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Bitesize blog - s.21 notices

In this blog we explain briefly the nature and scope of section 21 notices to vacate. These are one of the most common tools used by landlords to force tenants to vacate a property.


Tenancies begin as ‘fixed term’ agreements between landlord and tenant. If these are not replaced or formally ended they become a ‘rolling’ agreement & renew each time rent becomes due.

Fixed term and rolling agreements can both only be ended by serving a formal notice, known as a ‘Section 21’ notice. This tells the tenant that when the tenancy agreement ends the landlord will not be renewing it & the tenant must leave the property.

A ‘Section 21’ notice must give the tenant at least 2 months notice & this deadline cannot fall before the actual tenancy term expires. Only then can a landlord look to evict a tenant using the court process.

There is no defence to a ‘Section 21’ notice, provided the landlord can prove the numerous & sometimes complex rules governing landlords have been met. It is the safest, easiest & most cost effective way to recover possession of a property.

Getting a Court Order using a ‘Section 21’ (excluding the 2-month notice period) takes approx 4-6 weeks. It can take a further 4-6 weeks for bailiffs to forcibly remove the tenant, although this option is not usually necessary in the majority of cases.

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