How and when to serve a Section 21?

How and when to serve a Section 21?

by Readers Question

Guest Author

16:18 PM, 24th November 2016, About 8 years ago 4

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We wish to start the process of evicting our tenants from 3 of our properties in the new year due to S21.deregulation act

We would like some advice on how to do this correctly, as we have not done so for a few years and are aware of some new changes.

One property has a 12 month AST to expire on 2nd June 2017.

Two properties have a periodic tenancy, so we are aware that these require a different S21.

What we need to know is when we would need to send the S21. We know we have to give 2 months notice, but are a little unsure of when to give the S21 to the 12 month tenancy.

Many thanks


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Neil Patterson

16:22 PM, 24th November 2016, About 8 years ago

Hi Rob,

Please see Paul Shamplina's full article on the Deregulation Act >>

But Section 21 amendments are below:

Deregulation act 2015 section 21

On 1 October 2015 further provisions in the Deregulation Act 2015 came into force to protect tenants against unfair eviction when they have raised a legitimate complaint about the condition of their home.

The legislation also requires landlords to provide all new tenants with information about their rights and responsibilities as tenants. This information includes such detail that a landlord cannot serve a Section 21 notice unless they have complied with certain legal responsibilities.

The government also introduced a new standard form that landlords must use when evicting a tenant under the ‘no fault’ (section 21) procedure. This makes it more straightforward for landlords to evict a tenant where it is legitimate to do so.

These provisions apply to all new assured shorthold tenancies that start on or after 1 October 2015. However, as of 1 October 2018 the provisions will apply to all ASTs in existence at that time.

1. Compliance with prescribed legal requirements

A Section 21 notice may not be given if the landlord is in breach of any legislation which relates to any of the below.

The condition of dwelling houses or their common parts
The health and safety of occupiers of dwelling-houses
The energy performance of dwelling-houses.

This means all landlords must provide tenants with an EPC and a Gas Safety Certificate before the tenancy begins. If at a later date the landlord wants to serve a Section 21 notice on a tenant, he will need to prove the tenant has been provided with these two documents. If they don’t do this then the landlord wont be able to use the section 21 notice.

2. Requirement of the landlord to provide Prescribed Information

At the start of each AST, landlords are now required to provide tenants with a copy of the Department for Communities and Local Government’s booklet entitled ‘How to rent: the checklist for renting in England’.

3. Prescribed form of Section 21 notices

The new Section 21 notice combines the two previous section 21 notices into a single use notice for both fixed-term and periodic tenancies. It‘s for use with new tenancies starting after 1st of October 2015 and all tenancies (regardless of when they started) from 1st October 2018.

4. Timing and Lifespan of a Section 21 Notice

From 1st October 2015, a landlord is now no longer able to serve a Section 21 notice within the first four months of the contractual term of the tenancy. This is to stop landlords and their agents serving notice at the start of a tenancy if they want to finish it at their convenience.

A Section 21 notice now also has a lifespan. Once a Section 21 notice has been given under a fixed term AST or a periodic AST, possession proceedings must be started within 6 months of the date the notice was given. If the landlord doesn’t do this then the possession notice is invalid and a new one will be needed.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

17:48 PM, 24th November 2016, About 8 years ago

Hi Rod

The good news is that you don't need to worry about which section 21 notice to serve or a precise date to serve it. So long as you give at least two months notice that's fine.

If in doubt I do recommend you to instruct Landlord Action, who Neil has mentioned above. They could save you a LOT of time, hassle and cost in the long run.

Michael Barnes

10:16 AM, 26th November 2016, About 8 years ago

It is a common misunderstanding that there are 2 different S21 notice: there are not.

There are two sets of conditions in S21 of the Act, but there is no requirement to state which you are using, so just state Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. The conditions that apply and whether or not they are met can be argued at the hearing (if any).

Also, I believe that you can use the new Prescribed form regardless of when the tenancy started.

Luke P

11:42 AM, 28th November 2016, About 8 years ago

If the tenants do not move and you're forced to the Courts, they will -as a matter of course (and without any prompting from the tenant)- request proof of service (which is somewhat different to proof of existence) of the GSC, How to Rent Guide and EPC. Without this, the process and any scheduled Hearing will not proceed.

If you haven't got the proof yet, I would do it now before relations are (potentially) soured.

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