By sfb solicitors, Jun 22 2018 10:09AM
If you are a tenant and you are issued with a notice pursuant to S21 of The Housing Act 1988 then you have effectively been issued with notice that your landlord intends to seek possession of the property. A s21 Notice can be issued by the landlord in relation to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (“AST”) or during a periodic tenancy.
Under an AST the s21 Notice should provide at least 2 months’ notice to the tenant. If the s21 Notice has been issued in relation to a periodic tenancy, then the notice period applicable will be dependent on the terms of which the rent is paid.
In relation to AST’s a s21 Notice cannot be issued to the tenant until the fixed term of the tenancy has ended, unless there’s a clause in the contract which allows this. It should be noted that for a section 21 notice to be validly served the tenant must have, at some prior stage, received a valid Energy Performance Certificate, a copy of the landlord's current Gas Safety Certificate and a copy of the government’s ‘How to Rent’ guide.
A s21 Notice can be used for an AST which was commenced prior to 1st October 2015 but cannot be used for an AST that was commenced on or after 1st October 2015. For all tenancies commenced after the 1st October 2015 the landlord must serve a completed form 6A upon the tenant, except for statutory periodic tenancies which would come into force on or after 1 October 2015 (at the expiry of the fixed term ASTs created before 1 October 2015). From the 1st October 2018, a s21 Notice must not be used for any AST regardless of when it commenced, as prescribed form 6A section 21 Notice’s must be used for all AST’s in England. The prescribed form 6A will provide the tenants with at least 2 month’s notice that the landlord intends to seek possession of the property.
The Landlord cannot serve a s21 Notice if:
• The tenancy is less than 6 months old.
• The fixed term has not ended (unless there’s a clause in the contract which allows for such action).
• The property is categorised as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) and does not have an HMO licence from the council.
• The council has served an improvement notice on the property in the last 6 months.
• The council has served a notice in the last 6 months that says it will do emergency works on the property.
• The tenancy commenced after April 2007 and the tenants’ deposit has not been placed in a deposit protection scheme.
If the property is located in Wales, then the Landlord must hold a landlord licence to be able to issue a s21 Notice.
If you are a Landlord wishing to serve a s21 Notice or a tenant that has received a s21 Notice, then call our team of specialist solicitors who will be able to assist you with your matter. We have offices in London, Birmingham, Cambridge, Oxford, Market Harborough and Leicester.