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.
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:
- Between 27 March and 30 September 2020 notice periods were extended to at least three months.
- As of 24 July 2020 in Wales, the notice period for a Section 21 notice and most Section 8 notices is at least six months. In cases of anti-social behaviour, the notice period is three months between 24 July and 30 September. From 29 September 2020, the notice period for anti-social behaviour will return to its pre-covid requirements (one month when using ground 7a, immediately if using ground 14). This notice requirement is in force until the end of March 2021.
- Until 20 September 2020 all current possession proceedings were suspended but the courts are now able to handle possession cases again.
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 a number of resources for our members. This includes sample section 21 notices for use in Wales, completion instructions providing 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.