Letting agents are being urged to ensure that they serve eviction notices in the correct manner, as the so-called ‘peak eviction’ period looms.
Specialist tenant referencing service Rent4sure suggests that particular attention should be paid to both Section 8 and Section 21 notices, which are two of the most complex.
A section 8 notice can be served should a tenant be in breach of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement and is the most common way to combat rent arrears.
Luke Burton, Sales and Marketing Director at Rent4sure, noted: ‘A landlord or their agent should serve a Section 8 notice under grounds 8, 10 and 11 as soon as the tenant defaults on two months of rent arrears.’
‘This differs slightly when the rent is paid weekly, or quarterly and in some instances, you may have to wait for a further period before serving a Section 8 notice under the mandatory ground 8,’ he continued.
Mr Burton noted that if rent is paid weekly or fortnightly, eight weeks’ rent must be overdue before a Section 8 notice can be served.
For quarterly rent payments, there must be at least one quarter’s worth of rent outstanding- ie a tenant must be at least three months in arrears.
‘If the rent is paid yearly, at least three months’ rent must be three months in arrears,’ Burton added.
Meanwhile, a Section 21 notice should only be served at the conclusion of a fixed term, or as per an agreed break clause within the tenancy agreement. This type of notice should be served giving the tenant two month’s worth of notice.
However, if the tenancy agreement commenced before October 1st 2015, notice can be served at any time.
Burton explains that should a tenancy have commenced post 1st October 2015 agents are not permitted to serve a Section 21 until the first four months of the tenancy have passed.
Government Form 6A-only valid for six months from date of issue- should be used for all tenancies starting after this date. This includes renewals.
Letting agents and landlords can source more information in our Eviction Notice Guide for Landlords.