Sometimes, landlords find themselves in a situation where they need to regain possession of their property. In such cases, a Section 21 notice becomes an essential tool for the landlord. This notice, governed by the Housing Act 1988, allows landlords to initiate the process of eviction while following the legal requirements.

Section 21 Notice – The Basics

A Section 21 notice, also known as an eviction notice or notice to quit, is a legal document used by landlords to terminate an AST and regain possession of their property without stating a reason. However, certain requirements must be met for it to be valid.

  • Notice Period: Landlords must provide tenants with at least 2 months’ notice. The notice period should align with the end of a rent period.
  • Serving the Notice: The notice must be in writing. It can be served either by post or in person. Ensure you have proof of service, such as a recorded delivery receipt or a witness for in-person delivery.
  • Tenancy Agreement: Check that your tenancy agreement is up-to-date and valid. Ensure that it is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST).

Reasons to evict under a Section 21 notice

A landlord may need to evict a tenant under a Section 21 notice for several reasons, even without specifying a particular cause or fault on the part of the tenant. Here are some common scenarios where a landlord might choose to use a Section 21 eviction:

End of the Fixed Term Tenancy: When a fixed term Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement comes to its natural end, a landlord can use a Section 21 notice to regain possession of the property. This is a common and legitimate reason for eviction, and it doesn’t require any fault on the tenant’s part.

Property Sale: If a landlord decides to sell the property, they may use a Section 21 notice to regain possession as part of the sales process. In such cases, they usually need to provide adequate notice to the tenant to vacate the property.

Refurbishment or Renovation: Landlords might want to carry out substantial renovations or refurbishments to the property that require the tenant to move out temporarily or permanently. A Section 21 notice can be used in these situations to regain possession legally.

Change in Use of the Property: If the landlord intends to change the use of the property, for example, converting it from residential to commercial use, they may need to evict the tenant using a Section 21 notice.

Family Needs: In certain circumstances, landlords may need to regain possession of their property for personal reasons, such as moving in themselves or providing housing for family members. A landlord can serve a Section 21 notice for such purposes.

Read our blog on Section 21 eviction notice: how can you avoid an invalid one for more guidance.

Section 8 Notices and Grounds for Possession

In contrast to Section 21 notices, Section 8 eviction notices are served when the landlord has grounds for eviction that are explicitly listed in the Housing Act 1988. These grounds are categorised as mandatory or discretionary, and depending on the circumstances, landlords can seek possession under the appropriate grounds.

Mandatory grounds for possession are grounds for eviction where the court must grant a possession order if the landlord can prove the case. Common mandatory grounds include rent arrears, breach of tenancy agreement, or property for criminal activities.

In cases where discretionary grounds for possession apply, the court will decide whether to grant a possession order based on the circumstances. Discretionary grounds might include anti-social behaviour or damage to the property.

Read our blog on Section 8 notices for guidance on both mandatory and discretionary grounds.

Starting a Possession Claim

Under Section 21 notice requirements, landlords must follow a specific process to regain possession of their property:

  • Notice Period: Wait for the specified notice period to expire.
  • Possession Order: If the tenant does not vacate the property voluntarily, you can apply to the court for a possession order. For Section 21 notices, this typically involves using the accelerated possession procedure. For Section 8 notices, you may need to attend a court hearing.
  • Eviction Notice: Once you obtain a possession order, you must provide the tenant with a notice of eviction, giving them a final date to vacate the property.

Navigating the legal aspects of evicting tenants can be complex, and it’s crucial to seek legal advice if you are unsure about the process or your rights and responsibilities. Professionals can help you draft and serve notices correctly and represent you in court if necessary.

How Blue Crystal can help you

It’s important to note that while Section 21 provides a “no-fault” eviction option for landlords, it must be done in compliance with the legal requirements and notice periods.

Additionally, there are restrictions and protections in place to prevent unfair evictions, and landlords must follow the correct procedures and timelines outlined in the Housing Act 1988 and subsequent regulations.

Failure to do so can result in the eviction being deemed invalid by the courts. Therefore, it’s advisable for landlords to seek advice and ensure they follow the law when using a Section 21 notice to regain possession of their property.

At Blue Crystal Property Management, we specialise in handling Section 21 notice requirements for landlords seeking no-fault evictions. We will ensure that your notice fully complies with legal requirements, serving it within the appropriate time frame and format.

Book your 30-minute complimentary property consultation by phone: 020 8994 7327 or email: