If you have let your house or flat to tenants and you now want it back, then you will need to provide not less than 2 months’ notice to them. That notice to expire no earlier than the end of the tenancy’s term.
This note assumes that you are not asking for the return of the property because your tenants have breached terms of their Tenancy Agreement e.g. not paying rent or being a nuisance. If you seek possession on the basis of breach then a Section 8 Notice must be served. A Section 8 Notice can be served during the term.
The formal notice that must be provided is known as a “Section 21 Notice” (the “Notice”).
There are various questions and actions that a Landlord should consider before they serve a Notice. If they do not do so, it may result in the Notice not being valid! If a valid Notice is not served and the Landlord needs to go to Court to evict the tenants, then the Court will reject the proceedings and the Landlord will need to start the entire process over again.
So, as a general checklist (and some of the items below are an absolute requirement for service of a valid Notice):
- You cannot serve a Notice if it is less than 4 months since the tenancy started.
- The date in the Notice by which possession is required cannot be before the expiry of the tenancy’s term.
- Is there gas at the property.
- Have Gas Certificates been served prior to the tenants moving in and annually since?
- Was a deposit taken. It must be no greater than 5 weeks’ rent?
- Was the deposit registered within a Tenancy Deposit Scheme within 30 days of receipt?
- Has the Tenancy Deposit Certificate been served on the tenants within 30 days of receipt of the deposit?
- Have the tenants been served with the “prescribed information” within 30 days of receipt of the deposit?
- Have the tenants been served with a copy of the EPC for the property?
- Have the tenants been served with the Government’s “How to Rent” booklet?
- Have the tenants been served with the Electrical Installation Certificate?
- If the property requires a License to Let from the Council, has it been served on the tenants?
- Have any notices been served on you by any local authority or similar in respect of the condition of the property? You must not serve a Notice in retaliation.
- Read the Tenancy Agreement to determine how the Notice must be served on the tenants.
This article has been brought to you by Graeme Bellenger, an experienced lawyer who specialises in Landlord and Tenant Law and acting for Landlords. You can contact Graeme using the form provided, by email email@example.com or tel: 0207 925 0303.
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