Section 21 Notice (Accelerated Possession)
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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.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, serving a Section 21 notice was the most common way for landlords to begin the process of ending a tenancy. This was because the 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 were originally extended to at least three months. As of 28 August 2020 any section 21 notice served in England must give at least six months notice to the tenant. The notice period for section 8 can be much shorter depending on the grounds used. This extended notice period will last until 31 May 2021 in its current format. After that it will begin to taper off.
- Until 20 September 2020 all current possession proceedings were suspended. Applications to court could be made but the courts would not take action to progress possession after the application.
- As of 21 September the courts have reopened. Landlords may now follow the reactivation notice procedure to restart any court applications made already.
Last Updated: 07/04/2021
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.
Completion notes for serving the Section 21 (form 6a)
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.