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/ 27 Mar 2019

Section 21 notices and documents that need to be served before valid section 21 can be served by a landlord

Section 21 notices and documents need to be served before valid section 21 can be served by a landlord

Serving a tenant a section 21 notice is one of the first steps you, as a landlord, will take in gaining possession of your property. It’s sometimes referred to as a section 21 eviction notice. To ensure that a section 21 notice is legal and valid, and that the process runs as smoothly as possible, it’s important to check the following elements first.

You can find out more general information about property disputes via our website.


  • A section 21 notice cannot be served within the first 4 months of the original tenancy.
  • It must be served with 2 months notice. If the rent is paid quarterly or every 6 months then you’ll need to give your tenants a notice period that is equal to this.
  • Section 21 notice cannot be served within 6 months of an improvement notice or emergency works notice served by the council.


  • The section 21 notice must be served in writing.
  • If the tenancy started on, or after, the 1st of October 2015, then the section 21 must also be served on a form 6a.

Other considerations

  • The deposit must adhere to tenancy deposit protection rules. If the deposit isn’t protected in a tenancy deposit scheme, or if it was protected more than 30 days after the most recent contract started then you won’t be able to serve a section 21 notice unless you return the tenants’ deposit money back first.
  • You must have provided written information about the deposit protection scheme before starting the process to end the tenancy, i.e. the Prescribed Information.

If the tenancy started on or after 1st of October 2015, then you must have provided your tenants with the following documents

  • Gas safety certificate
  • Energy performance certificate
  • Government’s How to rent guide

Note: it is important that there is proof that these documents have been served, and the general advice here is to attach all these to the original tenancy agreement and have them signed for at the start of every tenancy.

  • If a landlord’s license is necessary and you don’t have this, then a section 21 will not be valid.

Please be aware that these guidelines are primarily for England. As well as taking into account other regions and jurisdictions, there is also the factor of case by case specifics. Every case is different and only a court can decide. We recommend speaking to our expert advisors to find out more and to discuss your case. Contact us today

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