Section 21 eviction

How to check a section 21 notice is valid

'An incorrect notice could mean more time in your home'

Our housing adviser Nadeem shows you how to check if your section 21 notice has been served correctly.

1. Check the form and dates

If your tenancy started or was renewed on or after 1 October 2015, your landlord must:

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

Your landlord may not need to use Form 6A if your tenancy began before this date. They must still give you at least 2 months' written 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.

They can't give you a valid section 21 notice before they give you required information about the tenancy deposit scheme used.

A section 21 notice is invalid if either 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

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 your landlord charged a tenancy related fee

From 1 June 2019 landlords and agents can only charge fees in certain situations.

Any other tenancy related fees are banned.

If your landlord charges you a banned fee and you pay it, they can't give you a valid section 21 until they return the money. 

This doesn't apply if an agent charges you a banned fee.

5. 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.

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:

  • 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 17 Oct 2018 | © Shelter

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