Notice of Intention to Begin Proceedings for Possession of a Property in England Let on an Assured Tenancy or an Assured Agricultural Occupancy - [LTA3] Section 8 Notice
Paper - HA32 Notice of Intention to Begin Proceedings for Possession of a Proper
A specimen copy can be emailed on request
Housing Act 32 Notice of intention to begin proceedings for possession before the fixed term stated in the tenancy agreement. To establish a right to a possession order in such a case, the landlord will have to show that one of the grounds set out in Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1988 as amended exists and that the agreement allows the landlord to recover possession on such a ground. The form is prescribed form which covers this situation and others.
1. HA32 is used to seek possession of a property let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy during the fixed period under one of the grounds stipulated in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988. This procedure and notice operate under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988.
2. The requirements of section 8 are:
(a) the landlord or, in the case of joint landlords, at least one of them, has served on the tenant a notice in accordance with this section and the proceedings are begun within the time-limits prescribed in the Act and stated on the notice
(b) the notice must be given in the prescribed form (HA32)
(c) the notice must specify grounds why the landlord requires possession.
3. Schedule 2 provides 17 grounds which a landlord may use to recover possession. The landlord is required to specify in the notice which ground he intends to use, and also to give particulars of why the ground is relied on. When claiming possession under section 8, it is possible to cite more than one ground in his claim.
(a) Ground 1: that the landlord used to live, or intends to live in the property as his only or principal home
(b) Ground 2: that the mortgagee is claiming possession. NB this can only be of use where the mortgage predates the tenancy.
(c) Ground 3: that the tenancy is a holiday let and was previously let for a holiday
(d) Ground 4: that the tenancy is a student let and was previously let by an educational establishment to students
(e) Ground 5: that the property is held for use by a minister of religion
(f) Ground 6: where the landlord intends to redevelop the property
(g) Ground 7: that the former tenant has died (unless there is a person with a right to succeed)
(h) Ground 7B: that the tenant is disqualified as a result of their immigration status
(i) Ground 8: that the tenant owed at least two months' rent both when the landlord served notice that he wanted possession and still owes two months' rent at the date of the court hearing
(j) Ground 9: that suitable alternative accommodation is available
(k) Ground 10: that the tenant was behind with his rent when the landlord served notice that he wanted possession, and when he began court proceedings
(l) Ground 11: that, even if the tenant was not behind with his rent when the landlord started possession proceedings, he has been persistently behind with his rent
(m) Ground 12: that the tenant has broken one or more of his obligations under the tenancy agreement
(n) Ground 13: that the condition of the premises or any of the common parts has deteriorated because of the behaviour of the tenant, his subtenant, or any other person living there
(o) Ground 14: that the tenant or someone living in or visiting the property has been guilty of conduct which is, or is likely to cause, a nuisance or annoyance to neighbours. Or that a person residing or visiting the dwelling house has been convicted of using the property, or allowing it to be used, for immoral or illegal purposes or has committed an arrestable offence in, or in the locality of, the dwelling house
(p) Ground 15: that the condition of the furniture has deteriorated because it has been ill-treated by the tenant, his subtenant, or someone living there.
(q) Ground 16: that the tenant was granted the property in order to properly fulfil her employment duties and is no longer employed by the landlord
(r) Ground 17: that the landlord was induced to grant the tenancy by a false statement made knowingly or recklessly by either the tenant or a person acting at the tenant's instigation
4. Generally, a section 8 notice is served where there is some default on the part of the tenant. The most common type of default during the term of the tenancy will be non-payment of rent, but any breaches of the terms of the tenancy agreement can also precipitate possession proceedings (e.g. damage to the property, nuisance to neighbours etc.). The court will require that the landlord is able to show adequate evidence or proof of the default before it will order the tenant to move out of his rented home.
5. It is important, therefore, for the landlord to understand clearly the different grounds and which will apply. Some grounds require that the court automatically award possession if the ground is proven, whereas, in others, the court may exercise its discretion. In rent arrears cases, it is normally straightforward to prove default (by supplying a rent schedule detailing the missing payments) whereas in other cases (damage or noise nuisance), it will be important to show that the tenant is in breach of his tenancy agreement, and carefully record the damage or complaint in the possession claim.
6. Serving a section 8 notice does not guarantee that the court will grant a possession order for the tenant to vacate. It depends on which grounds are relied upon as well as the strength of the landlord’s argument.
7. Grounds 1 and 8 are mandatory grounds, meaning that if the ground is proved the court must order possession.
8. Grounds 9 to 17 are discretionary grounds, meaning that the court will not necessarily side with the landlord even if he/she can prove that one of the grounds applies. If this is the case, it is at the court’s discretion to determine whether to grant a landlord a possession order. The court will look at the facts and evidence and then make a decision.
9. If a court is satisfied that a landlord is entitled to possession on one of the grounds, then the court will grant a possession order to take effect within 14 days. In some cases, the court may extend this to six weeks if it will cause the tenant to experience exceptional hardship.
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Can be emailed on request