Section 21 Notice (Wales only)
What is a Section 21 Notice?
Serving a Section 21 Notice is the first step that a Landlord takes to make a Tenant leave the property. It does not mean that the Tenant has to leave the property immediately – it will provide a notice period with the date to leave specified in the notice.
A Landlord does not need a reason to serve a Section 21 Notice.
Section 21 Notice
To serve a Section 21 Notice in Wales, the Landlord must have complied with various legal requirements, which in Wales include – being registered with Rent Smart Wales (or have appointed a registered agent), protected the deposit, ensure that there is a valid gas safety certificate. Please note this is not a comprehensive list.
COVID-19 has impacted the notice period that Landlord’s are required to give the Tenant. The notice period is now 6 months (unless a longer period has been stipulated in the tenancy agreement). If a notice is served from now until the 31st of March 2021, then the Landlord is required to give 6 months notice.
A Section 21 Notice will be invalid if the incorrect notice period is given. The notice period required by law changed from 2, to 3 months, to 6 months last year, therefore the notice period depends on the law at the time the notice was served. We can review the validity of any notice served.
Care also needs to be taken with any fixed term tenancies, and also with periodic tenancies.
If the Landlord has failed to comply with their legal requirements, then a Section 21 Notice will also be invalid. If the deposit has not been protected in a deposit scheme, then the Section 21 Notice will be invalid, the Tenant will also have a claim against the Landlord for up to three times the amount of the deposit.
If the Section 21 Notice is deemed invalid, then the Landlord will need to serve a new Section 21 Notice.
Section 8 Notice (Wales only)
What is a Section 8 Notice?
Section 8 Notice differs from Section 21 Notice, in that a reason needs to be given by the Landlord to the Tenant explaining why the Landlord wants to recover possession of the property.
There are 17 grounds that the Landlord can rely on as the reason for wanting possession of the property. Some of these grounds are mandatory grounds for possession – if the Landlord can prove one of these grounds at a possession hearing, then the Court will have to award a possession Order.
Section 8 Notice
The current notice period required by law in Wales has been increased to 6 months, except for in very limited circumstances; these include anti-social behaviour (there is a criteria to be met). We will be able to assess if this criteria has been met.
The Landlord needs to be licensed with Rent Smart Wales or have appointed a licensed agent on their behalf – this will prohibit the Landlord from serving a Section 8 Notice. Recent case law has confirmed this. The Landlord needs to ensure that they have complied with their legal requirements as a Landlord.
If the deposit has not been protected, the Section 8 Notice will be invalid, the only way to rectify this issue is to return the deposit to the tenant. The Tenant will also have a claim against the Landlord for this failure, which could be up to three times the amount of the deposit.
The Landlord needs to ensure that all the legal requirements have been complied with. Care needs to be taken with the notice period; the Landlord needs to make sure that the correct notice period is given.
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.