Mandatory and Discretionary Grounds for Eviction

December 8, 2018
Serving documents

One of the big features of Landlord Law and why many people join the site is our Eviction Guide.

This is a detailed step by step guide to help landlords evict their tenants without having to use a solicitor.

This was thoroughly checked over and updated as part of the process of moving content over from the old Landlord Law site. 

But I  felt that there was something missing.  There should, I thought, be an explanatory section looking specifically at the grounds for possession and how they work.

Hence this new section in the Guide.

The grounds for possession

If you are evicting an assured or an assured shorthold tenant and are not using the section 21 process, you must cite one or more grounds for possession in your proceedings.

In virtually all cases you must have served a special notice on your tenants setting out the ground and why it applies in your case.

The grounds are all set out in the second schedule to the Housing Act 1988 – the act that created assured and assured shorthold tenancies and which contains the rules for how they operate.

Most people only really know about the rent arrears ground (as that is the one most commonly used) but there are many more of them.

The new section of the guide:

  • Looks at section 7 of the act – which says that you can’t use Notices to Quit and requires that reference be made to the grounds in your tenancy agreement
  • Looks at section 8 of the act, which sets out the procedure for serving the notice which must precede the issue of proceedings – and is why the notice is called a ‘section 8 notice’
  • And lists each of the grounds for possession, the relevant wording of the act, with a bit of information about each of them.

You are highly unlikely to use any of the grounds other than ground 8 (serious rent arrears) and maybe ground 1 (the owner-occupier ground) but it is useful to have them all set out in one place as a reference document.

You will find the guide here.  But as it is part of the Eviction Guide you will only be able to see it if you are a Business Level member.