Understanding property management and tenancy can be challenging, especially when it comes to ending a tenancy agreement. Many landlords may find themselves confused about how to serve a Section 21 Notice correctly when they want their property back.
It’s important that eviction notices are served in the correct way. The document used for this, Section 21 Notice, often referred to as a ‘no-fault’ eviction notice, is used by landlords in England and Wales.
Let’s look at how to serve a Section 21 Notice in more detail.
What is a Section 21 Notice?
A Section 21 Notice is a legal document that a landlord can use to evict tenants without giving a reason, provided the fixed term of the tenancy has ended or the tenancy is on a rolling basis. It is an essential part of the Housing Act 1988.
When can you use it?
Landlords can issue a Section 21 Notice after the first six months of the tenancy. But it can’t be used if the landlord has not complied with certain legal obligations, such as deposit protection and providing the tenant with required information.
Preparing to serve a Section 21 Notice
If you’re a landlord and have decided to serve an eviction notice to your tenants, you need to follow the process to the letter. Read on for key elements of the Section 21 notice that you should be aware of.
Before serving a Section 21 Notice, ensure all legal obligations are met. This includes:
- securing the tenant’s deposit in a government-approved scheme
- providing the tenant with an Energy Performance Certificate, a current Gas Safety Certificate, and the government’s ‘How to Rent’ guide.
Timing and paperwork
Timing is critical. The notice must give the tenant at least two months to vacate the property. Ensure you use the correct form – Form 6A for a tenancy that started or was renewed after October 2015.
Serving the notice
You can deliver the notice to the tenant in person, by post or electronically if the tenancy agreement allows. When using postal delivery, opt for recorded delivery to have proof of the date when the tenant received the notice. This will make sure there’s a formal record of delivery.
When sending the notice by email, make sure you get proof that the tenant received and acknowledged it, like a read receipt or their response. This is needed to legally confirm they got the notice. Also, remember to keep copies of all emails and replies related to the notice.
Common mistakes to avoid
Ensure all details on the notice are accurate, including the tenant’s name, the address of the property and the date by which the tenant must leave.
Overlooking tenant complaints
If a tenant complains about the property’s condition and the local authority issues an improvement notice, you can’t use a Section 21 Notice to evict them for six months after that notice.
Deposit protection rules
If the deposit isn’t properly protected or the tenant doesn’t receive the required information about it within 30 days of payment, the Section 21 Notice won’t be valid.
After serving the notice
Talking with the tenant might help you both agree on a move-out date, possibly avoiding legal steps. If the tenant still doesn’t leave, you might have to go to court for a possession order. Since serving a Section 21 Notice can be tricky and mistakes can be expensive, it’s a good idea to get legal help.
Expert guidance for landlords
Osbourne Pinner Solicitors have expertise in property law and tenancy agreements and can provide invaluable assistance. Guiding you through the process, we will ensure that all legal requirements are met and that the notice is served correctly.
So, if you’re considering how to serve a Section 21 or need assistance with any aspect of property law and tenancy agreements, reach out to Osbourne Pinner Solicitors. Their expertise can help you avoid common pitfalls and ensure a smooth, legally compliant process.