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Section 21 eviction notice checklist for landlords

Tenant eviction is a necessary part of being a landlord. When evicting tenants, you must follow a strict procedure. There are different notices to serve depending on the circumstances, procedures that have to be followed and deposits that have to be returned.

This checklist is for landlords evicting tenants because the term of the tenancy has ended. Tick off the key things you have to do to protect your property when using a Section 21 (Form 6A) eviction notice.

 

Eviction can be complicated. If you want help try out our fixed price tenant eviction service where our lawyers can help ensure you comply with the law.

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Identify why you’re evicting the tenant. A Section 21 notice should be used if you want the property back at the end of its fixed term (ie where the initial term of the tenancy has ended).

 

If the tenant has broken any terms of the tenancy agreement (eg rent arrears, property damage, anti-social behaviour), you should use a Section 8 notice.

 

 

Check you or your agent keep records and all evidence that you have complied with the requirements to serve a Section 21 notice.

 

 

Understand that a Section 21 notice can only be served if all the below apply:

  • the tenancy is an assured shorthold tenancy (ASTs); and

  • the tenant is not at fault for you wanting to regain possession of the property; and

  • the tenant's deposit has been held in a government-approved deposit scheme and the tenant was given the prescribed information relating to their deposit; and

  • the tenant has been given all the required prescribed information (eg the ‘How to Rent’ guide, an energy performance certificate and a gas safety certificate); and

  • there is no enforcement notice served on the landlord following a complaint by the tenant; and

  • the property is located in England; and

  • if applicable, you have repaid any unlawfully charged tenant fees or returned an unlawfully retained holding deposit for tenancies starting after 1 June 2019; and

  • the property isn’t categorised as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) without an HMO licence from the council, or the property needs a selective licence but doesn't have one; and

  • the local authority hasn’t served an improvement notice on the property in the last 6 months; and

  • the tenant hasn’t complained about the condition of the premises or common parts of the building, or the landlord has not failed to respond or provide an adequate response to a complaint (ie the problem was solved). This is known as a retaliatory eviction; and

  • the property is adequately equipped with smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms on each storey

 

If one or more of these requirements are not met, Ask a lawyer for guidance. 

 

 

Calculate the correct notice period. Make sure to consider:

 
  • the extended notice period. From 1 June 2021, tenants must be given at least 4 months’ notice, except for in extreme circumstances. Notice periods are expected to return to 2 months from 1 October 2021.

  • that a Section 21 notice cannot be served during the first 4 months of the original tenancy start date; 

  • that a Section 21 notice cannot be used to regain possession of the property until after the fixed term has ended

 

The end date of the notice should be after the last day of the fixed term of the tenancy. 

 

For example, if a 12-month tenancy started on 1 April 2020, you would not be able to serve notice until after four months have passed (ie after 1 August 2020). Further, the end date of the notice should be after the end of the tenancy (ie after 1 April 2021). 

 

 

Understand that if you’re serving a Section 21 notice during a periodic tenancy, the 4 months’ notice period is the same provided the tenancy runs on a weekly or monthly basis (based on when the rent is paid). If the tenancy runs on a quarterly, bi-annually or annual basis, then you will need to give the appropriate matching notice period, with a biannual or annual tenancy requiring 6 months' notice (the maximum notice).

 

 

Once you’re confident that a Section 21 eviction notice is right for you, create a Section 21 notice. A valid Section 21 notice should include:

  • ending the tenancy let on an assured shorthold basis

  • regaining possession of the rented property

  • the last day of the tenancy

  • information 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

  • who will serve the notice (ie the landlord, joint landlords or landlord's agent)

 

 

Read the accompanying notes for Form 6A to make sure that you've followed the correct procedure before serving (ie sending or giving to the tenants) your Section 21 notice.

 

 

The notice is deemed to be “served” when the tenant actually receives it. You may need to allow extra time depending on the way you choose to deliver the notice. It's best to keep any evidence or proof of this. You can serve the notice by:

  • email - if the tenancy agreement allows this and the tenant has voluntarily provided their email address to receive such notices and correspondence

  • post

  • in-person (consider having someone with you to witness the handover)

 

 

Calculate if the tenant is entitled to a repayment of some of the rent paid. This will depend on when rent is paid and when the tenant leaves the property. 

 

For example, if the tenant pays rent in advance on the first day of the month (eg rent is paid on 1 April) and the Section 21 notice states that the tenant is to leave in the middle of the month (eg by 15 April), then the tenant is entitled to have the rent proportionally paid back to them. This is because the tenant has paid rent for the full month, but has been told to leave partway through the month.

 

 

Understand that if the tenants have not left after the expiry of the notice period you may have to apply for an Accelerated Possession Procedure. Read more on possession orders.

 

 

Whilst evictions seem to be straightforward, they can get complicated. Read repossessing property - section 21 notices, tenant eviction FAQs, what to do if a tenant has abandoned the property and how to evict a tenant.

 

If you’re in doubt, don’t hesitate to Ask a lawyer for further guidance.

 

You may wish to consider our fixed price tenant eviction service where our lawyers can help ensure you comply with the law.

 

 
Make your Section 21 (Form 6A) eviction notice
Get started
Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest

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