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Latest legal advice on Section 21 notices

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Section 21 notices are a daily part of a letting agent's working life, but following recent court rulings, it's become clear that the existing practices of some agents may result in cases being thrown out of court.

It's an unfortunate fact that there are times when an agent has no choice but to take action to evict tenants from a property on behalf of their landlord client.  

One of the options which is often relied upon is to issue a Section 21 notice to evict tenants from a property who are on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. Also known as a 'no fault eviction', Section 21 notices may be issued because the landlord wants the property back to sell on, or that they want to move back in themselves. A Section 21 notice allows them to do this, provided certain criteria are met. 

However, agents need to be careful to ensure they executing a notice in the correct way otherwise they can run into problems as agents have recently found out.

The technicalities of the latest court rulings revolve around Section 44 of the Companies Act 2006, which outline what is required when a company 'executes' a document on behalf of a third party (e.g. a letting agent acting on behalf of a landlord). It's fairly common practice at the moment that any competent member of staff will endorse the agent's name or sign on behalf of them, but this practice has now been bought into question.

ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive David Cox said: "Whilst this isn't yet established legal precedent, it's starting to become more common practice in courts across the country. Therefore, agents may want to consider changing their current practices to safeguard themselves against the possibility of Section 21 notices being thrown out of court"

Giving you the best chance of success

To ensure you comply, please download the latest advice from Dutton Gregory Solicitors.

You can also contact the ARLA Propertymark Legal Helpline on 0330 124 1212 if you need further advice. You'll need your membership details to hand when you call.

Members can also download our fact sheets on Section 21 Notices via the members' area of the website. We have two available for download - Changes to Section 21 Notices and  Tenancy Deposits and the use of Section 21 Notices.