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What is a Section 21 Notice?
At the end of an assured shorthold tenancy (AST), a landlord has the legal right to repossesses his or her property. In order to do this, they must follow the correct legal procedure, and this involves serving a Section 21 notice to their tenant to inform them that they wish them to vacate.
A Section 21 eviction notice allows a landlord to repossess their property as of right, and doesn’t require the tenant to have breached their tenancy agreement. It is also known as a ‘no fault’ eviction notice, and means that the tenant is not being ‘evicted’ as such, just that the landlord wishes to regain possession of their property.
If a landlord wants to evict their tenant during the fixed term of their tenancy agreement (and has the grounds to do so a Section 21 notice is not appropriate, and they will need to use a Section 8 notice to quit instead.
For more information on Section 8 notice to quit, please see our brief overview.
Serving a Section 21 NoticeA Section 21 notice is the most commonly used method of eviction. It can be served at any time, providing the date by which the tenant must vacate the property (the expiry date) is after the fixed term of the AST unless there is a specific clause allowing this in the tenancy agreement. The expiration date of a Section 21 must also give the tenant at least two full months’ notice to vacate, plus a reasonable period for the tenant to be in receipt of the notice.
A section 21 notice can be served either by post or in person. However, it is important to note that proof of service is essential.
Usually, serving a tenant with a Section 21 will result in their vacating the premises by the expiry date. However, should your tenant refuse to leave once the notice has expired, providing you meet certain criteria, you will then be able to use an accelerated possession procedure.
ExceptionsIn order to serve a Section 21 eviction notice, any tenancy deposit paid to the landlord or agent must be held in a government authorised tenancy deposit scheme, and information regarding this scheme must be given to the tenant.
Whilst it is perfectly acceptable for a landlord to complete and serve a Section 21 notice themselves, doing so isn’t always straightforward. If the document contains any mistakes (e.g. if dates are incorrect) then this will lead to delays in the possession proceedings.
Howells Solicitors offers legal advice on completing and serving a section 21 with the correct notice periods, and can assist should your tenants refuse to vacate your property.
For more information on how our expert team of solicitors can help you, call us on 0808 178 2773 or complete our online contact form and one of our legal team will be in touch as soon as possible.
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