How should I give notice to a residential tenant to vacate my property? Commercial Property

There are two different ways to give notice to a residential tenant to vacate a property depending on your circumstances.

If the tenancy is at an end or is a periodic tenancy with no fixed end date, an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) should be terminated using a section 21 notice. A section 21 notice must always give your tenants at least two months’ notice to leave your property.

Landlords must adhere to certain requirements before a section 21 notice is served, for example, a section 21 notice will be invalid if:

  • the landlord has not protected the deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme, or
  • the property requires a licence but is unlicensed.

Additionally, a landlord cannot serve a section 21 notice unless he or she has previously provided the tenant with:

  • an energy performance certificate,
  • a copy of a gas safety certificate, and
  • a copy of DCLG: How to rent; The checklist for renting in England

Failure to comply with these requirements renders a notice invalid, which could mean a minimum 21-week delay, loss of court fees and a possible order to pay the tenant’s legal costs.

If termination is as a result of tenancy terms being broken, you should use a section 8 notice specifying which terms of the tenancy they have broken. You can give between two weeks and two months’ notice depending on which terms have been broken.

If your tenants don’t leave by the specified date, you can apply to the court for a possession order. We would recommend seeking legal advice to make sure you complete and serve your section 8 notice correctly and with the right notice periods.

Always seek legal advice.