A poll of lettings agents would likely reveal that serving Section 21 notices is at or near the top of their pet peeves. There are a lot of specific steps involved in this process, and if you fail to follow them, you could become ineligible for serving the notice due to legal loopholes.
Having the right knowledge makes it easier, but it isn’t necessarily easy either (as long as you know what you’re doing). In many cases, you can learn how to serve a Section 21 notice correctly by following a checklist and practising – that way, you know you have checked all the boxes and done everything correctly. You should be aware of the following areas.
What documents do I need to serve Section 21?
For the notice to be valid, you must provide the tenant with various documents. Most of the documents are already in your possession – in particular, Gas Safety Certificates and Energy Performance Certificates – but you may need to find other documents, such as government guides on “How to Rent”. If you’re serving a lot of notices, systems like Letflo could be of great help (since they gather everything automatically).
LetFlo can be found here
When is the right time to serve Section 21?
It is not enough to serve a notice whenever you want – there are also time considerations to consider. You cannot serve a notice during the first four months of a tenancy, for example. Furthermore, by requiring the tenant to be given two months’ notice and specifying a move-out date, the notice prevents “revenge” evictions. A notice is invalid if it does not specify a date.
Extra notes to bear in mind for Section 21
Section 21 notices are often derailed by details. Even though everything in the documentation must be accurate, there is still a possibility for silly errors, like specifying the wrong property address. Furthermore, it’s crucial that you can prove and demonstrate if it is necessary that the tenant’s deposit is protected properly and legally, otherwise you may face sanctions.
Keeping all the requirements for a successful Section 21 notice in mind can be challenging, but if you make a mistake, it will be rejected, costing you money and time to resubmit. Before submitting the notice, you should check and double-check that all parts are correct, even if you don’t have the time or money to devote to doing so.
You can find the perfect checklist at https://www.fixflo.com/section-21-checklist-update-dec-2018 to make sure that you have everything ticked and that you serve your section 21 in the right way.
At Lofti you can keep all the correct documents and forms to fill out for section 21 on the system. This can prevent the loss of any documents as well as save time and stress.
Lofti can also help you with templates to send to Tenants to serve section 21 to help ensure a smooth and effective process.