Government updated forms needed to serve Section 8 and 21 notices
On 1 June 2021, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government made updates to the prescribed forms a landlord or letting agent would use to serve a Section 8 or Section 21 repossession notice.
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What is a prescribed form?
A prescribed form is the form that must be used in order to legally propose or do something e.g. serve a notice to a tenant. These forms are carefully drafted and published by the government so that they can be understandable to both parties, both the one filling in the form and the one it is being sent to. Generally, the wording or format of prescribed forms cannot be changed, otherwise it will be invalid. Furthermore, if a certain action requires a prescribed form and a party does not use one, then that action will be invalin and they will need to start the process again using the correct form.
What is a Form 3?
Form 3 is a notice for seeking possession of a property let on an assured tenancy, an assured shorthold tenancy, or an assured agricultural occupancy. It should be used when serving a Section 8 Notice i.e. the type of eviction used when a tenant is in breach of the tenancy agreement and the landlord wants to repossess the property.
The updated Form 3 which can be found here reflects the new notice periods which must be observed when terminating a tenancy between 1 June 2021 and 30 September 2021. There are 17 grounds in Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1988 on which this notice can be served, and the notice period varies depending on the ground the landlord is relying on. The notice periods under the updated Form 3 are summarised below.
This follows the last update to the form, which included details of the Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020. If you would like to create a section 8 notice, read our detailed section 8 notice tutorial.
What is a Form 6A?
Form 6A is a notice for a no fault possession of a property let on an AST. It is used when possession is sought under section 21(1) or (4) of the Housing Act 1988, and the landlord does not have to give a reason for wanting the property back.
The updated Form 6A which can be found here reflects the 4 month long notice period which must be observed when terminating a tenancy between 1 June 2021 and 30 September 2021. If a tenancy started on a periodic basis without an initial fixed term, then the tenant may be entitled to a longer notice period of up to 6 months if the rental period is half a year or a year long. It is crucial to use an up-to-date Form 6A and follow all the other rules, otherwise the Section 21 Notice becomes invalid under the Deregulation Act 2015.
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How to fill in a Form 6A?
In order to serve this form, you must first fill out the form and serve it to the tenant. The Form 6A needs to be addressed to the tenants and should include the address of the property, the date they are required to vacate the property as well as the landlord's details. Please note you cannot use this form if it is less than 4 months since the tenancy started, the property is a HMO and requires a licence under Part 2 of the Housing Act 2004 S55 unless an exemption applies, the property is under residential accommodation and requires a licence under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004 S79 unless an exemption applies, the tenancy is a statutory periodic tenancy, the council has served an improvement notice or an emergency remedial notice in the last 6 months and if the landlord has not repaid any unlawful fees or deposits they charged the tenant. For more information please find the government guidance note here.
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The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.