Written by: Keoghs Solicitors
Date: 2nd August 2023
This Article is intended to give practical notes and helpful tips to Landlords when they are taking steps to serve a Section 21 Notice.
A Section 21(6a) Notice is a notice that is served by a Landlord on a Tenant to gain possession of the landlord’s property. A Section 21 Notice is the landlord’s option of ending an assured shorthold tenancy without providing a reason for possession. The Notice must be served on a Form 6a after the end of the assured shorthold tenancy agreement (AST).
The notice must be issued in compliance with certain legal requirements, and landlord must comply with them. If the Section 21 Notice is served validly, then a court must make an order granting possession of the property to the landlord.
A landlord must provide their tenant with at least two months’ written notice before they can begin legal proceedings, so accuracy of the notice is essential. This enables tenants sufficient time to find alternative accommodation.
The requirements that a Landlord needs to be aware of before serving the Section 21 Notice are known as the Prescribed Information Requirements. These requirements were bought into force with the Deregulation Act 2015 and Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 and are as follows;
Practical Tip – Keep a record of every time you provide a copy of the GSC to the tenant and keep a copy of the GSC. Before serving a Section 21 Notice you must ensure that all Gas Safety Certificate’s (starting with the year the Tenant moved in) are served on the Tenant if you have not already done so. This can be done in writing to the Tenant with a simple letter (served by hand, 1st class and recorded delivery in hard copy) enclosing copies of all the GSC’s to date.
Practical Tip – Keep a record of giving the EPC to tenants/new tenant’s. Before serving a Section 21 Notice you must ensure that the EPC is served on the tenant if you have not already done so. This can be done in writing to the tenant with a simple letter (served by hand, 1st class and recorded delivery in hard copy) enclosing a copy of the EPC. If you are unable to locate your EPC, then this is readily available to download for free from the Government’s EPC Register.
Practical Tip – Keep a record of giving the document to the tenant. Before serving a Section 21 Notice you must ensure that the document is served on the tenant if you have not already done so. This can be done in writing to the tenant with a simple letter (served by hand, 1st class and recorded delivery in hard copy) enclosing a copy of the document. If you do not have a copy of the ‘How to Rent Guide’, then this is readily available to download for free from the Government’s Website.
It is also the landlord’s duty to provide a copy of the Prescribed Information, terms and conditions, tenancy deposit certificate and any relevant leaflets to the Tenant within 30 days.
Practical Tips – if the landlord has failed to protect the deposit within 30 day’s then the deposit must be returned back to the Tenant before issuing a Section 21 Notice. When returning the deposit, you must ensure that the tenant gives you written confirmation that they have received the full deposit back.
Landlord’s must be aware that they maybe subject to a deposit penalty for failing to protect the deposit. We can provide further details regarding this upon enquiry.
If the landlord has failed to provide the Tenant with a copy of the tenancy deposit certificate, prescribed information, or terms and conditions then these documents must be served on the Tenant before issuing the Section 21 Notice.
All landlord’s need to be aware that the Renter’s (Reform) Bill was introduced in Parliament on the 17th of May 2023. The Reforms intend to abolish Assured Shorthold Tenancies and Section 21 (non-fault) evictions in England. Our advice to Landlord’s is that if you are intending to seek back possession of your property under the (non-fault) eviction, to do this sooner rather than later.
If you would like our Housing Department to review your documents and serve the necessary prescribed information on your Tenant and then serve the Section 21 Notice our fees start from £250 plus VAT and fixed fee quotes can be provided based upon anticipated time necessary to be taken in dealing with the matter and complexity.
We can be contacted via the telephone on 0161 928 9321 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org