If you want to serve notice on your tenant using the section 8 notice (which you need to use for all claims based on one of the ‘grounds for eviction’ set out in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988) have to use the ‘prescribed form’. The most recent prescribed form.
The significance of a prescribed form is that you can ONLY use the wording and format that has been prescribed. You can change the font and layout slightly but essentially it must be in the prescribed format. If you don’t use the prescribed form or if you leave any bits out – your notice is invalid and you may lose your claim for possession.
The section 8 prescribed form was amended last April (2105) and then was amended again for tenancies which started on ended on 1 October 2015. Now for tenancies in England, it has been amended again, courtesy of the Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2016, with effect from 6 April 2016.
So from 6 April (tomorrow as I write this) you have to use this new form. If you are in England. If you are in Wales you can carry on using the old ones.
I do hope this is the last amendment we have for a while as inevitably it takes a while for people to catch on to the changes – someone told me only yesterday that they had been sold an out of date form last summer for example.
The Critical Information Service
The new form has given me a chance to use my new ‘Critical Information’ mailing. I have sent out mailings to people on my mailing list for some time, when there has been an important change in the law. I used to call them ‘newsflashes’.
However a new mobile friendly template in my mailing service has inspired me to re-brand this the Landlord Law Critical Information mailings and set it up as a service (albeit a free one, for now). Everyone who was on the old newsflash mailing list will get them, of course.
If YOU would like to get them too, you can sign up here.