Section 21: What Is It And When Should You Use It?

Residential property is the largest non-financial asset in the UK.  The Buy to Let market and rental sectors are booming industries, which means that many investing this market to generate a substantial part of their monthly income and long term pension plan.

Landlords and Tenants generally have a good relationship but from time to time the situation can deteriorate and the relationship become strained. When this happens, it is important for the parties to communicate and try to reach an agreement which addresses the areas of contention which have arisen.  Sadly, there are times when the relationship becomes irrecoverable. When that happens, and should a tenant refuse to surrender the property, a landlord may be forced to start the procedure by which the tenant is evicted from the property.

The UK rental market is quite a regulated industry which protects tenant’s rights but, in parallel, sets out a clear path by which a landlord can proceed to bring the relationship with their tenant to an end.  If a landlord fails to respect the tenant’s rights or treat them fairly then their may be financial consequences or worse.  One of the formal channels for bringing a tenancy to an end is to serve a notice under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 (as amended).  Should a tenant fail to act on a section 21 notice and surrender the property then it paves the by for a landlord to start the eviction procedure by approaching the county court and seeking an enforceable order for possession. Here’s everything you need to know about it:


What Is It?

It’s a legal notice that you can send to your tenant, asking them to vacate the premises. You can evict a tenant after the agreed-upon tenancy period ends commonly referred to as the fixed term.

A tenant is usually afforded a minimum of 2 months with which to find alternative accommodation.  Beyond this period a landlord is then entitled to start the enforcement procedure. The 2 month period was extended during the COVID-19 pandemic but has since reverted back to pre-pandemic levels.


How to Issue It?

The legislation stipulates that the Form 6a must be used to notify a tenant of the intention to terminate the tenancy for all tenancies which commenced or were renewed on or after 1st October 2015.

It is essential that the notice is completed to the required standard and the salient information marries with the tenancy agreement otherwise it may be rendered defective and could undermine your chances of successful enforcement.

A exact duplicate copy of the section 21 notice served must be retained so that it can be evidenced during later eviction proceedings should these prove necessary. How the notice is served on a tenant also an important aspect of future possession proceedings and consideration needs to be given as to how this will be undertaken as it could influence the date on which the notice is deemed served and the overall validity of the notice for enforcement purposes.

To ensure that the procedure runs smoothly and adheres to the required standard, it may be helpful to consult a UK based company which specialises in residential eviction services.

A landlord issuing a serve notice to his tenant

How Soon Does It Work?

A tenant should vacate the premises by the date set out in the notice – which must offer a minimum of 2 months from the date of ‘deemed’ service to the date after which enforcement can be progressed –  if they want to avoid enforcement activity and an adverse costs judgment being entered against them in the county court should the enforcement activity be concluded in the landlord’s favor. However, some tenants may find it difficult to surrender the property and move on due to their personal circumstances or the prevailing economic environment.  Those seeking assistance from the local authority will almost certainly be advised to remain in the property until eviction proceedings have been concluded and a bailiff instructed. Eviction proceedings are never quick, can become protracted and potentially costly if the claim is defended.  It should not be forgotten that you are evicting someone from their home and you must prove in law that you have met all the requirements to secure a favorable judgment.  Any shortcomings invariably lead to a dismissal of the case and the need to restart the procedure. It is for these reasons that the services offered by a specialist eviction company may prove invaluable and offer real peace of mind.


Call Landlord Assist For Low-Cost and Effective Tenant Eviction

To ensure you secure the right outcome you should consider engaging residential eviction specialists with a demonstrable track record for successful outcomes.

Contact Landlord Assist today to get free advice and robust guidance regarding your personal tenancy circumstances.  You can read about the quality of their work from fellow UK landlords. Their services range from offering practical advice right through to formal enforcement proceedings.  Many UK Landlords felt that their tenants took affirmative action when they received a section 21 notice from Landlord Assist – which then avoided the needed for further enforcement and the associated cost.

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