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Regaining possession


For a landlord to regain possession of their property during an assured shorthold tenancy or a statutory periodic tenancy, a landlord can serve a Section 21 notice without having to explain the reasons for doing so, subject to some terms outlined below.

A landlord can serve a tenant with a Section 21 notice:

*At the end of a fixed-term tenancy.

*At the point where an optional tenancy break has been pre-agreed in a break clause within the original tenancy agreement.

*During a rolling month-to-month tenancy with no fixed end agreement.

In all of these cases, the tenant must be given at least two months' notice of the landlord's plan to regain possession once the notice has expired. More than two months' notice can be given, but a tenant has the right to stay until the end of any initial fixed term that has been agreed. Where rent is paid quarterly, three months' notice must be given.

Restrictions

If the tenancy started after 21st October 2015, a landlord cannot serve a Section 21 Notice during the first four months of the term.

If the local authority has intervened and served an improvement notice or ordered emergency remedial action, then any Section 21 notice in place becomes invalid and a landlord must wait six months before reissuing the Section 21 notice.

A landlord of an HMO that is unlicensed cannot serve tenants with a Section 21 notice.

Serving notice

If a landlord wishes to serve a Section 21 Notice, they must fill out a prescribed form (Form 6A) if the tenancy started after 21st October 2015, or write their own notice under the authority of Section 21 if the tenancy started on or before 20th October 2015.

A Section 21 notice can only be served to a tenant if the landlord has provided the tenant with the following items which are usually supplied at the start of the tenancy.

*'How to Rent' guide.

* Energy Performance Certificate.

* Gas Safety certificate (if applicable).

* Deposit protection information (if applicable).

Resolving issues with Section 21 notices

If any of the four documents above were not provided to the tenant by the landlord, a Section 21 notice cannot be served.

If a Section 21 notice has been issued according to the law but the tenant does not vacate by the specified date, a landlord can apply for an accelerated possession order. If a landlord has complied with all legal obligations and provides the court with a copy of the tenancy agreement and the Section 21 notice, a judge can grant possession to the landlord.