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Section 8

Started by Trisha12345, November 03, 2023, 07:58:10 AM

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I think I have made a mistake and looking for advice, this is the first time I have rented my house out and all seems to have gone badly.

I issued a section 21 initially however have had a letter from the council telling me it was invalid, ive done some googling and it seems its invalid as the Gas safety certificate is out of date (by 1 week), problem is I have been trying to get access to the house for the engineer for a few weeks and the tenant isnt allowing access, I can only assume to delay this process.

The reason I am evicting is because I need to move back into my house, it is the only home I own, me and my partner moved in together in a new bigger rented place but with rent increases and cost of living and our oldest children moving out its just not feasible to continue and we no longer need something so big, I lived in it for 15 years prior to renting so Ive been informed I can use a section 8 on ground 1. Owner Occupation. I sent it recorded delivery but now I'm panicking, ive maybe not filled it in right or ive been given bad advice

Is it correct that I dont need to provide any additional documentation with the section 8? i.e. Gas Safe (I have provided the How to rent and EPC and she has the old Gas Safe Certificate, there was no deposit (silly me) so I dont need safe information)

She was late with her rent this month, I very much doubt she will pay on time next month so I am really struggling financially trying to pay the mortgage on time and my rent in this place so I cant even go to a solicitor :(

Adding she has gone to council for housing as shes said she cant afford to rent another house and ive been informed its likely council will tell her to stay all the way to bailiffs, initially she told me she accepted the Section 21 giving 3 months notice so I gave notice on my rented house, if its true shes likely to go all the way to bailiffs I myself wont have anywhere to go come 3rd Jan.


I wouldn't listen to the council with regards to your section 21, its down to the court, not them. Have you gone through the Pinned Section 21 checker post to check yourself?

How did the tenant accept the section 21, was it in writing that they were surrendering the tenancy/moving out?


Thanks for reply, yes I have but without the gas safe which she wont allow me in to do I cant serve a 21. Not sure how I gain access to do it without her approval, a solicitor mentioned an injunction.

She sent me a message saying because of my section 21 she has had to cancel her broadband for moving out date which incurred a charge and she would take the £120 cancellation fee off her rent to me, which is why I then handed notice in on the house i'm in now.


You should probably send the section 8 again. Sending notices recorded delivery isn't a good idea, as the tenant can decline the delivery (and if they're not in when the postman calls it goes back to the depot).
Use a post office and send notices first class with a proof of postage (which is free of charge from a post office).
Send a new notice with the right dates on it, not a copy.

There are conditions for a section 8 notice, ground 1 (but they're not the same as for a section 21 notice). You have to have told the tenant before the start of the tenancy that you might use this ground. The court might set that requirement aside, but they don't have to.

The tenant didn't have to cancel her broadband if they received a section 21 notice from you, because it doesn't end the tenancy. But they weren't to know that.

It might be worth talking to the tenant to see if there's a way forward. The chances of her getting a council house are almost nil, unless she's got children or is categorised as "vulnerable". And the chances, in most places in the UK of it being OK to live in or even in the same part of the country if you're in London very very small. Your tenant probably needs to rethink her understanding.

Your own notice is binding, but it's possible your landlord won't know that, so try and see if you can cancel it. If the tenant doesn't want to leave, it could be months (maybe even a year at the moment) before you can recover possession.

If you're having trouble paying your mortgage, talk to the lender, because they might allow you a payment "holiday" to help you afford things. Don't forget that if it's a BTL mortgage you might need to remortgage in order to live there.


This is not the question you asked, which was about Section 8.

But, considering you have served notice on your current rental, and admit it is too large / expensive for you anyway, I would probably devote a little time this year into looking for a more suitable rental for yourself too. This is assuming the worst case that a) you must leave and b) your Tenant does not and, finally, c) rent becomes non-existent or sporadic.

In that scenario, despite costs associated with moving, you might end up with a cheaper place to tide you over and help with your other concerns until the time your property becomes available to you. Obviously we have no understanding of your savings position. Also obviously you will get your property back at some stage, but it feels like there's enough uncertainty and moving parts here for you to be working on one or two backup plans.


Sounds likely I need to go via the Section 21 notice again then and really work to get access to the house. Unfortunately I have no form of communication other than post as she has blocked my phone number so I cant work with her to get it sorted, I have tried previously but when there was contact she is adamant she will be staying until the council house her


Maybe I am imagining it, but this matter of tenants refusing to move until re-housed by the council seems to appear in a lot of posts lately . Having read David' s account of the process involved in getting a council house I am wondering are tenants deluding themselves more than usual, or are they being given unrealistic advice from councils and the likes of Shelter?   


I have nothing real to back this up, but I think it's that tenants are deluding themselves (or are possibly so desperate that they're clutching at straws).

I can't imagine that the council is encouraging people to think that they might be eligible for a council property. I suppose people might be misunderstanding the concept of "emergency accommodation". Likewise Shelter.

I can imagine both councils and Shelter telling people to stay where they are and not move out, because there's always a chance that the landlord will be unable to use a section 21 (or at least "this" section 21). But, I agree, the next bit makes no sense to me.


I have spoken to the council as have asked for advice if this whole situation makes me homeless as a result, I can confirm they tell you to not move out and to wait for bailiffs to give as much time as possible to be housed. If you move out before this date the only accommodation they can give you is emergency housing which isn't a council house and is more a hostel/bedsit and it isn't until you are actually homeless you have the chance of a council house (i'm sure we all know a council house isn't just going to be suddenly available because you've been evicted if there is a shortness of them!). Its what they have advised I do to my current landlord which is something I strongly disagree with and wont be doing. Although I was also told as I do own a house I wont get council help at all anyway, even if I cant get access to the house. I'm a little shocked by it all and I 100% will never be renting out my house again once I get it back.

I would understand if the notice period given was unreasonable but surely giving notice should be enough, why give the costs of court if the end result is the same.

They have however told me they will be advising her to let us access for gas safe but they can not force her so hopefully their input there will help get access so I can then do the section 21.

Thanks for all your advice and input much appreciated.

Wish me luck


Gas safety is surely in a class of it' s own? Worst scenario someone dies. A negligent landlord can be charged with manslaughter, how would that turn out if a tenant refused entry?  What happened to the minimum 24 hour notice which enables essential repairs or even routine inspections to take place?  Has there been some new ruling that I am unaware of ?


Quote from: heavykarma on November 03, 2023, 05:50:51 PMGas safety is surely in a class of it' s own? Worst scenario someone dies. A negligent landlord can be charged with manslaughter, how would that turn out if a tenant refused entry?  What happened to the minimum 24 hour notice which enables essential repairs or even routine inspections to take place?  Has there been some new ruling that I am unaware of ?

I've looked on the gas safety register website as long as I have tried and have proof I've tried 3 times I will not be prosecuted for any gas related incidents. However that doesn't help me with the section 21.
I put a new letter through her door asking for the engineer to visit any evening next week and I would find it a breach if access is not provided, she received it as I got a message saying it was laughable and access will be granted when she's not at work then she's blocked me again so I can't arrange, in the letter I gave her the engineers number directly if she didn't want to talk to me they've confirmed they have not heard from her. She's being purposely difficult seemingly saying access is ok but then making it impossible to get in as I have no idea on her shift patterns


Quote from: Trisha12345 on November 04, 2023, 07:08:17 AMShe's being purposely difficult

I will not argue against that... but for anyone just reading this, I wanted to put forward a point of view that people letting property should not be renting themselves, and people letting property should not place their Tenants into a position where they lose their home because the Landlord needs the property back to live in. I've felt strongly about this for a long time and, while I know people try things out with their partners and suchlike... I always take time to stress to prospective Tenants that I would never "need to live there" as I most likely never did (I do have one tenancy, running since 2014, that was my old home). It's eye-opening how well this goes down simply because of the fact a significant proportion of Tenants looking for a property have fallen victim to this kind of scenario. The Tenant described here does not seem to have done anything 'wrong' as such, although that may now change. This kind of situation is not being a responsible Landlord... it is really opportunism in its harshest sense. I am not saying people should leave assets idle... I am saying Landlording should be more professional.

The situation that's ongoing here just feels like it's going to be long and tortuous and costly unless luck intervenes. I really hope it does.


I think saying not responsible landlord is incorrect in the cases where they are aware it's not a permanent residence, which I did inform her of, she knew it was a trial me moving in with my partner and as such I gave her rent £300 a month under market rate for the fact it could well be short term.


Um, fair points in return, but you haven't stated the trial of you moving in with your partner is the reason that you now want to move back (the assumption there being the trial wasn't successful). You've actually stated to us that it is down to you getting a too large rental for your needs and the cost of living. If that's all true, maybe you can leave your Tenant in your / their home and you go and find yourself something more appropriate to rent instead of turfing her out? If you'd told us that the Tenant wasn't paying and there was anti-social behaviour or they were slowly destroying your property, then I'm sure it would be different - but I'd just wanted to point-out - as the story stands, and as you tell it - this Tenant has done nothing wrong up to the point of receiving an invalid Section 21, in fact you have - as the GSC wasn't current, and I didn't read that there was any obstruction at that time (it looks like that was on you)?

I do hear everything else said and, as I suspect, it could be long and drawn-out, but I hope not - and the one positive here is one area you appear critical of yourself - the taking of a security Deposit. If you had done so, and there was any issue with the admin. there, you'd be really on the hook (if you have a savvy Tenant). So, every cloud...

Best of luck.