When a landlord seeks possession of a residential property at the end of a tenancy they serve what is called a Section 21 notice.
All tenancies entered into after 1 October 2015 must use the new prescribed Section 21 form.
However, we advise our landlord clients to bear in mind the following:
Landlords can no longer serve a Section 21 notice within the first four months of a tenancy.
If a tenant does not vacate after a Section 21 notice has been served, proceedings must be commenced no later than either six months after service of the Section 21 notice or four months after the date possession is required in the Section 21 Notice (depending on the specific type of tenancy).
Before serving a Section 21 notice, a landlord must have provided the following to the tenant:
Gas safety certificate.
Energy performance certificate.
A copy of the government guide "How to rent: the checklist for renting in England”.
A deposit certificate (provided by the company holding the deposit.
If the time limits are not adhered to and/or the required information is not provided to the tenant, there is a serious risk that the Section 21 notice will be invalid and possession would not be granted by the court if proceedings were issued.
Not only would this waste the court fee and the tenant’s legal fees, but the landlord would have to start from scratch with service of a new Section 21 notice and wait another two months to issue proceedings.
For more information on ending residential tenancies, please contact our Jenine Martin.