Section 21 eviction

Section 21 eviction process

Coronavirus update

A section 21 notice must give at least 6 months' notice at the moment.

Your landlord can only apply to court after the notice period ends.

The courts are open but some hearings may be held remotely. There is a backlog of cases and the eviction process takes time.

Bailiffs can't carry out section 21 evictions until after 31 March due to the lockdown.

Your landlord must follow eviction rules. This page tells you about the process.

It's an illegal eviction if you're forced to leave without the legal process being followed.

Your tenancy rights and responsibilities continue throughout the legal eviction process. You should continue to pay rent during this time.

1. Notice

The section 21 notice must be on Form 6A.

Your landlord doesn't need to give a reason for wanting you to leave.

But they must follow certain rules if they want to give you a section 21. For example, protect your deposit and give you a gas safety certificate.

Notice periods have been temporarily extended because of coronavirus.

When you were given noticeMinimum notice period
On or after 29 August 20206 months
Between 26 March and 28 August 20203 months
Before 26 March 20202 months

Section 21 notices received before 26 March 2020 are no longer valid unless your landlord started court action within 4 months of the date on the notice.

Check if your section 21 notice is valid.

2. Court action

Your landlord can apply for a possession order if you stay past the date on the notice.

They could also apply to restart a case that has been put on hold during coronavirus. You will get a 'reactivation notice' if this happens.

There may not be a hearing if your landlord uses the 'accelerated procedure' so it's important to return your defence form.

A judge decides if a hearing is needed by looking at the information they have from both you and your landlord.

The court can only stop an eviction if there's a problem with the section 21 notice.

Find out more about the court process.

You may qualify for free legal advice.

3. Bailiffs

Only court bailiffs can evict you from your home.

Your landlord can apply for bailiffs if you stay in your home past the date on a possession order. They might use either:

  • county court bailiffs

  • high court enforcement officers

The bailiffs must give you at least 2 weeks' notice of the eviction date.

You can't be evicted by court bailiffs until after 31 March if your landlord has used the section 21 eviction process.

Last updated: 15 February 2021

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