Do you have to evict a tenant once the Section 21 Notice has expired?
Common questions from agents and landlords include:
- How long is a Section 21 Notice valid for?
- Do I have to commence court proceedings straight away on expiry of the notice?
- Can I allow the tenant additional time?
- If I agree to the tenant to stay on for a specific period, and they don’t vacate, should I serve a new notice?
We hope this guide, produced in collaboration with Woodstock Legal Services should be a useful guide for all of your common questions.
Validity of the Notice
A Section 21 Notice is valid for a period of six months from the date the notice was served.
If you decide to issue court proceedings, this needs to be actioned within six months of the notice being served. We advise that any claim is drafted and sent to court at least three weeks ahead of the shelf life of the notice expiring. This is because the courts are overwhelmed with paperwork and do not always issue the claim the day it is received. It is also not uncommon for claims to get lost and for a new pack to be sent in.
The government’s statement that Section 21 Notices will not be removed under the Renters Reform Bill until the court system has been updated and is fit for purpose is welcome news.
Allowing additional time and avoiding court proceedings
If you no longer wish to evict a tenant then you do not need to take any action, the notice is served on the basis that it is your intention to instigate court proceedings; if the tenant doesn’t leave and you no longer wish to evict them, then that at is your decision and the tenancy can continue.
However, in all cases, we would always advise to keep in communication with your tenant. You may be able to mutually agree a vacate date, if required, to alleviate the need to commence court proceedings.
This content was exclusively prepared in collaboration with The Lettings Hub by award-winning Woodstock Legal Services.
Woodstock Legal Services are specialists in legal advice and solutions for the Private Rental Sector.
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