Landlord and Tenant Disputes

Our specialist Landlord and Tenant lawyers in Bedford are highly experienced and are on hand to advise all property related matters including possession claims.

Landlords may need to be able to evict tenants for various reasons. There are strict regulations and processes that need to be followed to gain possession property and to legally evict a tenant.

This article outlines the key features of the two main types of possession proceedings provided for in the Housing Act 1988: section 8 and section 21.

The process can be complex and therefore, it is vital that you seek legal advice as early as possible.

Process for Evictions

Any landlord who wishes to take possession of their property must follow the legal process. Forcefully evicting a tenant or changing the locks without permission is against the law and landlords can face criminal proceedings if they do so.

To legally repossess a property a landlord must serve either a section 8 or section 21 notice.

Section 8 Vs Section 21 Notice

This is a complex area, and we will always advise on the best course of action after reviewing your individual matter. In many instances, we will as a first step serve both Section 8 and Section 21 notices and then act with the one that is going to work best as circumstances change.

There is a lot of confusion regarding the difference between a section 8 and section 21 notice. In simple terms, a section 8 notice can be served if the tenant has breached a clause in their tenancy agreement, most commonly, not paying rent.

A landlord can use a section 21 notice (also known as a Notice of Possession) to allow them to regain possession of the property at the end of the Assured Tenancy or during the periodic tenancy.

The main difference between a section 21 notice and a section 8 notice is no reason is required when issuing a section 21 notice other than the landlord wants the tenant to leave the property.

Section 8 – Pros and Cons

Main pros:

  • Notice can be served to bring the tenancy to an end before the end of the fixed term of the tenancy
  • Short notice period and quick possession depending on the courts
  • Arrears can be claimed at the same time

Main cons:

  • Slower if the courts are busy and it can take a long time for a hearing to be listed
  • Greater potential for delays
  • Expense: time is money when a tenant is not paying rent, and legal costs will be higher if hearings need to be prepared for
  • Risk of a counterclaim or judgement on discretionary grounds

Section 21 – Pros and Cons

Main pros:

  • Faster (usually) than section 8
  • Less expensive
  • No risk of a counterclaim in the same proceedings

Main cons:

  • Cannot recover rent arrears
  • Longer notice period
  • High bar for notice validity
  • Must have complied with deposit protection requirements or returned deposit

Our expert team will advise you on the best type of notice to serve, depending on your specific circumstances, including the reasons for wanting possession and the status of the current tenancy agreement.

There's no better time than now

People rely on us, and we pride ourselves on our client-centered advocacy and representation.

Why Choose Us?

Our solicitors are experts in Landlord and Tenant Law including possession claims and so are ideally positioned to help you evict a tenant in the quickest and most efficient way.
We have helped many landlords across the country through the complex process of making a claim.

How to Get in Contact

Please call us on 01234 350 244 or email us at for further information and advice about our services. We will happily provide you with a free initial discussion about your individual circumstances.

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