Tenant Eviction – Getting it Right

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Notoriously tricky to get right, yet so simple in theory. In England and Wales you can evict a tenant using what is known as a Section 21 or a Section 8 notice. If your tenant has broken the terms of the tenancy a Section 8 notice can be used.

Alternatively, or in addition, you can use a s.21 notice to evict after a fixed term tenancy ends or during a tenancy with no fixed end date. It is not possible to use a s.21 notice to bring a tenancy to an end before the contractual expiry date.

However, s.21 Notices are unquestionably a nuisance for Landlords who intend to rely upon them to reclaim their property if tenants do not leave on time. There is a strict criteria Landlords should be aware of to ensure their claim for possession is valid.

  1. The notice period has chopped and changed during the global pandemic, but now the period is back to normal again. A tenant must be given at least two months’ notice to leave the property. They cannot be given less. If they have, then your notice will be invalid. Proceedings to recover the property cannot be commenced until the expiry of this notice period.
  2. This notice should be completed using the prescribed Form 6A.
  3. Usually, but not always, the s.21 notice is valid for six months from the date on the This means if a landlord intends on making a Claim for Possession, it must be done within that time period.
  4. If the tenancy began after the 1st October 2015, a landlord must have given the tenant(s) the following documents:
    • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
    • Gas Safety Certificate (if there is gas at the property)
    • How to Rent Booklet – this can be downloaded for free online.
  5. Also, where there is a deposit, since 6 April 2007, it is mandatory for landlords to have joined a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. They must have complied with the requirements of this scheme and have given the tenant the prescribed information.
  6. Finally, Landlords may wish to consider obtaining proof of service of the s.21 notice being given to the tenant, as this can later be used in any court proceedings to recover the property. For example, this can be done by taking a photo of the letter being posted through the door.

Tenant eviction can be a tricky and frustrating process. Ensuring you have reliable legal advice will save you time, money and stress.

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