landlord will usually prepare the notices based on the following grounds:

  • Ground 8 – where there are at least two months’ arrears at the date of the Section 8 Notice and the date of the first hearing
  • Ground 10 – there are some arrears at the date of the notice and the first hearing
  • Ground 11 – the tenant has been persistently late in paying rent

Standard Possession Proceedings

If the tenant does not leave upon expiry of a Section 8 Notice, the next step in obtaining possession of the property would be to issue a possession claim at Court.

Once the Court has received the possession claim, it will normally list a short hearing of 10 minutes or so, to decide whether or not to summarily decide whether or not to make a possession order.  The Court will then send the claim documents to the Defendant and the Claimant with a notice of hearing.

If the defendant does not oppose the claim, then the landlord is likely to be awarded a possession order at that first hearing.  However, if the Defendant puts in some form of Defence, it is common for the Judge to use that hearing to make further directions for the management of the case towards a final trial.