Section 21

The Housing Act of 1988 section 21, stated that a minimum of two months notice must be served on a tenant.  In 1996 the Housing Act was amended slightly and under section 98 of the 1996 Housing Act it is stated that the notice must be served in writing.  If you need to go through the accelerated possession procedure proof of notice is required so you must give notice in writing.

Service of notice can occur at any time after the commencement of the tenancy.  Do not give notice before the tenancy has started!  However, you must allow the tenant to be in situ for a minimum of 6 months.

Ensure the format of the notice is correct (as below).  

All the tenants must be named on the notice especially in the case of sharers.  If you want to be really careful then serve each individual with notice.

Please note that the serving of notice varies according to the type of tenancy.

If notice is being served during the fixed term of the notice then you can do it in any form as long as you give the following details.

1. Name and Address of Tenants

2. Name and Address of Landlord or Landlords if there is more than one.

3. Address of the property which is being sought for possession.

4. Date the notice is served.

5. Date possession is required.

6. You must state that possession is being sought under the Housing Act 1988 section 21 (1) (b) or section 21 (4)(a) - Remember that if notice is being served during the fixed term of the tenancy then section 21 (1)(b) applies.

The best way to serve notice is to deliver it by hand or first class mail.  If you can, get the tenants to sign and return a copy to you.  

Periodic Tenancies:

These are tenancies that have gone past the fixed term and are now into "periods".  A period being the time the rent is paid.  i.e. every month or every 2 months etc.  Notice can be served on the tenants again you must give at least 2 months notice, but you must ensure that the notice period brings the tenancy to an end at the end of a rental period.  Therefore, if the rent is paid on the 25th of each month, ensure the notice will bring the tenancy to an end on the 25th of the month.  For example I receive rent from my tenants on the 25th of each month.  Today is the 30th.  I have to give 2 months notice and bring the tenancy to an end at the end of a rental period.  As I have just missed the 25th July I can give notice to the tenants for possession of the property on the 25th October 2001.  If I had thought about it I could have given notice to the tenants on the 20th of July and had the property back on the 25th September 2001.

Note if the rent is paid quarterly then you can only give notice to run out at the end of the quarter.

Always keep a copy of the notice served and of any covering letter.