Section 21 Notices, also known as ‘no fault’ eviction notices, were historically seen as the quickest and safest method to gain possession of a property for landlords, as well as the use of accelerated procession procedure. Landlords could use these no matter the reason for eviction, following the expiry of the fixed term. But since the introduction of the Deregulation Act 2015 it’s become far more complex, and with the courts being slow to process claims, they have lost their charm.
However, used properly, section 21 is still a useful and risk-free way of gaining possession of your property so it’s important to understand all the requirements for a properly drafted and served valid notice.
Gathering all of the pre-tenancy documentation and ensuring the Deregulation Act 2015 has been complied with is often the most challenging aspect of the process. Failure to record service of the documents or provide them to solicitors drafting the notice can really slow the process down or risk the validity of the notice. Approving an order for possession on a no-fault ground is a big decision for a judge, who as you would expect, are sticklers for the details and expect full compliance with the rules.
Documents required by a solicitor to check compliance and prepare for a Section 21 Notice:
- Party Names and addresses – correct and up to date. If there has been a change of landlord or address during the tenancy, your solicitor needs to know as they may need to serve a Section 3 or Section 48 notice. If this has already been done, evidence must be provided.
- Tenancy agreements – all tenancy agreements including any renewal tenancies.
- Energy Performance certificates and evidence of service – this can be the most recent valid certificate.
- Gas Safety Checks and evidence of service – evidence of all gas safety checks carried out during the tenancy.
- Deposit Prescribed information and evidence of service – including evidence of returning the deposit if applicable.
Steps to take to ensure the process is efficient:
When approaching a solicitor to serve a Section 21 notice, they may provide an instruction form that outlines all documents required. It is extremely important to carefully complete the form and provide full and accurate instructions. Your solicitor will then be able to confirm if a valid notice can be drafted or of additional steps need to be taken before doing so.
For example, the deposit needs to be returned prior to drafting the Section 21 notice, as there has been a failure to comply with the deposit regulations.
At Woodstock Legal Services, we have proven expertise in drafting and serving Section 21 notices. Our aim is to make the process as seamless as possible for our clients and ensure all the complex requirements are carefully checked to ensure a valid notice is served. This avoids any risk of failing to gain possession or delays in court proceedings.
If you need a Section 21 notice served or have recently served a section 21 notice and have concerns over is validity, please feel free to contact the team.