Serving a section 8 notice. The rules are the same in England and Wales
Sometimes there is no choice but to go down this route. The mandatory order is in ground 8 and we include grounds 10 and 11 in our notices.
The section 8 form is called a form 3 and as a prescribed form, the wording must match the wording prescribed by the government.
Here I just want you to know that unless the arrears far out weigh any potential counterclaim about an unprotected deposit, you would be insane to go down the section 8 route if it can be defended by the tenant in this way.
If the landlord hasn’t fully complied with the deposit scheme legislation, Section 21 is easier
to use than Section 8 because it is easy to 'fix' the deposit issue. See tenants deposits here.
There could be a bottomless pit of costs when such a claim is defended. We really have a vested interest in you not ending up with solicitor and court fees from the other side. We once rescued a client in Southampton who by himself took his tenant to court under section 8. The Key to ending up in heap of trouble rests on whether the tenant goes to a solicitor and you will never know this until after you have put yourself in it and to a point of no return. This solicitor in our opinion was just plain evil. She even sent the landlord regular up dates as to what her costs had currently amounted to. By the time he called us they were just over £16,000.00 and he asked a friend what he should do. (he told me this) His friend says find someone who's knows what he is doing and I am so glad he found us. To be short, we issued a section 21 notice complying with all rules of course and the solicitor was not some how acting diligently. She didn't appear to have a clue what was happening. Perhaps she was planning a new extension for her house or a deposit on a new black range rover. We tried our best to drag out the section 8 and got the possession order under section 21and the bailiff before the section 8 could get to a final hearing. By the time the tenant had beee ejected, the last note of costs were for over £32,000.00.The landlord discontinued the section 8 as the tenant had gone and the solicitor created a hearing without actually having a client in order to ask for costs. It was a simple statement which we wrote for the landlord saying in order to ask for costs she had to win something and the judge threw out here request. He potentially saved £32,000.00.
As an adjunct there is an other question attached to this story which is this. Had this landlord gone to a solicitor instead of us, what would have been the likly outcome? Firstly it would not have been in the interest of the solicitor to go down the section 21 route in order to avoid not only the large bill from the opposite solicitor if they lose but whether they lose or win, he would be turning down say £20,000.00 rather than the say £2000.00 he would charge for the accelerated claim. He would have tried to defend the section 8 I have absolutely no doubt of that.The landlord if he lost would have a £40,000,00 bill from the other side and £20,000.00 from his own solicitor even if he lost.
So now you are getting the picture as to how we function and what makes us tick, good.
We have taken these to court with a three times deposit defence claim but we would not do so unless either the arrears were substantial or we first obtained a two months CCJ for rent arrears.Its a bit complicated here to explain, but in brief, a section 8 hearing is essentially a small claim with a possession order attached to it. We are asking for a possession order based on the existing CCJ. These have gone really well even with a counterclaim in some instances, but not in all because county courts are inconsistent. Because of the dangers of this process we will work with you to arrive at a decision based on risk.
We can help you to enforce a section 8 notice whether we did the notice or you or the agent served it. There will be a hearing and many landlords are more than capable of handling these on their own. Except we spend some time explaining the rules and give you the confidence before hand and we have been very successful like this. Its only a five minute hearing and if there are no issues then in the vast majority of cases the tenant doesn't turn up. If they do they have the benefit of a free duty solicitor but they still need a defence. The objective of the duty solicitor is to get all hearing adjourned. I know, what do you want to do when you grow up, I want to mess up as many sections 8 possession hearings as I can daddy. Sound great son.
These things we will discuss a few weeks before the hearing and you may opt to have a solicitor attend with you. You don't pay for this up front like some other leading practises, you can choose this later. After all the tenant might leave and you might have paid for a solicitor which you actually didn't need. If you would like to discuss this or any other issue please make contact here.