Make sure you keep updated to keep your options open…
MOST LANDLORDS know that if they want to bring a tenancy to an end, they need to serve their tenant with a Section 21 notice. 24,000 Section 21’s were served in 2017 alone – because as long as you’ve fulfilled the requirements needed to serve one, they work in an effective, fair and hopefully stress-free way.
If, however, you have missed a stage or forgotten to fulfill one of the obligations required under a Section 21, the whole process becomes time-consuming and costly. While many of the boxes landlords need to tick to serve a Section 21 are administrative (such as ensuring the tenancy agreement has the correct dates, names and addresses on it) some can be quite technical, which is why it’s worth checking that both your landlords and your agents are aware of the process. Here are some of the most vital things to consider:
Start as you mean to go on
In order to issue a Section 21 checklist at the end of the tenancy, there are several things you need to provide the tenant at the start. Supplying an up to date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property, a Gas Safety Certificate (if applicable) and the latest version of the government’s ‘How to Rent’ guide are all vital parts of the Section 21 checklist.
Protecting your tenant’s deposit
Many landlords are not aware that in addition to protecting their tenant’s deposit in a government-recognized scheme they are legally required to give tenant the prescribed information about the scheme their deposit is held in. Without providing written evidence of the scheme they’ve chosen to protect the deposit, landlords are unable to serve a Section 21 notice.
Going about it the right way
Once you’ve been through all of Section 21 requirements (Fixflo has created a checklist for ease of reference) and are satisfied you’ve completed all the necessary steps, the Section 21 needs to be served in a certain way in order to ensure its validity. To do it correctly you must give the tenant at least two months’ notice to vacate your property. A Section 21 notice can also not be served within the first four months of a tenancy. Lastly, you also need to fill in a Form 6A to serve alongside the Section 21 notice, otherwise the Section 21 notice will not be valid.
For a process intended to simplify eviction, the Section 21 procedure can be quite complex, especially since the necessary requirements are regularly reviewed and updated.
That’s why Fixflo has created an updated Section 21 checklist, to ensure that all our landlords and agents have a relevant resource to refer to. For further information and to access the checklist, you can download our ‘Updated Section 21 Checklist December 2018’ by clicking here.