Section 21 Forms - The Changes
What is a section 21 notice and when would it be used?
A section 21 notice can be used by a landlord to gain possession of a residential property that has been rented under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement. The procedure is used to evict tenants under the following circumstances:
- after a fixed term tenancy ends - if there’s a written contract
- during a tenancy with no fixed end date - known as a ‘periodic’ tenancy
A Section 21 notice must always give tenants at least 2 months’ notice to leave the property. If it’s a periodic tenancy, tenants must also be allowed to stay for any additional time covered by their final rent payment. Certain tenancy agreements would allow a longer notice period depending upon the frequency of rental payments.
It is commonly known as a non-fault eviction. The Government guidance for this procedure and the forms can be found using this link https://www.gov.uk/guidance/assured-tenancy-forms
The forms are regularly updated and so you must always check that a landlord Is using the most current version. There are a number of requirements that a landlord must have complied with before a Section 21 notice can be served. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/824138/Notes_to_Form_6A.pdf?_ga=2.220841752.144175810.1566974621-1184051031.1535550270 For tenancy agreements after 1 October 2015 a Section 21 notice would be given using Form 6A.
The Section 21 changes
On 8th August 2019 the government made some small changes in the Form 6A and its associated guidance. Changes to the How to Rent Guide which must be given to a tenant have also been made. The How to Rent Guide has changed as from the 7th August 2019 and the new guide should be given to all tenants with new tenancies or whose tenancies become statutory periodic after that date.
What is a how to rent guide and how would it be used?
This guide outlines the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants. It provides a checklist and detailed information regarding each step of the process, including:
- what to look out for before renting
- living in a rented home
- what happens at the end of a tenancy
- what to do if things go wrong
Why have the changes been made?
The changes have been made to address some inconsistencies in the form and notes which were giving slightly incorrect information about Houses of Multiple Occupation and Selective Licencing. To be precise if you do not have an HMO Licence or Selective Licence, when you are required to have one, then you cannot issue a section 21 notice. However, if you have applied for a licence or a temporary exemption notice then you can do so. The changes are to clarify key information.
If you would like more information about section 21 notices or would like any other specialist advice, please do not hesitate to contact Emma Cornell, Head of Disputes Resolution, on 01302965299 or alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org