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A Guide to Section 21 No-Fault Evictions: How Landlords Can Legally End Tenancies

Section 21 notices, also referred to as no-fault evictions, are an important tool for landlords in the UK to regain possession of their rental property without having to prove tenant wrongdoing. However, proper procedures must be followed for Section 21s to be valid under the Housing Act 1988. This guide examines what Section 21s are, how they differ from Section 8 evictions, common mistakes that can invalidate them, and the process for serving valid notice to tenants.

What is a Section 21 Notice and No-Fault Eviction?

A Section 21 notice allows a landlord to evict a tenant with no reason provided at the end of the tenancy term. Section 21s apply to both fixed-term tenancies and periodic assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) with no specified end date. They are often called "no-fault evictions" since the landlord does not have to prove any tenancy violations, rent arrears, or other tenant faults typically required for Section 8 evictions.

Key Differences Between Section 21 and Section 8 Evictions

The primary difference between a Section 21 no-fault eviction and a Section 8 eviction is that Section 8s require the landlord cite one of 17 legal grounds for removing the tenant, such as failure to pay rent, property damage, or antisocial behavior. Section 21s do not require the landlord to provide any reason at all for ending the tenancy at the end of the term. However, Section 21s do have other legal requirements landlords must comply with for proper service and validity.

Common Mistakes That Can Invalidate a Section 21 Notice

While Section 21s allow for no-fault tenant evictions, landlords must fulfil all legal obligations for the notices to be considered valid and enforceable. Some common mistakes that could derail a Section 21 no-fault eviction include:

  • Using the incorrect form of notice

  • Errors in notice timelines and calculations

  • Failure to protect the tenant's deposit

  • Not providing required documents like gas safety certificates

  • Attempting retaliatory eviction in response to tenants exercising rights

  • Serving notice incorrectly without proper proof

  • Spelling mistakes or date errors on the notice forms

If a landlord does not comply with all Section 21 requirements, the notice will be considered improperly served and the eviction process will be delayed or prevented entirely.

How to Serve a Valid Section 21 Notice on Tenants

Once all pre-notice requirements have been complied with, to ensure proper service of a section 21 notice, landlords should:

  • Use the Form 6A template

  • Ensure at least 2 months notice from date of service

  • Personally deliver, post, or email the notice

  • Retain proof of service documentation

  • Correctly fill out all notice dates, names, and details

If a tenant does not vacate after the Section 21 notice expires, the landlord can file possession proceedings through the court. If an order for possession is made and the tenant fails to move out of the property by the date stated in the order, then the landlord will need a warrant of possession from the court.

Get Legal Help Serving Valid Section 21 Notices

As evidenced above, the legal requirements around Section 21 no-fault evictions in the UK can be complex for landlords. Mistakes in the process can lead to extensive delays removing problematic tenants or even preventing eviction via Section 21 altogether. With specialised landlord-tenant law expertise, I can ensure your Section 21 notices are properly drafted and served for successful no-fault evictions. Contact me today on 07587 653098 or via my online form to discuss your specific situation.