You can evict tenants who have an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) using a:

  • Section 21 notice – if you want your property back after the fixed term ends
  • Section 8 notice – if your tenants have broken the terms of the tenancy

Section 21 notice of seeking possession

You can use a Section 21 notice if your tenants have either:

  • a written agreement with a fixed term that’s ended
  • an oral or written ‘periodic’ agreement (for example, month-by-month) with no fixed end date
  • If the tenancy started after April 2007, you can only use a Section 21 notice if you have properly protected the tenants deposit in an authorised scheme and provided them with a copy of the prescribed information.
  • Due to the deregulation act you must also ensure the tenant has been provided with and signed for a valid gas safety certificate (if applicable), a copy of the Department for Communities HOW TO RENT guide, Energy Performance Certificate, Prescribed information and if the property requires a licence a copy of that licence.

Giving tenants a Section 21 notice

A Section 21 notice must give your tenants a minimum 2 months’ notice to leave your property. Create a notice to give to your tenants by:

  • filling in form 6a if the tenancy started on or after 1 October 2015
  • writing your own notice if the tenancy started before 1 October 2015 – explain that you’re giving notice under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988

When you must give more than 2 months’ notice

Fixed-term tenants can’t be evicted until their tenancy ends. If the fixed term has expired the notice must end on the last day of the rental period.

So you’ll need to give more than 2 months’ notice if the rental period was more than 2 months (for example, it was paid quarterly). So if your tenant pays you quarterly or 6 months in advance then that period becomes the “rental period” and you must give your tenant a minimum of that amount of notice. It is also important to note that the notice must end on the last day of a rental period. So if, for example, the fixed term ran from 1st January 2015-31st December 2016. It is now the 11th January 2017 and the tenancy is in periodic. You serve the Section 21 notice on 11th January 2017 giving a minimum of two months notice to end at the end of a rental period (and assuming the rent has been paid monthly) your notice would have to expire on 31st March 2017 so again in effect you are giving more than two months notice.

After you give notice

Keep proof that you gave notice to your tenants – either:

If your tenants don’t leave by the specified date, you can use your completed N215 or notice to apply for an accelerated possession order.

If you are in any doubt then you should contact a solicitor for legal advice before serving your notice.

About Neil Baldock

Born and bred in Chelmsford, Neil went to Tyrells and The Boswells School and still lives in Springfield. A former police officer, Neil is an excellent problem solver for our clients. Neil oversees the Lettings, Property Management and Maintenance portfolio here at CDC and is able to offer specialist advice on all aspects of buy to let and property investment in Chelmsford and all areas of Essex. Neil is happy to offer advice to landlords even where the property is not being purchased through our agency and would welcome an informal chat with you regarding your investments. Neil is also well versed in HMO Management as we are one of the only agencies in Chelmsford which has a specialist HMO and rooms to rent department. Neil is Matthews younger brother and has a son named Michael.

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