Question

Landlord Wants Tenant to Leave (England) | Preventing Controlling and Recovering Rent Arrears (England)

Does applying for a CCJ for unpaid rent stop you doing a Section 8?

17 Feb 2018 | 4 comments

Hi, Tenant owes 2 months rent but the AST agreement is about to end so I am about to file a Section 21 (notice sent 2 months ago) and also plan to file money claim online for the unpaid rent . . . . as a backup I am also planning to issue a Section 8 notice in the case of the Section 21 not working for some reason. Would the money claim online case stop me filing the Section 8? (if there is still 2 months owed at the time of notice and at the time of hearing) but would the fact I will have CLAIMED for the rent even if it’s still unpaid invalidate a section 8? Thanks

Answer

4 Comments

  1. guildy

    That shouldn’t invalidate any claim for section 8. The “ground” for possession remains in that they would still be two months arrears. However, when doing a section 8, you also get an order for arrears at the same time as possession for the same fee. You would therefore need to make sure that no order is made for the arrears in the section 8 possession order i.e. only possession is ordered. We can help with this if it becomes necessary.

    To play it safe, you could serve the pre-action letter now to get that out of the way and then wait until you have the section 21 possession order. Then literally, on the day you know you’ve got possession via section 21, file the small claim whilst they’re at the tenancy address. That way, the question doesn’t arrive and potentially delay things.

  2. holborn1977

    I agree that it makes more sense to use s.21 if rent arrears is not being claimed as well as possession, but presumably the OP is unable to use s.21 at this time, and therefore reliant on s.8 arrears grounds?

    It’s my understanding that you can’t bring more than one court claim for the same thing at one time, therefore you can’t claim the same arrears through the s.8 process and also have a small court claim going through as well, just as you can’t bring two possession claims at the same time (e.g. s.21 and s.8).

    However, anyone wanting to rely on both a s.8 and s.21 for the same possession claim could use the standard possession route, using forms N119 and N5 (NOT N5B which is for s.21 accelerated claims, where there is normally no hearing, only).

  3. guildy

    Both sections 8 and 21 specifically say in the Housing Act 1988 that they are “without prejudice” to each other and therefore in theory, both could be claimed at the same time. However, in reality, this would never be done because of the high cost and as you say, you could just combine them in a single claim via standard procedure.

    Always best to avoid two claims at the same time to avoid any delays.

  4. Jackson

    Thanks, I have Section 21 case ready to file, perhaps the best strategy is to wait and see if I get the possession order and if so, file the money claim . . . . if the Section 21 is thrown out I can then do Section 8 with the rent claim included.

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