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Section 21 – Save time & money – Getting it right the first time

Are you a landlord who has rented out their property under an assured shorthold tenancy (aka an “AST”)? Are you looking to evict your tenant by serving a section 21 notice? If you answered yes, you need to read this article.

Section 21

We understand that the section 21 procedure can be a bit of a minefield with various criteria to meet. So many questions to answer and sometimes not always a straightforward answer.

  • Has the fixed term of the tenancy expired?
  • Has it been more than 4 months since the tenancy commenced?
  • If the tenancy commenced after April 2007, have you put any deposit paid by the tenant in a “deposit protection scheme” and served on them a copy of the “relevant prescribed information” within the “required time limits”?
  • Did you serve a copy of the Property’s Energy Performance Certificate (“EPC”), Gas Safety Certificate/Record and the correct How to Rent Guide on the tenant before they moved in / rented the property?
  • Has the tenant been given a gas safety certificate for every year they have been in occupation?

If you answered ‘no’ to one or more of the above questions, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you cannot serve a section 21 on your tenant or that you cannot evict them. It just means that you need to get in touch with us so that we can review your case and help you work through any complexities.

Even if you answered ‘yes’ to the above questions, you still need to consider:

  • Have I charged the tenant any unlawful fees under the Tenant Fees Act 2019?
  • Have there been any “council improvement notices” or “council emergency works notice” served on the property in the last 6 months?

If the answer is yes, this complicates your case and again, you need legal advice and assistance before serving any notice on your tenant.

Why do I need legal help?

The current notice period for section 21 is 2 months. If you serve the wrong notice, on the wrong form and without the correct documents, this could mean having to re-serve the notice and waiting 2 months all over again. That’s time and money wasted for you.

The Owen White Property Disputes Team are specialists in the section 21 procedure. We can review your case and tell you if you meet the criteria to serve a section 21 notice. If so, we can draft a valid section 21 notice for you and help arrange service on your tenant in compliance with your tenancy agreement and the relevant statutory provisions.

In the event that you do not meet the criteria, we can tell you how to become compliant (if possible) or otherwise advise what alternative options are available to you in your particular situation to recover possession of your property.

Time is money. Get in touch now to book a 15 minute no obligation consultation to see how we can help. You can call us on 01753 876 800 or email us at propertydisputes@owenwhite.com.

Correct at the time of drafting

November 2022

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