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Tenant’s rights checklist when being evicted using Section 21 (Form 6A)

This information only applies in England.

An eviction notice is the first step in eviction proceedings. Landlords have to follow strict laws and procedures. 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 tenants and can help you determine whether your landlord has complied with procedural and legal requirements when serving a Section 21 (Form 6A) eviction notice.

Action

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Identify why you’re being evicted. The most common way is being evicted by a Section 21 notice. This is when a landlord wants their property back at the end of its fixed term (ie where the initial term of the tenancy has ended).

A Section 21 notice doesn’t require the landlord to give you a reason for eviction.

 

Keep records and all evidence that your landlord has complied with the requirements to be served a Section 21 notice.

 

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

If one or more of these requirements are not met, it’s likely that the eviction notice isn’t valid.

 

Check the landlord has provided you with adequate notice. This is normally at least 2 months, although it is best practice to provide a few extra days in case there are any issues with service or to account for weekend days or bank holidays.

 

Understand that a Section 21 notice cannot

  • be served during the first 4 months of the original tenancy start date; and

  • be used to regain possession of the property until after the fixed term has ended

This means that 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 a Section 21 notice is served during a periodic tenancy, the 2 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, the landlord will need to give the appropriate matching notice period, with a biannual or annual tenancy requiring 6 months' notice (the maximum notice).

 

Check the Section 21 notice includes:

  • 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 you before serving the notice

  • what you should do if they are served the notice

  • how much notice is given to the tenant

  • the date on which you should vacate the property

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

 

Make sure your landlord has followed the procedures prescribed within the accompanying notes for Form 6A

 

Check the Section 21 notice has been served correctly. The notice is deemed to be served when you actually receive it

The landlord can serve the notice by:

  • email - if the tenancy agreement allows this and you have voluntarily provided your email address to receive such notices and correspondence

  • post

  • in-person

 

Check if you are entitled to repayment of some of the rent paid. This will depend on when rent is paid and when you leave the property. 

For example, if you pay 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.

 

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