For use in England only.
This legal notice informs tenants that their tenancy is going to end and the landlord is going to take repossession of the property. Landlords should use this section 21 notice (also known as Form 6A) to gain possession of a rented property, located in England, let under an assured shorthold tenancy (AST). The correct use of a section 21 notice will help to ensure that a landlord takes possession of their property safely and legally. Protect yourself with this simple Form 6A eviction notice. Read the accompanying notes for Form 6A to make sure you follow the correct procedure.
For use in England only.
When should I use a section 21 notice?
Use this section 21 notice:
- for all assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs)
- for property let on an assured shorthold tenancy
- when you want to regain possession of the rented property where the tenant is not at fault
- where any tenant's deposit has been held correctly in a government approved scheme
- where the tenant has been given all the required prescribed information
- after the first four months of the start of the tenancy
- where there is no enforcement notice served on the landlord following a complaint by the tenant
- for properties located in England only
What's included in a section 21 notice?
This section 21 notice covers:
- ending a tenancy let on an assured shorthold basis
- regaining possession of the rented property
- the last day of the tenancy
- information that the landlord must have provided to the tenant before serving the notice
- what the tenant should do if they are served the notice
- how much notice is given to the tenant
- the date on which the tenant should vacate the property
- whether the notice will be served by the landlord, joint landlords or the landlord's agent
What's a section 21 notice?
A section 21 notice, also known as an 'eviction notice, a 'notice to quit' or a 'notice seeking possession' is a formal notification that the landlord wishes to regain possession of the property at the end of the tenancy. It's a common route for evicting tenants on a 'no-fault basis'.
Do I need a section 21 notice?
Under the law you must serve a section 21 notice if you want to evict your tenants and regain possession of the property. Serving a section 21 notice is the first important step in the eviction process which must be followed.
Can this form be used for tenancies that started after 1 October 2015?
Yes, this section 21 notice (Form 6A) is the prescribed form required to regain possession of rented property let on an assured shorthold basis. It must be used for all ASTs that started after 1 October 2015 in England only.
Can this form be used for tenancies that started before 1 October 2015?
This section 21 notice can be used for ASTs that started before 1 October 2015. From 1 October 2018, all ASTs will be subject to the requirement that the landlord serves the prescribed section 21 notice (Form 6A).
When can I serve the section 21 notice?
The Section 21 notice cannot be served within the first four months from the start of the original tenancy. The four month rule doesn't apply to tenancies that were renewed or tenancies that have become periodic tenancies.
You must also serve the notice at least two months in advance of when you want the tenant to vacate the property.
Can I serve the section 21 notice during the fixed-term?
You can serve the Section 21 notice during the fixed-term of the tenancy. However you cannot serve the notice within the first four months of the original tenancy and you won't be able to regain possession of the property until after the fixed-term has ended. Therefore, the notice should not have an end date that is the same as the last day of the tenancy as this would be invalid.
For example, for a six month tenancy agreement, the section 21 notice cannot be served before the first four months and the tenant must be given at least two months' notice. Therefore, the date the tenant should vacate the property should always be a few days after the end of the fixed-term.
When can notice be served if the tenancy has become a periodic tenancy?
The minimum two months' notice period is the same as long as the periodic tenancy runs on a weekly or monthly basis, based on when the rent is paid. If the tenancy runs on a quarterly, biannually or annual basis, the landlord will need to give the appropriate matching notice period. For example, a quarterly periodic tenancy will need a notice period of three months. A biannual or annual tenancy would require six months' notice, which is the maximum amount of notice required.
How long is the notice valid for?
Once the notice has been served it will remain valid for six months from the date of issue for fixed-term ASTs. If the AST is a periodic (ie rolling) tenancy, then the notice is valid for four months from the date of issue. It will deemed to have been issued and served when the tenant receives the notice.
If the notice expires, or the landlord doesn't issue court proceedings within the time period after the notice has been served, they will have to serve a new notice.
What information do I need to give to the tenant before serving a section 21 notice?
You must make sure that the tenant has received:
- an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC);
- a current gas safety certificate; and
- a copy of the Department for Communities and Local Government's publication "How to rent: the checklist for renting in England".
If the tenant has not provided an email address at which the tenant has agreed to accept service of notices and other documents (such as those above), the landlord or landlord's agent must provide a paper copy.
What if I haven't given the tenant the prescribed documents?
You will not be able to use this section 21 notice until all the prescribed documents have been given to the tenant. Once they have been given to the tenant, then you can proceed with issuing a section 21 notice.
What if there is more than one tenant?
You must include all of the tenants' names and addresses into the section 21 notice.
Does the tenant's deposit have to be in a government scheme?
Yes. If you took a deposit from the tenant prior to the start of the tenancy, you must have placed it in one of the three government approved schemes. If the deposit wasn't protected and the correct information wasn't given to the tenant, the section 21 notice will be invalid. For further information read Deposit protection schemes.
What if I've taken a prohibited payment under the Tenant Fees Act 2019?
You must make sure that you have repaid any unlawfully charged fees and returned any unlawfully retained holding deposits to the tenant, for tenancies that started after 1 June 2019.
From 1 June 2019, landlords and agents are prohibited from taking certain payments or charging certain fees to landlords.
Ask a lawyer if:
- the property is not residential
- the property is located outside of England (for example in Wales)
- the tenant's deposit wasn't protected
- the tenant has complained about the conditions of the premises or common parts of the building and the tenancy agreement started on or after October 2015, as you may not be able to evict the tenant. For further information read Repossessing property - section 21 notices.