This applies to properties in England only.

Section 21 Notices for tenancies starting from October 1st 2015

This guidance should only be followed for new tenancies in England that began on or after October 1st 2015.

New in this case also includes tenancies that were expressly renewed through new written tenancies. However, it does not include statutory periodic tenancies that followed on from tenancies before October 1st 2015.

For older tenancies and Section 21 service in Wales please use our original guide to serving a Section 21 notice.

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Section 21

Section 21 is the no fault way of obtaining possession from a shorthold tenant.

This is known as Accelerated Possession and is based on the fact that the tenancy has come to an end (or a break clause has been exercised) and a valid Section 21 notice has been properly served and has also expired. Alternatively, Section 21 can be relied on if the tenancy is a periodic tenancy, including a statutory periodic tenancy. You cannot serve it before you become the landlord so do not do this before the day the tenancy starts.

On this page we explain in more detail exactly what a Section 21 notice is, how recent legislative changes have affected it, guidance on the correct procedure to follow and links to download Section 21 notice, court form N5b and court form N325

Tenancies are either fixed term (e.g. for six months or twelve months) or periodic (e.g. monthly). A periodic tenancy may follow on from the end of a fixed term tenancy. Where a fixed term shorthold tenancy ends but there is no provision in the agreement for it to continue then, where the tenant stays on, a statutory periodic tenancy starts.

What is a Section 21 notice?

A Section 21 Housing Act 1988 notice is the first step to obtaining the property back when there is "no fault" alleged i.e. the landlord wants to regain possession of a property at the end of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) or wishes to exercise a "Break Clause". The landlord is able to issue the tenant with a Section 21 notice without giving any reason for ending the tenancy agreement.

Until October 1st 2015, the Section 21 notices came in a variety of different formats and there was no time limit on using the Section 21 notice to apply to court after it had been served. It was also common practice for landlords to serve a Section 21(1) at the outset of the tenancy. This all changed after the provisions of the Deregulation Act came into force.

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