Section 21 Notice (Accelerated Possession)

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England Wales

What is a Section 21 notice?

When you have entered into an assured shorthold tenancy with your tenant, you may recover possession of the property from them by using the notice procedure set out in Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. It is not available to any other form of tenancy agreement.

For most landlords, serving a Section 21 notice will be the most common way for them to begin the process of ending a tenancy. This route to possession is simpler than serving a Section 8 notice as it does not require you attend a court hearing. It also does not require you to provide a reason why you are seeking possession. However there are a number of procedural requirements that you must have complied with if you wish to use this type of notice to regain possession of a property.

This page contains a number of resources to ensure NRLA members can confidently seek possession. Along with detailed guidance on completing the form, the page provides information on the requirements before service and answers a number of frequently asked questions about Section 21 notices.

Changes to Section 21 notices during the coronavirus pandemic

The Government has temporarily changed the rules around using a Section 21 notice during the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Until 30 September 2020 notice periods have been extended to at least three months. 
  • Until 23 August 2020 all current possession proceedings are suspended. Applications to court can be made but the courts will not take action to progress possession after the application is made.

These changes are intended to be temporary with a view to preventing tenants from being made homeless during the crisis.

This page has been updated with this information in mind.

Section 21 (Form 6a)

For landlords in England, the Government produces a prescribed form that must be used whenever you are seeking possession via Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. It is available on the Government's website or it is available to download below.

This version of the document was updated in March 2020 to account for the Coronavirus Act 2020 and is likely to remain the current version until at least 30 September 2020.

Section 21 (Form 6a)

Last updated: 28/06/2020 at 21:37 - 259.91 KB


Completion notes for serving the Section 21 (form 6a)

Members only!

Making a mistake when filling out the Section 21 notice can be an intensely frustrating experience for landlords and agents. Often the first time a landlord will find out they have made a mistake on the form is months later when they are refused possession because of the error.

To help minimise the risk of rejection, the NRLA has produced some completion instructions for our members. These instructions provide guidance on completing and serving the form and how to ensure sufficient evidence of correct service.

We have also produced detailed guidance for our members on the requirements that must be met before serving a Section 21 notice as well as answering a number of frequently asked questions about the use of a Section 21 notice.

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