Advice for private landlords
How can I end a tenancy in a property?
Section 21 notice
You can issue a Section 21 notice of the Housing Act 1988:
- after a fixed term tenancy ends, if there is a written contract
- during a tenancy with no fixed end date, known as a periodic tenancy
In order for a Section 21 notice to be valid, a landlord needs to provide documentation to the tenant before the tenancy is commenced. The required documentation is:
- an Electric Performance Certificate (EPC) valid for 10 years
- a valid Gas Safety Certificate; this inspection needs to be done on a yearly basis with a copy issued to the tenant
- the current version of the How to rent: the checklist for renting in England (on GOV.UK)
The tenant should hold a copy of these. The documents can be given to the tenant at any point during the tenancy (if the landlord did not provide them at the start), however the Section 21 notice would be valid from the date the tenant receives the correct documentation.
For a Section 21 to be valid you need to provide two months' written notice by the appropriate method, i.e. written notice. The notice can only be issued after the fourth month of the assured shorthold tenancy. Any deposit not protected in a government-approved scheme, must be returned before serving the notice.
Section 8 notice
You can issue a Section 8 notice of the Housing Act 1988.
This allows you to seek possession using grounds 2, 8, 10 to 15, or 17 as listed in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act. This can be issued at any stage of the tenancy, however if you are seeking possession during the fixed term, you can only use Section 8 if the grounds under which you are seeking possession are mentioned in the original tenancy agreement.
Further information can be found on GOV.UK: Evicting Tenants - Section 21 and Section 8.