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Section 21 checklist – What do agents need to do before serving an S21?

Posted by on November 4, 2022

With successive legislative amendments over the last 15 years, landlords now have to satisfy many prerequisites to serve a valid notice requiring possession under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.

Section 21 was introduced to give landlords a simple and effective method of recovering possession of their property, but it has never been more difficult to comply.

As a result, we are experiencing more challenges raised by tenants and their representatives, and the courts are ensuring strict compliance is observed. This can lead to adjournments or claims being dismissed.

The Ministry of Justice have published an average time of 44.3 weeks for landlords to regain possession in quarter 2 of 2022 – this is down from 54.7 weeks in quarter 1 of 2022. This is the time between the claim being issued and repossession – it does not include the notice period of at least 2 months in the case of Section 21 notice.

Whilst the average time has decreased from 80.4 weeks in Q3 of 2021 following the pandemic, the recent averages show it still takes close to a year to recover possession via the court. Given the additional delays which may be caused by failing to satisfy all the requirements, it has never been more important for our customers to be aware of current legislation and with the additional complexities now involved with Section 21, we are keen to ensure that our customers are fully aware of the landlord’s obligations.

Therefore, we have created a checklist of the things required before a valid section 21 notice can be served. It is important to note that this is not a one size fits all guide and certain nuances in specific situations may require different or additional information to ensure validity.

*This isn’t legal advice and should not be substituted for legal advice. It is general information, and anyone who is unsure of their legal obligations or rights should seek legal advice from a suitably qualified professional.


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