For use in Wales only.
In order to evict tenants in privately rented property in Wales, landlords and letting agents must follow the correct rules and procedures. This legal notice informs tenants that their tenancy is going to end and the landlord is going to enforce their automatic right to possession. Landlords should use this section 21 notice to gain possession of properties rented 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.
For use in Wales only.
What is 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'.
When should I use a section 21 notice?
Use this section 21 notice template:
- 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
- where the property is an HMO and has been properly licensed
- for properties located in Wales only
What is 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
- how much notice is given to the tenant
- the date on which the tenant should vacate the property
Why 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.
What does the Coronavirus Act 2020 mean for me?
The Act has increased the notice period required for section 21 eviction notices to six months in Wales. This is expected to stay the case until 31 December 2021, but may be extended by the Government.
This means that you must give the tenants at least six months’ notice. If the tenants don’t leave the property by the date specified in the notice, then you can apply to the court for a possession order. You can’t force your tenants to leave without a court order.
When can I serve the section 21 notice?
The section 21 notice period depends on the type of tenancy.
Please note that if you plan to serve the notice between 24 July 2020 until 31 December 2021, you must give the tenants at least six months’ notice under the Coronavirus Act 2020 regardless of the type of tenancy you're in.
For fixed-term tenancies
If the tenancy is a fixed-term tenancy, you can only serve the notice during the fixed-term if there is a clause in the tenancy agreement allowing you to end the tenancy early (known as a 'break clause') or if the notice does not expire until after the fixed-term has ended.
If using a break clause, the notice must be sent 2 months prior to the break clause date (eg if there is a 6-month break clause, the notice can only be served at month 4).
For periodic tenancies
If the tenancy is a periodic tenancy, you can serve notice any time as long as the notice is for the correct length of time and contains any other information which may be required by law.
What requirements are there before I serve a section 21 notice?
From the 23 November 2016, all landlords must be registered and either have a licence or use a letting agent that is licensed with Rent Smart Wales. If you do not have a licence or are not registered with Rent Smart Wales, you will not be able to serve a section 21 notice.
Landlords must have also protected the tenant's deposit within a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme. If you haven't protected the deposit within 30 days of receiving it and provided the tenant with the prescribed information, then you will not be able to evict the tenant using this section 21 notice.
You must also ensure you have provided the tenant with an up-to-date gas safety certificate and Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) as this is a legal requirement.
You must also serve the notice at least two months in advance of when you want the tenant to vacate the property.
From the 1 September 2019, landlords must also return any ‘prohibited payments’ they have taken, to the tenant before they can validly serve a section 21 notice. Prohibited payments are any unlawfully charged fees and unlawfully retained holding deposits that the tenant paid for tenancies that started after the 1 September 2019.
How long is the notice valid for?
The notice will be valid indefinitely. The only exception would be if the landlord does something to suggest that a new tenancy has been started (eg if the landlord agrees to a new tenancy agreement or an increase in rent).
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.
Ask a lawyer if:
the property is not residential
the property is located outside of Wales (eg in England where you should use Form 6A)
the tenant's deposit wasn't protected