Agents advised to ensure they serve eviction notices correctly

Letting agents urged to ensure eviction notices are correct

As the ‘peak eviction’ period looms, letting agents are being urged to take care when serving eviction notices, ensuring they are served correctly.

Rent4sure, a specialist tenant referencing service, said attention needs to be given to Section 8 and Section 21 notices, the two most common forms used when evicting tenants.

Section 8 notices can be served for breaches in an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, and are frequently used to recoup rent arrears.

Luke Burton, Rent4sure’s sales and marketing director, explained: “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 as Section 8 notice under the mandatory ground 8”.

Burton advises that if rent is paid weekly or fortnightly, a period of 8 weeks rent must be in arrears before a Section 8 notice can be issued.

For quarterly payments, a period of one quarter’s rent must be at least three months overdue before a Section 8 notice can be served and for rent paid annually, a minimum of three months’ rent must be in arrears.

A Section 21 notice can be served, giving the tenant two months’ notice, at the end of a fixed term or in line with an agreed break clause outlined in the tenancy agreement.

However, according to Burton: “if the tenancy commenced prior to 1st October 2015 and no new term has been entered into post that date, notice can be served at any time”.  If a tenancy commenced after this date, agents would not be permitted to serve a Section 21 notice until after the first four months of the tenancy have expired.

The referencing service, Rent4sure, believe it is good practice to serve these notices towards the end of the tenancy term to ensure the notice is valid, should possession proceeding become necessary.

The Section 21 rule prohibiting notice being served for the first four months of a tenancy only applies from the date of the original agreement.

As Section 21 notices are only valid for a six month period from their date of issue, Burton advises: “it would be good practice to diarise to serve these a few months before the end of the term to ensure the notice remains valid if the tenant fails to vacate and proceedings do become necessary”.

Full article available on LettingAgentTODAY:

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