Evicting tenants (England and Wales)

2. Section 21 and Section 8 notices

You can evict tenants who have an assured shorthold tenancy using a:

  • Section 21 notice - if you want your property back after the fixed term ends
  • Section 8 notice - if your tenants have broken the terms of the tenancy

You can either give your tenants a Section 21 notice or a Section 8 notice, or both.

Speak to a solicitor if you don’t know which notice to give.

Section 21 notice of seeking possession

You can use a Section 21 notice if your tenants have either:

  • a written agreement with a fixed term that’s ended
  • an oral or written ‘periodic’ agreement (for example, month-by-month) with no fixed end date

If the tenancy started after April 2007, you can only use a Section 21 notice if you put the tenants’ deposit in a deposit protection scheme.

Giving tenants a Section 21 notice

A Section 21 notice must give your tenants at least 2 months’ notice to leave your property. Create a notice to give to your tenants by:

  • filling in form 6a if the tenancy started on or after 1 October 2015
  • writing your own notice if the tenancy started before 1 October 2015 - explain that you’re giving notice under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988

You can get legal advice on creating a notice and giving it to your tenants. Find a solicitor.

When you must give more than 2 months’ notice

Fixed-term tenants can’t be evicted until their tenancy ends. If the fixed term has expired the notice must end on the last day of the rental period.

So you’ll need to give more than 2 months’ notice if the rental period was more than 2 months (for example, it was paid quarterly).

After you give notice

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

If your tenants don’t 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 give between 2 weeks’ and 2 months’ notice depending on which terms they’ve broken.

You can apply to the court for a possession order if your tenants don’t 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. Find a solicitor.