Section 21 eviction


How to check a section 21 notice is valid

You can stop a section 21 eviction if the notice your landlord gives you is invalid.

1. Check the form and dates

Your landlord must:

  • use Form 6A
  • give you at least 2 months’ notice

If you have to pay rent quarterly or every 6 months, you're entitled to notice equal to your rental period.

When you get a section 21 notice, your landlord must start court action within 6 months. The notice becomes invalid if they wait longer than this.

Your landlord can't give you a valid section 21 notice during the first 4 months of your original contract.

2. Find out if your deposit is protected

Your landlord must follow the tenancy deposit protection rules.

A section 21 notice can be invalid if any of these apply:

  • your deposit isn't protected in a tenancy deposit scheme
  • it was protected more than 30 days after your most recent contract started
  • your landlord hasn't given you required information about the scheme used

If your landlord breaks these rules, they can only serve a valid section 21 notice if they return your deposit first.

3. Check your tenancy-related documents

A section 21 notice can be invalid if you receive it before your landlord gives you a current copy of the following documents:

This doesn't apply if your tenancy started before 1 October 2015 and has not been renewed since.

4. If the council order repairs to your home

Your landlord can't give you a valid section 21 notice for the next 6 months if the council orders your landlord to do repairs under either an:

  • improvement notice
  • emergency works notice

A section 21 notice could be invalid if you got it after making a written complaint to your landlord about conditions in your home. It becomes invalid if you complain to the council and they serve an improvement or emergency works notice on your landlord.

Find out more about when you're protected from revenge eviction if you ask for repairs.

5. Find out if your landlord needs a licence

Many houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), such as bedsits and B&Bs, need a licence. Some councils require all private landlords to have a licence.

A landlord who needs a licence can’t serve a valid section 21 notice unless they:

  • are licensed
  • have applied for a licence or temporary exemption from licensing

Ask the council if your landlord needs a licence:

Find your council's details on GOV.UK

Still need help?

If you think your notice is invalid and need further advice:

Contact a Shelter adviser online, by phone or in person


Last updated 01 Oct 2018 | © Shelter

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