Section 21 and Section 8 notices (England only)

Section 21 Notice in England

A notice under Section 21 is most commonly given where a landlord wants the property back after a fixed term ends or during a periodic assured shorthold tenancy. Obtaining possession of a property under S21 is sometimes called ‘no fault’ possession due to there being no requirement to specify why the landlord requires possession.

Currently, under the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020, a notice which is given from the 29th of  August 2020 until at least the 31st of March 2021 must normally provide at least six months’ notice. That means that there must be at least 6 months between the date the tenant receives the notice, and the date after which the notice specifies they must leave the property.

You are only able to use a S21 notice if the tenant has an assured shorthold tenancy. It cannot be used if the tenant has an assured tenancy. It can only be used after a fixed term tenancy ends or during a tenancy with no fixed end date which rolls over, for example, month by month – a periodic tenancy.

There is a specific form which must be used called Form 6A in England.

You must also have complied with various legal requirements which include: –

  1. Have protected the tenant’s deposit in a deposit protection scheme and given the tenant information about this.
  2. Have a licence for the property from the local authority, if the property needed one.
  3. Started court proceedings in time.
  4. Provided the tenant with certain documents, including a valid gas safety certificate if there is gas in the property, an energy performance certificate, and the version of the ‘How to Rent’ guide which was most up to date when the tenancy started or was renewed.

Section 8 Notice in England

A notice under Section 8 is most commonly used where the landlord wishes to end the tenancy due to something that the tenant has done. The reason must relate to one of the grounds provided under S8, for example, the tenant has breached a term of their tenancy or is in rent arrears (not an exhaustive list).

Under the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020, a notice which is given to a tenant from the 29th of August 2020 until at least the 31st of March 2021 must provide at least six months’ notice in most circumstances.

There are some exceptions for notices, for example in relation to anti-social behaviour, where the notice periods have returned to pre-Coronavirus Act 2020 lengths. As such, proceedings in relation to anti-social behaviour can be brought immediately. Notice periods in relation to these exceptions vary depending on the type of tenancy and ground used. They can be between two weeks and one month. We would need to assess whether or not the ground relied upon falls into one of these exceptions.

Particularly in relation to rent arrears, where at least 6 months of rent is unpaid, there is a minimum 4-week notice period. If less than 6 months of rent is unpaid, then the notice period is 6 months.

If the tenant fails to leave in accordance with the notice given, it will be necessary for a landlord to apply to the Court. Whether the landlord is granted possession depends on the circumstances and the grounds used. This is because, if certain grounds are satisfied, they must grant possession but if other grounds have been used and are satisfied then it is only discretionary. It is, therefore, very important for a landlord to think carefully about which grounds to used, and for the tenant to receive legal advice.


Whichever notice is used it is important to remember to keep a copy of the notice and proof that the notice was served, care needs to be taken to ensure that the notice is served in time.

We can assist in advising both Landlords and Tenants on Section 21 Notice and Section 8 Notice; which includes the validity of any notice served, the correct notice period that needs to be provided and assist in the preparation of any notice if required. If you require advice or assistance, then please contact Catrin Williams () or Jaimie Whiteley  (), both can be contacted at our Rhyl office on 01745 343 500.

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