An ARLA Propertymark legal expert has said that letting agents and landlords can serve a Section 8 notice twice.

Robert Bolwell, senior partner at Dutton Gregory, which manages the ARLA Propertymark Legal Helpline, has detailed that letting agents and landlords should consider serving a second Section 8 notice if rental arrears accrue to more than six months of missed payments.

Bolwell explained that this is because of a crucial change at the six months of arrears mark, when the notice period for tenants drops from six months to just four weeks.

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As a result of this action, a landlord could potentially save weeks or months in being granted a possession order, added Bolwell.

Bolwell said: “One of the tantalising questions now is: what do I do if I have rent arrears of five months? Do I serve a notice now for six months’ expiration date or do I wait until I go over the six month mark?

“At six months, the rules say your Section 8 notice period (on ground eight) can actually be four weeks.

“We are looking at situations now where the clients have served a six-month notice initially, when the rent arrears are quite small, but when we get to that six months of arrears mark, we might be serving another notice because…of the shorter period [of 4 weeks notice].

“The general rule is, it is never wrong to serve additional notices.”