Section 8

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    Section 8

    Thankfully, I have only ever had to take one tenant to court to evict. We used a Section 8 due to the large arrears she had no chance of paying off but this was at least 15 years ago.

    I keep hearing that it’s easy for a tenant to defend a S8 notice by claiming disrepair (“my boiler isn’t working, your honour”) but I’m interested to know what happens after this.

    Surely such an unqualified claim from a (probably) poor tenant doesn’t just end the possession process there and then?

    I assume the judge may delay things but until when? Or until what?

    Does anyone have any experience of what happens next if this claim is made?

    If claim is defended, then the evidence needs to be assessed.
    On first court date there is likely to be insufficient time allocated and/or the LL will have had insufficient time to prepare counter-arguments.
    Case will therefore be listed for a later date when more time can be allocated.

    Until when? How long is a piece of string?

    I think the law should be changed so that only something that had been notified to LL in writing before S8G8 is served can be used as a defence, to prevent rogue tenants making things up on the day of the case.


      I agree with that MdeB.

      Defences I have had used against me in past S8 cases are a blocked air brick where there was a gas fire in the room (there was valid gas certificate in place) and the 'my boiler has not worked for 3 months' which was a blatant lie.

      The airbrick case was deferred for reports taking 8 weeks and the boiler one was disregarded by the judge.

      Freedom at the point of zero............


        If it's possible, it's a good idea to carry out a routine inspection before serving a s8 notice (obviously that isn't always possible if things have gone really pear-shaped).

        It gives the landlord at least a chance to say, well it was OK when I came over a few weeks ago because I asked you if everything was working and you said yes.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


          My miserable experience section 8 claim for repossession was that at the hearing, after 5 months of paying no rent and not presenting any defence for the arrears, the 5 minutes allocated to the hearing were spent while the defendant explained her sob story about how her claim for housing benefit/universal credit was taking a long time to process and that she would definitely be able to pay the rent as soon as her benefit claim came through. Despite no evidence to back up the defendants story
          and without giving my side the opportunity to make a counter argument
          , the judge adjourned the hearing for "3 weeks" to give the defendant "more time to pay". The 3 weeks turned out to mean almost 4 months till the next 5 minute hearing. Of-course, 3 months on from the adjournment, still no rent has been received. This was all a shocking experience for me which my solicitor did mot prepare me for.


            I'm puzzled to read these stories of derailed proceedings. The usual ground in such cases is 2 months rent arrears at the date of the notice and at the hearing. If the ground is made out, possession is mandatory: the judge doesn't have any discretion. Are these matters simply being handled incompetently?


              Originally posted by StuartH View Post
              I'm puzzled to read these stories of derailed proceedings. The usual ground in such cases is 2 months rent arrears at the date of the notice and at the hearing. If the ground is made out, possession is mandatory: the judge doesn't have any discretion. Are these matters simply being handled incompetently?
              Here's how it should work... and how it should be handled competently.

              Chances of a case outside the limits described by Shelter still being adjourned or delayed by a judge unfamiliar with the details are I suspect high.

              Sincerely hope council have been sent copy of s8 & details of rent arrears.
              I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


                Incompetence or perhaps something else, when I received a bill for my solicitor for over £1000 pounds for just drafting my witness statement and attending court with me. The court hearing was delayed an hour or so because apparently the court hadn't received the necessary files in time. Maybe I should go on my own next time.


                  Originally posted by kennyj52 View Post
                  My miserable experience...
                  You should respond to the government consultation on "do we need a specialist housing court", citing your case a an example of injustices because of lack of housing-law expertise in the county courts.


                    or don't use section 8? section 21 and then chase them via MCoL for anything they owe. the chances of getting money back via section 8 or 21 plus MCoL are slim, but at least they cant use disrepair as a defence, so you should get them out quicker


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