The facts about issuing a Section 21 notice

Circumstances can change, you may decide that the property you are currently letting you now need for your own purposes.  A change in circumstances may not be the only reason you wish to regain procession of your property, your tenants may have broken their tenancy agreement by not paying their rent.

Although the facts seem straightforward the whole process can be complicated which is why we use the services of a solicitor to instruct a Section 21 or a Section 8 notice for our landlords.  But what is the difference?

Section 21

Also known as a ‘Notice of Possession’. A Section 21 is served at the end of an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, allowing the landlord to regain possession fo their property at the end of the tenancy agreement as stated in the contract by giving the tenant two months’ notice.  If the tenancy is ‘periodic’, in other words has no contractual end date you can also serve a Section 21. 

You’re unable to serve a Section 21:

  • Should the tenancy have started less than 6 months ago
  • If the fixed term stated in the tenancy agreement has not ended
  • Should it be a HMO property
  • If your property has had an improvement notice served by the council in the last 6 months
  • If you’ve not placed the deposit for the property in a deposit protection scheme
  • Should you be a landlord living in Wales and do not have a license

This last point is extremely important for Welsh landlords to note, especially if you have not registered or gained a license to be a landlord in Wales.  It is important to understand your obligations as a landlord as if you haven’t given your tenant the property’s EPC, the current gas safety record and the government’s ‘How to Rent’ guide, a Section 21 notice can not be served.

You don’t need a reason to serve a Section 21 unlike the Section 8 notice.

Section 8

This is for when things go wrong, such as when there is a breach of contract and you need to regain possession.  Commonly this tends to be for rent arrears but as long as you have a legitimate reason for regaining possession, you can serve a Section 8 notice at any time during the tenancy.

Should you be in a position where you believe you need to serve a Section 21 or that there are issues with the tenancy and a Section 8 is required, don’t jump in without understanding all the facts and seeking professional advice.  We would always advise that you take legal advice before heading down either path.