Section 21

If you are served with a Section 21 notice you should always seek professional assistance from a Solicitor rather than anyone else as only a solicitor with experience in this area will be able to assist in the most effective way. McKay’s Solicitors Ltd are specialist Solicitors who will be able to assist you in the Defence of a S21 notice and other Landlord and Tenant issues

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MCKAYS SOLICITORS LTD

SECTION 21 NOTICES

A Section 21 notice is the notice given to a tenant by a landlord who is seeking to terminate that tenant’s occupation of their home. It is a matter which can have serious consequences if not dealt with correctly according to law; it could result in you losing your home.

Depending on your circumstances we could stop the application of a Section 21 notice by way of a challenge, which if successful, would allow you to remain in your home for a longer period

When can a section 21 notice be served?

A landlord does not need a reason for giving you a section 21 notice – for example, they may just wish to move back into their property.

You can only be served with a section 21 notice if you have an assured short hold tenancy. If you are unsure what type of tenancy you have Shelter have a tenancy checker on their website which is useful.

If your landlord serves you with a section 21 notice and you do not have an assured short hold tenancy, that notice will be invalid and you will be able to challenge your eviction and stay in your home.

How to check your section 21 notice is valid

The most important thing to do is to check that your section 21 notice is valid. If it isn’t, you may be able to challenge it and stay in your home.

If you are given less than 2 months’ notice

Your section 21 notice will not be valid if you have not been given at least 2 months’ notice.

If your deposit hasn’t been protected

If your landlord did not protect your deposit or they protected it too late, your section 21 notice will not be valid save for where they have already given your deposit back to you.

The date on which your deposit had to be protected by depends on the date it was paid and the date on which your tenancy started. Check if you’re not sure whether your landlord protected your deposit.

There is a tenancy deposit checker on www.depositrecoveryclaims.co.uk and it will check all three deposit services at the same time and is free of charge.

Your landlord may also have to pay you compensation if they did not protect your deposit or protected later than they ought to have. Details of this can also be found on www.depositrecoveryclaims.co.uk

Not all deposits must be protected. Your deposit does not need to be protected for example if you are a lodger living in someone’s home.

If you did not get information about your deposit

Your section 21 notice will not be valid if your landlord did not give you certain details about your deposit before giving you the notice. These details are known as ‘prescribed information’.

If you live in a house that needs a licence

Your section 21 notice will be invalid if you received it within the first 4 months of the start of your original tenancy. You will not need to leave before your fixed term ends, e.g. if you get a section 21 notice 4 months into a 6-month fixed term, you will not have to leave the property until the terms ends.

If your landlord didn’t give you the right documents

If your tenancy started after 1 October 2015, your section 21 notice might not be valid if your landlord did not:

Give you a gas safety certificate and energy performance certificate before your contract started

Make sure you have the version of the ‘How to rent’ guide that was most up to date when your contract started or was renewed

New guides were published on:

  • 31 May 2019
  • 6 July 2018
  • 26 June 2018
  • 17 January 2018
  • 1 February 2016
  • 1 October 2015

If your landlord charged fees during your contract

You may be able to challenge your eviction if you paid your landlord any fees. If you originally agreed your tenancy on or after 1 June 2019 your landlord can only charge you:

  • Your rent and utility bills
  • A damage deposit
  • A holding deposit (up to 1 weeks rent)
  • A fee for losing your key or key fob
  • A fee for paying your rent 14 days late or more (this has to be written in your tenancy agreement)
  • A fee for a change to the tenancy that you asked for
  • A fee for ending your tenancy early
  • Council tax
  • A TV licence

If your landlord charged you for anything else you may be able to challenge your eviction

If your landlord asked you for a deposit of more than 5 weeks’ rent

Why you should not leave your home. This is called ‘defending possession’.

If you get court documents

If you do not leave your home by the date on your section 21 notice – for example because you want to challenge it – you will get documents from the court.

You will get the court documents when your landlord is taking legal action to make you leave your home. This is known as starting a ‘possession claim’. The court will then, on an appointed date and time, decide whether you need to leave your home.

The court will send you an ‘N11B defence form’. You can use the form to give your reasons in as much detail as possible, why you think you should stay in your home. It would be sensible to seek assistance from an advice agency or a Solicitor if an application for possession is made against you.

If you think your landlord has discriminated against you

If your landlord has treated you unfairly because of who you are, you may be able to defend your eviction. For example, they may be seeking to evict you because you are gay, or because they don’t want to make changes for your disability or because of your race or ethnicity

If the reason you’re being evicted is connected to your disability

You may be able to challenge the eviction. For example if you are being evicted for rent arrears, but the reason you got into rent arrears was because you have a learning disability which made it hard to follow your landlord’s payment policy. Landlords must take into account any limited abilities of tenants before commencing legal action against them as not to do so may be discriminatory

If you’re being evicted because you complained about discrimination previously

This may amount to a type of discrimination known as Victimisation. You may be able to defend your eviction using Discrimination law.

For more information on defending Section 21 notices and any other landlord and tenant issues complete our contact form below and one of our Specialist will review your case and contact you

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