Section 8 Court Order - Can anything go wrong?

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  • Section 8 Court Order - Can anything go wrong?


    If a tenant owes five months rent (just over £4000) and is due to appear in court, will the possesion order be awarded for certain or can the tenant put in a defence and delay proceedings?

  • #2
    I assume you have served a valid section 8 notice and cited grounds 8,10, and 11.

    It is possible for the T to pay enough off the arrears so that less than 2 months rent (or 8 weeks) is owed as at the date of the court hearing. If this happens then there is no mandatory ground (ground 8) and you have to rely on grounds 10 and 11 which are discretionary - so the J might not award possession.
    PAUL GIBBS, solicitor, Jacobs & Reeves. My comments on this forum are correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. No responsibility or liability is accepted by reason of reliance upon such comments. This disclaimer would not apply to direct clients of Jacobs & Reeves where there is a valid retainer in place and I would be happy to confirm any advice if formally instructed. . Jacobs & Reeves now offer a fixed fee possession service.


    • #3
      A number of things can cause problem:
      1 No or incorrect proof of service
      2 N5 & OR N119 form filled out incorrectly
      3 Tenant takes arrears below 2 months before or at hearing
      4 If there are repairing issues it can cause problems
      5 The full wording of the grounds no given to the T with the section 8
      6 Not allowing a extra 2 days for serving the notice on top of the 14 days stated on the section 8 regarding "Court proceedings will not begin until after"

      I am sure there are others but cant think of any more at this stage.


      • #4
        It's all being handled by a solicitor so I'd hope that none of the above will be an issue.

        There is no chance of the tenant paying any money so thats covered.

        If he were to put in an appearance and make alligations of harassment (unsupported) are the courts wise to people buying themselves more time?


        • #5
          Originally posted by auto_detail View Post
          It's all being handled by a solicitor so I'd hope that none of the above will be an issue.

          There is no chance of the tenant paying any money so thats covered.

          If he were to put in an appearance and make alligations of harassment (unsupported) are the courts wise to people buying themselves more time?
          Irrespective of allegations, g8 is mandatory- Court cannot adjourn nor can it delay issue of an immediate binding Possession Order. See below, where I've pasted extracts from 1988 Act with added underlining.

          9. Extended discretion of court in possession claims.

          (1) Subject to subsection (6) below, the court may adjourn for such period or periods as it thinks fit proceedings for possession of a dwelling-house let on an assured tenancy...

          (2) On the making of an order for possession of a dwelling-house let on an assured tenancy or at any time before the execution of such an order, the court, subject to subsection (6) below, may:
          (a) stay or suspend execution of the order, or
          (b) postpone the date of possession,
          for such period or periods as the court thinks just.

          (3) On any such adjournment as is referred to in subsection (1) above or on any such stay, suspension or postponement as is referred to in subsection (2) above, the court, unless it considers that to do so would cause exceptional hardship to the tenant or would otherwise be unreasonable, shall impose conditions with regard to payment by the tenant of arrears of rent (if any) and rent or payments in respect of occupation after the termination of the tenancy (mesne profits) and may impose such other conditions as it thinks fit...

          (6) This section does not apply if the court is satisfied that the landlord is entitled to possession of the dwelling-house:
          (a) on any of the grounds in Part I of Schedule 2 to this Act; or
          (b) by virtue of subsection (1) or subsection (4) of section 21 below.
          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
          2. Telephone advice: see
          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).


          • #6
            Just my two pennorth, but if the deposit is protected take along the details. LL recently had a problem in that they went to court to get posession due to non-payment of rent. Tenant claimed they hadnt received any notice of it, Judge refused to grant possession on the grounds that LL may owe the T more money than she does him (due to the 3x claim), LL argued this was irrelevant, but was told it was very relevant.

            Judge initially said to be back in court within 14 days, upon phoning the court last week it was found that the judge had set a date for 7 weeks time, meanwhile the tenant gets to keep on living there.

            So I urge everyone to make sure they have those details to hand!


            • #7
              It is to be hoped that the authoritative voice of your solicitor in court will keep the judge on the straight and narrow. They can and do (possibly for their own amusement) run rings around self representing landlords who naturally assume that a judge understands and will impliment every facet of the law correctly. This is regrettably not the case (they are human after all) and a legal professional, representing a landlord should have the authority to refer the judge to the appropriate passage of the housing act if his memory and thus his interpretation of the law concerned is failing.

              Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.


              • #8
                Ah that explains it.


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