Section 21 Eviction common questions
What is a Section 21 notice, and how do I use it?
You may reclaim possession of your home from your tenant using the procedure set out in Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 if you have an assured shorthold tenancy with them. It isn't available to anybody else.
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, serving a Section 21 notice was the most frequent approach for landlords to start the eviction procedure. This was because, unlike serving a Section 8 notice, which requires you to appear at a court hearing, serving a Section 21 notice does not. It also does not require you to give a reason for seeking possession. However, if you want to use this kind of notice to regain possession of your home, there are several formalities that you must complete.
Section 21 Notice (Form 6A)
The Government of England produces a required form (Form 6a) that must be used whenever you are seeking possession via Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. It is available with solicitor drafted instructions here. Please note that a new form was launched on October 1, 2021. Landlords must use the new form for all Section 21 Notices served after October 1, 2021. Using an out-of-date form might invalidate your notice, forcing you to start the process from beginning.
What is the difference between a Section 8 and a Section 21 notice?
Simply put, a section 8 notice should be given when a tenant breaches his or her lease (i.e., the landlord has grounds for eviction). Rent arrears are the most frequent ground for eviction. As long as the landlord has a solid basis for eviction, he or she may serve the notification at any time during occupancy.
Here’s a more detailed look into Section 8- Eviction Notice and you can download a Section 8 notice from here.
To end a assured shorthold Tenancy Agreement, a landlord must serve a section 21, also known as a "Notice of Possession." The landlord can reclaim possession on the last day of the fixed term or afterwards during a periodic tenancy based on a section 21 notice. Unlike when delivering a section 8, there is no requirement for the landlord to provide any reasons for wanting the tenant to leave; it's simply because he/she wants them gone.
Is it possible to serve a Section 21 when a tenant has broken their agreement?
Whilst you should serve a section 8 notice when a tenant breaches the terms of their rental agreement (i.e., when the landlord has cause to evict them), there is, as usual, an exception. If you have reasonable grounds for serving a section 8 notice and the current term of the tenancy is rolling over or within two months of it coming to an end date, it's usually preferable to serve a Section 21 notice.
Because there are fewer legal hassles and responsibilities associated with serving a section 21 than a Section 8, it is far less complicated to evict a tenant under one. A ground for possession is necessary when serving a Section 8, which may be disputed in court by the tenant, delaying the eviction process and allowing the tenant to stay in the property.
Unlike a section 21, which does not require a reason for regaining possession as long as the stated duration is ending, or in a periodic tenancy. Even if the tenant refuses to leave after receiving a proper notice under section 21, the court will allow the landlord's return.
How much Notice?
In England, a Section 21 notice must provide your renters with at least two months' notice to depart. Check on the government website at the time as these dates have changed regularly and can be different in England and Wales.
What if a Tenant Refuses to vacate after receiving a Section 21 Notice?
Assuming you fulfill several criteria, if your renter does not vacate after the expiration of your section 21 notice, you can apply to court under the "accelerated approach" for a possession order to remove them.
You could decide not to go to court. In fact, going to court may be the last thing you want to do. You don't have to travel anywhere with the accelerated procedure. It's a completely paper-based process. There is no need for a courtroom hearing.