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END THE TENANCY A Section 8 Notice to quit a tenancy is known as such because it operates under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988. It can be served on a tenant to gain possession prior to the end of any fixed term specified in a tenancy as opposed to the section 21 notice which can only seek possession at the end of a fixed term. The most common ground relied on by landlords to end a tenancy is the non-payment or arrears of rent but the Housing Act provides some 17 grounds on which a landlord can rely on to gain possession before the end of a fixed term tenancy.

The Section 8 Notice contains the details of the grounds relied on and must be served on the tenant prior to seeking an order for possession. The notice must be in the prescribed format and be aware that any error in the notice is likely to delay proceedings. This guide is only concerned with the non-payment of rent which under the 1988 Act, this is ‘Ground 8’.


Before possession can be awarded under ground 8 at the time the notice is served and at the time of any listing before the court one of the following must apply:

  • Rent is paid weekly or fortnightly and at least eight weeks’ rent is owed.
  • Rent is paid monthly and at least two months’ rent is owed.
  • Rent is paid quarterly and at least one quarter’s rent is more than three months overdue.
  • Rent is paid yearly and at least three months’ rent is more than three months overdue.


The criteria for possession under Ground 10 are as follows:

  • Rent which is lawfully due to the landlord has not been paid by the time the possession proceedings are started and was owed at the time the Notice seeking possession was served.
  • Note that if a landlord has been offered money for rent by the tenant but has refused to take it, the tenant will have a defence in the possession proceedings.


The criteria for possession under Ground 11 are as follows:
The tenant has repeatedly failed to pay rent on time. There don’t have to be rent arrears at the time possession proceedings started.
Have a look at our Section 8 notice and complete it online if it becomes necessary. Be aware though that the courts do not put tenants out of their homes lightly and if the tenant manages the arrears.

PAPERWORK Seeking possession and ending the tenancy requires completing various paperwork, Our online drafting service can complete all notices, particulars and forms that you will need completing the documents automatically from answers to simple plain English questionnaires.