Section 21 Notice

How do I evict my tenant/s?

 A common question that Landlord’s will ask when they are having difficulty with their tenants, and this simple guide will explain how to evict your tenant/s + a free document to use in evicting your tenant.

You can issue a section 21 if your tenant has an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) and you need the property back at the end of the fixed term.

A section 21 notice cannot be served within the first 4 months of a new assured shorthold tenancy (AST). This means if a tenancy began on the 14th August 2018, then the earliest you can serve your Section 21 notice will be 14th December 2018 as this is the fist day of the 5th month, therefore giving your tenants a full 2 months notice before the end of their AST.

We at Quality Lets advice you that when serving your section 21 notice that you give 2 months’ notice and 3 days for safety. For example if you serve a section 21 notice on the 14th December 2018 you would ask for possession on the 17th February 2019.

A section 21 notice will only be valid if you have given your tenant/s the right documents at the start of their tenancy. This is, a valid Gas Safety Certificate, an EPC, the latest version of ‘How to rent: A checklist for renting in England’, deposit must be protected within 30 days of receipt with the prescribed information provided to the tenant/s and anyone who has paid towards the deposit and if a licence is required then it should be in place before the Section 21 is served or an application must have been made. Failure to set up any tenancy correctly can result in you not been able to use a section 21 notice, however, you will be able to rectify this by ending the tenancy via the section 8 notice assuming its a fault eviction i.e. arrears or nuisance etc, in addition id advice you to serve all relevant documentation that should have been served at the beginning of the tenancy.

If section 8 notice is required then please see our section on this.

Serving Notice to your Tenant/s

 The best way to serve notice is to take an independent witness and deliver by hand in an envelope, show the witness what is in the envelope. We at Quality Lets do not advice you to serve any documents directly to the tenant/s as this often results in confrontation. If posted through the letterbox get the witness to photograph this with a camera displaying the date and time on the photo and if possible get the house number in there. Photographic evidence is always the best way to go, unless you are using a third party to issue the papers.

My notice has expired, my tenant is refusing to leave, what should I do next?

Once the notice expires you can then complete Court Form N5b provided you were the landlord at the outset of the original tenancy and you have a written copy of the original tenancy agreement. Please ensure you do this in a timely fashion as the notice will only remain valid for 6 months after the date of service.

Have the person who served the section 21 notice fill out an N215 (certificate of service). This should be done even where the landlord has served the section 21 notice personally.

The day after the section 21 notice has expired you can send the papers to court. The papers to be sent are the printed off form N5b, a copy of the first and last tenancy agreement, the required certificates of service, evidence of any licence applications, the section 21 notice and ideally evidence of the EPC, gas safety certificate and copy of How to rent: a checklist for renting in England. Please note at this stage you will also need to complete the section with regard to the tenancy deposit inserting the certificate number.

About 10 days later you will receive the notice of issue document. That tells you how to calculate the time the tenant has to file a defence. The only valid defence is that your section 21 notice is invalid or the tenant denies receiving the notice. After the expiry of the dates given in the notice of issue, complete the tear off portion and return it to the court. You should then get a possession order without a hearing.

Once you have obtained a possession order the tenant will be given a date to leave the property. The tenant has until midnight on that date to vacate the property. After that time the property should be checked to see whether the tenant remains in the property. If the tenant does remain in the property you cannot enter and obtain possession without the Bailiff.

To obtain Bailiff possession you will need to complete a form N325.

The form will ask for details of the parties, claim number and date the possession order was given (this is the day of the hearing or day of the Order if made without a hearing). It will also ask for the date that possession should have been given up (i.e. the date the Defendant/s should have vacated). The current fee to instruct a county court bailiff is £121.00. The N325 form cannot be sent to the court until the day after possession should have been given up.

One copy of the form should be filed in the court that granted the possession order with a cheque for £121.00. A copy should be kept for your use. The matter will be passed to the bailiff who will issue the warrant and inform you of the date that they will visit the property to effect the warrant.

You will need to complete the bailiff confirmation appointment and send it to court at least seven days before the arranged eviction date. You will need to arrange to meet with the bailiff at the property together with a locksmith to ensure that the bailiff can hand over possession of the property to you and you are in a position to change the locks. This will then ensure that if the tenants try to re-enter the property criminal proceedings can be taken against them.

Please note that the courts often review the above prices without prior notification, please check and verify court charges before making any payment.

For your free section 21 notice please contact Elizabeth at Quality Lets on: 07380849807 or info@qualitylets.info

If you need help completing your section 8 notice just ask.