Section 21 and Section 8 notices

You can evict tenants who have an assured shorthold tenancy using a Section 21 or Section 8 notice, or both.

Use a Section 8 notice if your tenants have broken the terms of the tenancy.

Before serving notice, try to resolve any disputes with your tenant instead. For example, work with your tenant to manage rent arrears or agree a rent repayment plan if they have rent arrears.

Section 21 notice of seeking possession

You can use a Section 21 notice to evict your tenants either:

  • after a fixed term tenancy ends - if there’s a written contract
  • during a tenancy with no fixed end date - known as a ‘periodic’ tenancy

You can get legal advice if you do not know which notice to give.

When you cannot use a Section 21 notice in England

You cannot use a Section 21 notice if any of the following apply:

  • it’s less than 4 months since the tenancy started, or the fixed term has not ended, unless there’s a clause in the contract which allows you to do this
  • the property is categorised as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) and does not have a HMO licence from the council
  • the tenancy started after April 2007 and you have not put the tenants’ deposit in a deposit protection scheme
  • the tenancy started after October 2015 and you have not used form 6a or a letter with all the same information on it
  • the council has served an improvement notice on the property in the last 6 months
  • the council has served a notice in the last 6 months that says it will do emergency works on the property
  • you have not repaid any unlawful fees or deposits that you charged the tenant - read the guidance for landlords on the Tenant Fees Act 2019

You also cannot use a Section 21 notice if you have not given the tenants copies of:

You must have given your tenants the gas safety certificate and the ‘How to rent’ guide before they moved in.

You must have given your tenants a copy of the property’s Energy Performance Certificate before they rented the property.

When you cannot use a Section 21 notice in Wales

You cannot use a Section 21 notice if any of the following apply:

  • it’s less than 4 months since the tenancy started, or the fixed term has not ended, unless there’s a clause in the contract which allows you to do this
  • the property is categorised as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) and does not have a HMO licence from the council
  • the tenancy started after April 2007 and you have not put the tenants’ deposit in a deposit protection scheme
  • the tenancy started after November 2016 and you do not have a landlord licence

Giving tenants a Section 21 notice

In England, use form 6a if the tenancy was started or renewed after 30 September 2015. You can also write your own Section 21 notice.

In Wales, you must explain in writing that you are serving an eviction notice under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1998.

How much notice you need to give

In England, a Section 21 notice must give your tenants at least 2 months’ notice to leave your property.

You may need to give a longer notice period if you have a ‘contractual’ periodic tenancy. This is a fixed term tenancy that has ended, but included a clause to continue as a periodic tenancy. The amount of notice must be the same as the rental period, if this is more than 2 months. For example, if your tenant pays rent every 3 months, you must give 3 months’ notice.

In Wales, if it’s a periodic tenancy, you must let your tenants stay for the notice period and any additional time covered by their final rent payment.

After you give notice

Keep proof that you gave notice to your tenants - either:

If your tenants do not leave by the specified date, you can use your completed N215 or notice to apply for an accelerated possession order.

Section 8 notice of seeking possession

To give your tenants notice using a Section 8, you must fill in a ‘Notice seeking possession of a property let on an assured tenancy or an assured agricultural occupancy’. Specify on the notice which terms of the tenancy they’ve broken.

You can apply to the court for a possession order if your tenants do not leave by the specified date.

You can get legal advice on how to fill in a Section 8 with the correct notice periods and how to give it to your tenants.

How much notice you need to give

In England, the amount of notice you give for a Section 8 notice depends on your reason (or ‘ground’).

Read Annex A of the guidance for private landlords to find out the minimum notice period lengths you can give tenants.

There are different eviction notice periods in Wales.