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From our heritage as Sheriffs we have developed our property services for the benefit of our community so they have a one-stop shop of protection.

We understand evicting a tenant can be a difficult process for a landlord particularly in today’s economic climate where they are looking for lawful ways to carry out eviction services to regain their possession. However, if mistakes are made, the costs can be particularly high. Keeping up with legislative changes has never been more important, as failing to do so can threaten a landlord’s ability to evict a tenant if something goes wrong. It is illegal to evict a tenant without following the proper legal procedures.

Having said that as a landlord you have all the legal rights to serve a notice of eviction and repossess your property at the end of a tenancy. The first step in the eviction process is to serve the tenant with a valid section 21 notice. If you’re a landlord looking to legally evict your tenants and reclaim your property rented under an assured shorthold tenancy, you’ll need to follow the steps below (AST).

The reason for eviction could be any whether the tenancy isn’t working out, you’re tired of late or no payments by your tenants, anti-social behaviour of your tenants or you want the property back as your primary residence this article will cover some useful tips to make the process as smooth as possible.

What is Section 21?

A no-fault eviction is what a section 21 notice is known as. When you and your tenant have agreed to an assured shorthold tenancy, you can use a section 21 notice to evict them without having to give a reason.

A landlord, on the other hand, can only serve a section 21 notice in the following circumstances: When the fixed-term tenancy expires. In the United Kingdom, the fixed term is usually six months to one year If the tenancy has no set end date, it is referred to as a “periodic tenancy.”

A landlord can only serve a section 21 notice to a tenant if the tenancy is assured shorthold. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, landlords would typically start the eviction process by serving a section 21 notice. This is because getting possession is easier than serving a section 8 notice because you don’t have to go to a court hearing. It also didn’t make it mandatory for a landlord to give a reason for terminating a tenancy.

What Is the Difference Between Section 21 And Section 8?

The main difference between the two notices is that the landlord in section 21 is not required to give their tenant a reason for the eviction. The landlord must cite at least one of the 17 grounds for eviction in a section 8 notice.

A landlord must, however, have fulfilled all their responsibilities as a landlord before serving a section 21 notice in order for the notice to be valid.

How Do Evictions Work?

So, if you’re a landlord wanting to evict your tenant, the following legal process will be applicable.

Evictions are of two types:

  • A section 21 eviction or a no-fault eviction is when a landlord can serve a notice to regain the possession of their property without citing any reason. At the end of the fixed-term tenancy agreement or during a tenancy with no fixed end date, a landlord can serve a section 21 notice.
  • If the tenant violates the terms of the rental agreement by not paying the rent, damaging the property or becomes a cause of a nuisance.
  • No-fault evictions usually require two months’ notice.
  • The notice period for evictions where tenants have broken the terms of the tenancy varies from two weeks to two months, depending on which terms were broken.

What do Landlords Have to Do?

Landlords have to follow a series of steps to evict a tenant:

First, they need to issue a section 21 notice or a section 8 notice with the date they want the tenants to vacate the property.

Second, issue a possession order from the court if a tenant stays beyond the date.

Third, if the tenant doesn’t leave on time, appeal for a warrant of possession to the court.
The court sends an eviction notice to the tenants, who can be evicted by a bailiff.

Remember, you can only evict a tenant by following the right procedure else the tenants can challenge the order if they have been discriminated against.

What Happened to Evictions During the Pandemic?

During the pandemic, the UK government ruled out a “complete ban on evictions” to ensure no struggling renter would be “forced out of their home”. Also, the eviction hearings were banned in courts in England and Wales in March 2020. They re-started in September 2020, but bailiffs were told not to enforce eviction orders.

The minimum notice period for renters where eviction was not involved was increased across the UK. In England, this was to six months. In England and Wales, just over 12,000 warrants for possession were issued to landlords in the first three months of 2020.

What Is Changing for Renters On 1 June 2021?

Landlords who want their tenants to move out can issue 4 months’ notice.

1st, October 2021 onwards it will return to two months.

Where tenants have broken the tenancy agreement, minimum notices are shorter for eviction, it will be two weeks – or no notice in the most serious cases.

With two weeks’ notice, bailiffs will be able to enforce eviction orders issued by courts.

They cannot evict a tenant if they or anyone in their house has coronavirus symptoms, has tested positive for coronavirus, or has been advised by the NHS to self-isolate. In Wales, the ban on eviction enforcement is due to end in July.

What Happens If the Tenant Does Not Vacate the Premises by the Notice Date?

Legally a section 21 notice doesn’t end the tenancy. It’s a process that urges a tenant to vacate the property. In case a tenant does not move out on the outlined date even after receiving a section 21 notice in that case, the landlord can issue an accelerated possession claim in court.

If the tenant refuses to leave the property after the landlord has issued a possession claim, the landlord must apply for a warrant of possession. Assume the application for a warrant of possession is granted by the courts. In that case, bailiffs will be able to remove the tenants from the premises.

Summing-up – Why contact Shergroup?

Pandemic or no pandemic legal procedures aren’t easy. Serving a valid section 21 notice can be tough for the landlords in the best of times, let alone Covid-19 triggering the Coronavirus Act 2020 to ensure more protection for tenants.

With longer notice periods and longer wait times for court dates, it’s more important than ever to serve a section 21 notice correctly the first time.

Our eviction agents guarantee:

  • The notice is drafted and served correctly.
  • Issue accelerated possession claims.
  • Create an application for a warrant of possession.
  • Provide defence against a section 21 notice.

For more information, please don’t hesitate and contact one of our business advisors on 0845 890 9200 or through our website

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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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