Mentally ill tenant, should I issue a section 8 notice?

Mentally ill tenant, should I issue a section 8 notice?

9:46 AM, 10th May 2023, About A year ago 14

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Hello, I have a leasehold property which I rent out, the freeholder being the local council. My tenant, a single lady in her 60s, obviously has mental health problems which were not apparent when she took over the flat.
The flat is filled to the brim with clothes, books and things bought at car boot fairs although it doesn’t seem dirty. She rarely allows me access because she is so ashamed.
Having fallen out with her neighbours she has now become abusive and the council have received numerous complaints.
A local charity has tried to help her de-clutter but had to give up as they were getting nowhere. I have tried to get help for her from social services but as far as I know, she has had no contact.
The freeholder seems to hold me responsible for her behaviour and has threatened me with a bill for clearing things she has put in the communal garden space.
About six months ago I did pay to have the garden cleared of her junk and obviously, I was not popular. She knows she is breaking the leasehold regulations with respect to the communal garden but claims others do too – which is true.
She does pay the rent regularly and allows people in to do the gas check etc.
I believe that giving her a section 8 notice will only make the situation worse for her and may achieve nothing for me except the cost of going to court.
Any advice from the Property118 community would be appreciated.



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D Taylor

11:16 AM, 10th May 2023, About A year ago

Very interested in this, I currently have a situation with a tenant who has mental health issues amongst other disabilities. When I visited last night to see him as he does not reply to emails, messages, notes placed in letter box. He lunged at me with a full-size metal crow bar, he proceeded to call the police as apparently just by talking to him I’m harrying him. I waited but they did not attend. I reported the incident online and they called me back later in the evening. I have been instructed not to respond to him or anyone else until they have been to see him. Received another call this morning from the police who have booked a cal for tomorrow regarding the incident as it’s very serious offense, it’s the 3rd violent episode from him I’ve endured. Hopefully your situation does not escalate as mine. I will come back after tomorrow’s appt and update you. I don’t disagree that he got issues but violence is something different, hopefully I can offer some advice

Judith Wordsworth

13:19 PM, 10th May 2023, About A year ago

You've only a few discretionary grounds that you can use under s8.
Is your tenant in breach of their contractual tenancy conditions? Did they sign a Deed to state they would abide by your obligations as a Leaseholder? (Grnd 12)
Possibly Grnd 13 How did the Council identify what of the rubbish belonged to her if others are dumping too? Personally you probably shouldn't have paid this as set a precedent; Grnd 14

Is any of her rent being paid for by Housing Benefit?

If the Council are being difficult I would contact them, in writing, asking them if they wish you to serve a s8 notice and that you will make it clear to the tenant that this is being done at the request/demand of the Council.
Should they respond that they do wish you to serve her a s8 Notice then I would write back that you will do so AND notify them of their Duty of Care obligations as she appears (unless you know she has been diagnosed) to have sever mental health issue to arrange for her to be re-housed.

Last thing you might want is for the Press to get wind of a Landlord who is evicting a mentally ill tenant. But if you have in writing that the Council is wanting this they will look like the bad guys


13:41 PM, 10th May 2023, About A year ago

Without doubt, get rid of her. As the council (the freeholder) have said you are responsible then I guess you could actually use them in court as witnesses on your side. You are not a carer or social worker, get rid, it doesnt't matter what the press will say as yhey will say what they want anyway.


13:51 PM, 10th May 2023, About A year ago

This is a difficult situation made worse by the lack a of assistance from State agencies. I usually only resolve such problems with the help of caring relatives. The police will not help with welfare issues other than to check the person is alive. Social Services are often equally useless citing all sorts of privacy issues but ultimately caring little more than the police. I always ask my tenants for an emergency contact number..

David Houghton

15:08 PM, 10th May 2023, About A year ago

No you should certainly not issue a section 8. Nor sure what grounds you are relying upon, but it's very likely it would be defended on the basis of Disability Discrimination. Lewisham Vs Malcolm was the key case a while back but check for updates.

Even if you win it could easily be a drawn out and expensive process

S21 would be better but you would need to make sure there is no evidence connecting it to her disability. If she pays the rent what's the problem. As for the garden remind the.council of their obligations under the dda to help her and they suddenly clear it if they are in potential breach

David Houghton

15:11 PM, 10th May 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by D Taylor at 10/05/2023 - 11:16
For you the solution is obvious. S, 21. Don't mention the disability


15:46 PM, 10th May 2023, About A year ago

On what grounds, other than mess are you assuming 'mental disability'? Sadly this is how some people choose to live! Obviously from your point of view (and property) plus tenant's, you might want to think 'health & safety'. Get fire services to assess problem from a safety point of view (used to be a free service not sure if it still is). Also local council may have a route thru health grounds. Worth checking out. As someone else has suggested any contact with relatives/close friends that might be in a position to assist. Social services highly unlikely to help but might be worth a shot. There was a similar post to this a few months ago and comments then were varied. Basically you need to protect your property and if complaints arising this is problematic. Build a case of all avenues of help and support as it's likely you'll need to evict. Take loads of photos as evidence. Not what you should be doing but if it goes to court it shows you've applied an element of compassion prior to taking this route.


16:30 PM, 10th May 2023, About A year ago

I would agree that you should use s21. I would also agree that you can't assume any mental illness unless you are qualified to diagnose.

The tenants use of the property constitutes a health and safety risk and may have invalidated your insurance. I think you should begin eviction proceedings asap.

Reluctant Landlord

17:01 PM, 10th May 2023, About A year ago

S21 and quick. You can put a plethora of info together of things you have tried to assist and help but the tenant is not playing ball. Go on about the fact you are now in breach of your terms as a leaseholder.

Dont mention the SUSPECTED mental health issue at all. If you have never been told there is a defined illness (and you wont ever because you are not family etc and she has not given consent etc) then there is nothing official so it doesn;t exist.

S21 will be quicker as she probably wont respond to this anyway so accelerated is the way to go.

Off the record you have done your bit. You are a LL not a social worker remember 🙂

19:16 PM, 10th May 2023, About A year ago

A section 21is the only way. If you issue a section 8 the council will deem her intentionally homeless and you will have to go to court. Expensive. You should use section 21 and alert the council Housing Department of your reasons for the eviction. You should instruct them to contact the respective departments regarding future safeguarding issues whilst rehousing her. You should request a future forwarding address, to which you can forward her belongings. This will be an issue for you. You can deduct the cost of removal, of the goods, from the deposit. You can not just dispose of them. Then it becomes the council's problem

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