If you are a landlord and want to evict a tenant, then the Section 21 notice is what you will issue in order for the tenant to leave. But, it’s not just as simple as giving them notice and waiting for them to vacate — there is a lot more that can go wrong with this process, so it’s best if we take a look at the different steps involved in this type of eviction.
What is a Section 21 notice?
A Section 21 notice is used to terminate the tenancy when the tenant has broken the terms of their contract or for no particular reason. It is known as a otice to quit’ and it must be served correctly in order for you to have any chance of your tenant moving out. If you don’t follow the correct procedure, then your tenant could stay put and refuse to move out even after you send them this notice.
The Section 21 notice must be served in accordance with the instructions contained in the sections of the Housing Act (1988) which deal with giving a tenant notice. Under these there are two different types of Section 21 notice – a standard notice and a specialised version for letting agents. The main difference between them is that the standard version has more clauses and requirements to meet, so if you write your own notice, it will therefore be prescribed by law.
The standard section 21 does not contain any conditions or clauses, just a date for when your tenant must leave – however if you use an agency to issue the section 8 or section 13, then they will have to put these into their notice as well. This will therefore make the notice more complicated to issue, as well as dangerous for your tenant if they don’t leave at the time specified.
The specialised version of the Section 21 notice should be used if a letting agent is dealing with your property and it contains two clauses that are not present on the standard version. The first is a clause saying that any deposit removed by landlord or agent is returnable within 14 days or you will have broken the law, and also a clause specifying that any refundable deposit already given to you should be returned to your tenant within this time frame.
The standard notice does not contain any clauses regarding deposit refunds, so you will be out of luck if you cannot show that the deposit was withheld and returned earlier in this process. Where a tenant has paid a deposit for their property, there is also an item about how this can be used by your agent or landlord as additional security for the tenancy.
It’s essential that all tenants are served with valid Section 21 notices in order for them to have their tenancies legally ended and so that they leave on time before the tenancy ends. The section 21 procedure is the most common method of eviction and it must therefore be completed correctly otherwise your tenant could stay put even after they have received notification that they must vacate the property.