Section 21 Notice

Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 (as amended 1996 & 2004) allows a Landlord to regain possession of their residential property.

A Section 21 Notice, allows the landlord to use their mandatory right to possession and landlords do not need to give any reason for seeking possession. This can be served if the Tenancy is fixed term or periodic tenancy.

Section 21 notice defences

There are no defences to a section 21 notice per se. However if certain steps are not followed before serving the s21 notice the notice will be deemed invalid and any possession action struck-out.

Pre-notice checks

  • The section 21 notice has to be served during the tenancy.
  • If you have taken a deposit, the deposit must be protected, within 30 days of receiving it and the prescribed information (s213 notice) along with the required booklets etc. have to be served upon the tenant within 30 further days before s21 notice can be served. The Prescribed information and other documents can be downloaded from whichever deposit protection agency’s website you signed up with. Please retain proof of service.
  • Ensure you have complied with the Housing Act 2004 legislation regarding licencing of an HMO, and keep documentary evidence.

Section 21 Notice

  • It has to be in the prescribed format;
  • It has to be a minimum of two clear months;
  • These notices should include a saving clause (Lower Street Properties v. Jones (1996), Elias v. Spencer (2010) and Spencer v. Taylor (2013) along the lines of “or after the end of the period of your tenancy which will end next after the expiration of 2 months from the service upon you of this notice”.

Documents to keep with your section 21

  • Copy of the Tenancy Agreement;
  • Copy of deposit protection certificate and proof of service;
  • Confirmation of compliance with HMO licencing requirements Housing Act 2004

Further Reading

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