Section 21 eviction

How to check a section 21 notice is valid

Landlords sometimes make mistakes with the notice or can't use the section 21 eviction process because they've broken other rules.

1. Check the form and dates

Your notice won't be valid in the following situations:

  • you're not given enough notice

  • your landlord waits too long to apply to court

  • you receive the notice during the first 4 months of your original tenancy

How much notice you're entitled to depends on when you were given notice.

Notice periods have changed several times because of coronavirus.

When you were given noticeMinimum notice period
On or after 1 June 20214 months
Between 29 August 2020 and 31 May 20216 months
Between 26 March and 28 August 20203 months
Before 26 March 20202 months

For section 21 notices received on or after 29 August 2020, your landlord has 4 months from the end date on the notice to start court action.

Section 21 notices received before that date are no longer valid unless your landlord started court action within 6 months of giving you the notice.

For tenancies that started or were renewed on or after 1 October 2015, the notice must be on Form 6A

2. Find out if your deposit is protected

Your section 21 is not valid if either:

  • your deposit is not protected in a scheme

  • it was protected more than 30 days after your most recent contract started

Your landlord or agent must return your deposit before they can give you a section 21 notice if they break these rules.

Your landlord must also give you certain written information about the deposit and the scheme used before they can give you a valid section 21 notice.

The tenancy deposit protection rules also apply to agents.

3. Check for gas and energy certificates

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

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

4. Check your tenancy documents

A section 21 notice won't be valid if you receive it before your landlord gives you a copy of the government guide ‘How to rent: the checklist for renting in England’.

This only applies if your tenancy started on or after 1 October 2015.

5. If you're overcharged for a fee or deposit

Landlords and agents can only:

  • take up to 5 weeks' rent as a deposit

  • charge fees in certain situations

Most tenancy related fees are banned.

Your landlord can't give you a valid section 21 notice if they took a higher deposit or a banned fee unless they return the overcharged amount first.

But if an agent overcharged you, the landlord can still give you a section 21 notice.

6. 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 either:

  • have a licence from the council

  • have applied for a licence or a temporary exemption

Ask the council if your landlord needs a licence:

7. If the council orders 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.

What to do if the notice is invalid

If your notice is not valid, your landlord can't use it to evict you. They need to give you a valid notice to start the legal eviction process.

Even if the notice is valid, your tenancy continues until you leave the property voluntarily or are evicted through the legal process.

Find out what to do if you're facing pressure to leave after a notice.

Last updated: 21 May 2021

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