Can a Section 8 and Section 21 Notice Be Served at the same time?

While tenancies should end by mutual consent, it doesn’t happen always. Sometimes landlords have to struggle heavily to regain possession of their property and need to seek a court order to evict their tenants. If you are planning to start the eviction process, it is extremely crucial to obtain a clear idea about different types of possession notices under the Housing Act 1988.

In this post, first, we’ll take a quick look at each of these notices and then see whether or not you can serve a Section 21 notice and a Section at the same time.

What is a Section 21 notice?

If the fixed term of your tenants has ended but they haven’t vacated your property, you can serve a Section 21 notice to take back its possession. However, you should note that whether or not a valid Section 21 notice can be served depends on various factors. These include the month and year when you issued the tenancy agreement, whether or not you’ve protected the deposit obtained from the tenant, provided the tenant with copies of some essential documents, among others. Many landlords prefer to serve a Section 21 notice due to its “no-fault” nature. It means you don’t have to show any breach of tenancy terms or fault on the tenant’s part to serve it.

What is a Section 8 notice?

If your tenant has broken the tenancy terms or you’ve found a fault on his/her part, you can serve a Section 8 notice. The most common reasons pointing to a fault or a breach of contract include rent arrears, failing to maintain the property in accordance with the agreement, and damage to the property. However, to leverage the power of a Section 8 notice, it is important to find out an appropriate ground and evidence to support it to be able to back your claim up if the matter reaches the court.

Is it possible to serve a Section 8 notice and a Section 21 notice simultaneously?

Since a Section 8 notice and a Section 21 notice are served for different reasons and are completely independent, you can serve both of them at the same time. And it is possible to issue court proceedings depending on any or both of them. By serving both these notices simultaneously, you can ensure the availability of different options. Let’s take a look at the possible options.

  • You can go with the standard possession procedure. Though it is a time-consuming method, you may rely on both the notices in the same proceedings. It means you can take back possession and obtain a judgment for rent arrears.
  • You’ve served a Section 8 notice for rent arrears and the tenant pays up the arrears partly or in full. It means you no longer have any mandatory ground for possession using this notice. However, if you still want to regain the possession of your property for reasons that aren’t related to any breach of the tenancy agreement, your Section 21 notice, which has also been served simultaneously, will come in handy. You’ll be able to apply to the court to regain possession once the Section 21 notice has expired and the tenant hasn’t vacated the property.

Wrapping up

Though you can serve both a Section 8 notice and a Section 21 notice simultaneously, it is important to understand your limitations with regard to each of them. For example, if rent arrears are there but your tenant doesn’t have employment or any assets and there isn’t any guarantor, serving a Section 21 notice would be a prudent decision. You may never be able to retrieve the rent arrears but you’ll get your property back. Similarly, if you haven’t fully adhered to the statutory guidelines for serving a Section 21 notice, you’ll be better off with a Section 8 notice under certain circumstances.

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