Everything You Need To Know About Section 21

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Evicting a tenant from your rental property is never an easy task. For all involved, evictions are difficult situations that need to handled with care.

This article will discuss how to legally evict a tenant through the Section 21 and Section 8. If you do need anymore advice around the subject, please head to the Government website. On the other hand, please bare in mind that this advice has been written for properties within England and Wales

There are only two types of shorthold tenancies that Section 21 and 8 cover. These are ‘periodic’ tenancies and fixed-term tenancies.

Periodic Tenancies

These are tenancies that work either weekly or month by month. Periodic tenancies have no set finishing date so they naturally continue until a party cancels.

Fixed-Term Tenancies

These are tenancies that run at a certain amount of time. For example January 1st – June 1st.


There is a set process that the Government  recommends all landlords to follow when legally evicting tenants.

  1. The first step – hand your a Section 21 note if your property is a fixed-term tenancy. If your tenant has broken some rules within the tenancy, then you need to hand them a Section 8.
  2. After handing the correct section note to your tenant, you must apply for a standard possession order if they do not leave on the date specified on the note. This allows you to claim your property back if tenants are not paying rent. To apply for a standard possession order, it costs around £325. If you are not claiming for unpaid rent, then you can apply for accelerated possession order. This can sometimes be quicker than a standard possession order and also costs £355.
  3. If your tenants have still not left your property, then you may apply for a warrant possession. Essentially, this will allow you to let bailiffs get involved with the situation.

What is a Section 21?

Section 21 allows you to evict tenants that are part of a fixed-term tenancy or those in a periodic tenancy.

However, you cannot use section 21 on certain circumstances such as:

  • If the tenancy is under four months.
  • If a property is classed as a HMO (House in Multiple Occupation).
  • If the local council has served a notice in the last six months on either an improvement or emergency works n the property.
  • If a tenancy started after April 2007 and tenants deposit wasn’t put in a secure deposit protection scheme.

Remember, when serving a Section 21, a landlord must always give there tenant two months notice about vacating the property.

What is a Section 8?

To evict a tenant through a section 8, landlords must fill in a ‘Notice seeking possession of a property let on an assure tenancy or an assured agricultural occupancy’. You can deliver this to a tenant between either two weeks of renting or two month; it just depends on what parts of the agreement they have broken.

What if my tenant owes rent but gets housing benefits?

If you do have a tenant that isn’t paying rent and benefits from either Universal Credit or housing benefits, you may not get the rent straight away through evicting them; This is also referred to as managed payments. If you need to request a refund, please go directly to the housing benefits or universal credit website.



Jess Mitchell

I started writing for PPO back in August 2019. I particularly enjoy writing about new housing developments and upcoming property events.

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About Sophia 68 Articles
I started writing for PPO back in August 2019. I particularly enjoy writing about new housing developments and upcoming property events.

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