Section 21 – ‘no fault notice’
The tenant does not need to be in breach of the terms of the tenancy for this notice to be served. After the notice expires, the landlord can issue court proceedings for an order requiring the tenant to give the landlord possession of the property.
In this situation, seek legal advice regarding the appropriate notice and its validity.
As the landlord you must ensure that you serve a valid notice, first checking that you:
1. Are using the correct form.
2. Have included all the correct details on the form, and there are no spelling mistakes.
3. Are giving the correct amount of notice, accounting for the time for service.
4. Can provide a Certificate of Service to confirm when and how the notice was served.
5. Are serving the notice by the correct method of service referred to in the tenancy.
6. Have properly dealt with any tenancy deposit (if one was taken) and provided a Tenancy Deposit Certificate and prescribed information.
7. Have provided the tenant with an energy performance certificate (EPC).
8. Have provided the tenant with a valid gas safety certificate at the time of entering the tenancy, and certificates throughout the period of the tenancy.
9. Have provided the tenant with the ‘How to Rent’ guide.
10. Have not served a notice before you are entitled to do so. (You are not entitled to serve a section 21 notice on a tenant in the first 4 months of a tenancy, unless it is a particular type of tenancy (a replacement or periodic tenancy).)
11. Have licensed the property if you are obliged to do so by your local authority, and can provide a copy of the licence.
12. Have returned any payments made by the tenant that are prohibited under the 2019 tenant fees legislation, or have otherwise properly dealt with them.
Failure to ensure all the requirements are met will invalidate a section 21 notice. Note that proceedings for possession cannot start more than six months after the section 21 notice is served.