Introduction If you require vacant possession of your property, you need to serve a Section 21 notice. This article will be useful reading for all landlords and landlord's agents.
What is a Section 21 notice for possession? It is simply a form, requiring the tenant to vacate the property. There are two types a section 21(a) and a section 21(b). Section 21(a) is used to gain possession where the tenancy is periodic. Section 21(b) is used to gain possession where the tenancy is for a fixed term and the tenancy is at an end. If possession is sought by the landlord during the fixed term then it can only be obtained if a breach of contract has been proved. A Section 21 notice is not appropriate. Use a section 8 notice instead. You can find out more about Section 8 notices at the end of this article.
How much notice is required? The landlord must give the tenant a minimum of two months' notice, in writing. Service of notice can occur at any time after the commencement of the tenancy. It can even be served on the last day of the tenancy, which could mean that the tenant wouldn't have to vacate for a further two months after that. Where the tenant is in the initial six months of the tenancy, then the Section 21 Notice cannot expire before the end of those six months. The notice should be sent by recorded delivery, allowing 3 days for delivery. The notice required for a periodic tenancy is also two months. Note how often the rent is paid. If, for example, the rent is paid monthly, then the period of the tenancy is one month. The periodic tenancy begins immediately after the fixed term expires. For example, if the period of the tenancy is monthly and if the first day of the current period is 6th May then the last day of that period would be the 5th June and so a notice served during the current period would need to be completed so as to expire on the last day of a period after a further two months (that is, 5th August).
Who do I address the notice to? All the tenants must be named. As a precautionary measure, serve each individual tenant with a notice. You should request that the tenants sign and return a copy to you. Always keep a copy of the notice served and of any covering letter.