Section 21 notice to evict shorthold tenant

A Section 21 notice, or Section 21 notice of seeking possession, is the notice you will usually use to evict a shorthold tenant.

You can use a Section 21 notice to evict a tenant at the end of a fixed term tenancy if there is a written contract. You can also use a Section 21 notice to evict a during a tenancy without a fixed end-date.

You must give your tenants at least two months notice, or longer if their tenancy has no fixed end-date and they have already paid rent for a longer period.

Section 21 notice restrictions

You cannot use a section 21 notice if:

  • The fixed term of the tenancy has not ended yet.
  • The tenancy started less than six months ago.
  • You have failed to provide your tenants with a Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), a up-to-date gas safety report or the Government's "How to Rent" guide.
  • The local authority has served an improvement notice or emergency works notice on the property in the last six months.

If the tenancy started (or was renewed) after 30 September 2015, you must use the Section 21 6a form to notify your tenants. If not, you can notify your tenants in writing that you are "giving them notice under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988".

Download the Section 21 6a form here.

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

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