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Help if you have been asked to leave your property -  Section 21

A section 21 notice is the form your landlord must give you to start the process to end your assured shorthold tenancy. It gives you notice to leave your home.

A section 21 notice is often called ‘a no fault possession’ because the landlord is not seeking possession because they say you have done something wrong - they just want their property back. As long as the landlord follows the correct procedure, they are entitled to take possession of the property.

The landlord must take certain steps if they want to issue a section 21 notice and if they don’t get this right, the notice is invalid and can’t be used. So, if you receive a section 21 it’s important to take action as early as possible. There is advice and support available that could help prevent you becoming homeless.

How can you get assistance?

We have a team of specialist advisors who can advise you about whether or not a notice is valid. We can also assist you to negotiate with your landlord or help you address any other issues - like rent arrears - that might have lead to the section 21 notice being served.

You can contact us by phoning Housing Solutions on 0161 234 4692 and ask to make an appointment with a section 21 advisor. You can also email us.

Deposits and section 21 notices

If you have paid a deposit the landlord needs to have protected this with one of three authorised schemes within 30 days of receiving the deposit.  

You can check if your deposit has been protected by visiting the following websites:

If your landlord hasn’t protected your deposit then they cannot use a section 21 notice unless they return the deposit to you to your satisfaction. This could be done in a number of ways - for example, with your permission, it could be used to pay the rent.

Any section 21 notice served before the agreed return of your unprotected deposit will not be valid.

If your tenancy started before 1 October 2015 

  • The landlord has to serve a section 21 notice that gives you at least two months notice and states that it is a section 21 notice under the Housing Act 1988.
  • The notice also cannot have been served within the first four months of your tenancy and any notice is only valid for six months.
  • If the landlord has served the correct notice and protected your deposit, or returned it to your satisfaction, they will, eventually, be able to apply to court for a possession order. However, it is still worth negotiating with your landlord, and support is available to help you do this.

If your tenancy started after 1 October 2015

  • There are additional conditions for tenancies started after this date.
  • When your tenancy began, the landlord must have given you a gas safety certificate, an Energy Performance Certificate and a ‘How to Rent’ booklet.  
  • If the landlord didn’t do this, then they cannot issue a section 21 notice.
  • A landlord also cannot serve a section 21 notice within six months of receiving an improvement notice from the local authority.

Whenever your tenancy started, if the landlord has served the correct notice and protected your deposit, or returned it to your satisfaction, they will, eventually, be able to apply to court for a possession order. However, it is still worth negotiating with your landlord, and support is available to help you do this.

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