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Changes to Section 21 Notices

The section 21 notice is a notice served on tenants requiring possession of your property back and gives no cause or reason as to why (such as for rent arrears or antisocial behaviour which is a section 8). A section 21 can lead to a mandatory order for possession and if served correctly cannot be successfully challenged by the tenant.

As part of the Deregulation Act of 2015, there are a number of important changes as to how and when you can issue a section 21 on tenants to end the tenancy. These changes took effect as of 1st October 2015 and for all new assured shorthold tenancies the following applies:

  • Landlords cannot serve a section 21 at any point during the first 4 months of a tenancy with exception of when a tenancy has been renewed
  • There is no requirement for the landlord to specify that the section 21 expires on the last day of the tenancy
  • Section 21s are only valid for 6 months from the date of issue

A section 21 will also not be deemed invalid if the following has not been provided to the tenant during or before the tenancy:

  • A gas safety certificate covering all fixed as well as portable appliances provided by the landlord
  • An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property with the exception of single room lets in a House in Multiple Occupation
  • The Department of Communities and Local Government’s leaflet “How to Rent – The Checklist For Renting in England”
  • The prescribed information for protection of the tenant’s deposit

If the property is in an area where it requires a license but doesn’t have one, a section 21 will also be invalid.

If the tenancy is started on a periodic basis, there is a slight difference that the section 21 must expire at the end of a rental payment period. For example, if the rent is paid every 3 months then 3 months notice must be given to the tenant, aside from that, the same conditions apply.

If you’re looking to serve or claim possession of your rental property using a section 21, we can help. Please 020 7033 0311 to find out more.

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