Section 21 notice: what is eviction form, when can landlord issue one under Housing Act, will it be abolished?

Liz Truss recently said that she will stand by the Tory manifesto pledge to scrap no-fault evictions - but what exactly are they?

No-fault evictions are set to be banned in England after a new law was tabled in parliament.

The bill will abolish landlords from evicting tenants without justification, as well as ending bans on tenants claiming benefits. In addition to this, the proposed law will also make it easier for landlords to repossess their property from anti-social tenants.

The Conservative Party has called the move a "better deal for renters". The party included the pledge in their 2019 manifesto, with former leader Liz Truss vowing to follow through on plans.

Currently, no-fault evictions are regularly used by landlords to remove a tenant from their property by serving them a section 21 order. This key piece of legislation is now set to be repealed.

But what exactly is a section 21 - and when can landlords serve the notice? Here’s everything you need to know.

Section 21 notices - or no fault evictions - are evictions served without a reason. (Credit: Adobe)Section 21 notices - or no fault evictions - are evictions served without a reason. (Credit: Adobe)
Section 21 notices - or no fault evictions - are evictions served without a reason. (Credit: Adobe)

What is a section 21 notice form?

A section 21 notice is a form which notifies you that your landlord is evicting you from the property. A landlord must provide their tenant with this notice in order to begin eviction proceedings.

Landlords serve a section 21 notice when there is no specific reason for the eviction. For example, there is no backdated rent due or any issues with the tenancy. This is also known as a no-fault eviction.

The notice itself does not mean automatic eviction, nor does the tenant have to leave the property by the end of the notice. The landlord would still need to go through the courts for the eviction to be legal, which tenants may choose to contest.

Homelessness charities have condemned the practice, with it often leaving tenants facing homelessness for no reason given. Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Shelter, said: “It’s alarming that as the living cost crisis rages more landlords are kicking tenants out of their homes. These are real people whose lives are being turned upside down and simply cannot afford to lose their homes right now.

“While scrapping Section 21 evictions alone won’t solve the cost-of-living crisis for renters, it will at least give them some much needed security in their homes. The government promised renters three times that it will introduce a Renters’ Reform Bill to scrap unfair Section 21 no-fault evictions. Now, it must get the job done as every minute wasted puts another renter at risk.”

When can a landlord issue a section 21 notice under the Housing Act?

Currently, a landlord can issue a section 21 notice if the fixed-term tenancy period ends where there is a written contract or during a tenancy with no end date. The latter of this is also known as a ‘periodic tenancy’.

A section 21 notice can only be served in England and Wales. No-fault evictions are already banned in Scotland.

Will section 21 notices be abolished in England and Wales?

The Conservative Party first said in their 2019 election manifesto that they would pledge to scrap no fault-evictions, and by extension section 21 notices. There have been fears that this could be scrapped due to the multiple changes in leadership over the past year.

However, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's govenrment has now confirmed that the plans are still on track, with the new bill now tabled in Parliament.