3 June 2024

Section 21 allows landlords to end Assured Shorthold Tenancies. As the Renters (Reform) Bill has not become law, Section 21 is still in effect and can be used.

Last updated: 3 June 2024

As the Renters (Reform) Bill did not become law before the general election, landlords and letting agents can still use Section 21 to end assured shorthold tenancies.

The abolishment of section 21 no-fault evictions was originally part of the Conservative Party's manifesto in 2019. The government planned to abolish this section through the Renters (Reform) Bill. 

However, since the announcement of the general election, the bill and section 21 were not abolished in time before the government closed before the election.

As the bill did not pass, letting agents and landlords can still use section 21 for assured shorthold tenancies. 

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Here's a breakdown of what you need to know:

What is section 21?

A section 21 notice allows a landlord to evict a tenant by providing them with two months' notice once their fixed term contract has come to an end. 

Landlords aren’t required to provide their tenants with a reason for the eviction, hence the phrase “no-fault” eviction. In contrast, to serve a section 8 notice, the landlord needs to prove that the tenant has broken the terms of the tenancy agreement.

In April 2024, housing charity Shelter published data estimating that 830,000 tenants were evicted over the last 12 months - with around 190,000 likely being served a legal eviction notice, like a section 21.

When can't a letting agent or landlord use a section 21 notice?

According to the government website, there are times when a letting agent or landlord can't use a section 21 notice.

Some conditions include:

  • If the tenancy started less than four months ago or a fixed-term tenancy has not ended. However, a landlord can use a section 21 notice if there is a clause in the contract
  • If the property is a house in multiple occupation (HMO) but the landlord does not have an HMO license from their council
  • If the tenancy started after April 2007, and the tenant deposit isn't in a deposit protection scheme
  • If a council notice has been served in the last six months that says it will do emergency works on the property
  • If a landlord has not repaid any unlawful fees or deposits that were charged to the tenant - read the guidance for landlords on the Tenant Fees Act 2019

Landlords have to make sure they provide all the appropriate copies of the property's Energy Performance Certificate, the government's How to Rent guide and gas safety certificates, otherwise, they cannot use a section 21 notice. 

Landlords must provide gas certificates and How to Rent guides before a tenant moves into their property, and the Energy Performance Certificates they've agreed to rent the property. 

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How much notice needs to be given with a section 21 notice?

When a landlord gives their tenant a section 21 notice, they must provide two months notice for them to leave the property.

If there is a "contractual" periodic tenancy, which is when a fixed-term tenancy has ended and moves to periodic, a landlord may need to give a longer notice period.

According to the government website: "The amount of notice must be the same as the rental period, if this is more than 2 months. For example, if your tenant pays rent every 3 months, you must give 3 months’ notice".

Will section 21 notices ever be abolished?

Before the announcement of a general election to take place on 4 July, the Renters (Reform) Bill was in the report stage of the House of Lords. 

However, as the bill did not pass before parliament was dissolved for the general election, it will need to go through the same process all over again if it were to become law.

This doesn't mean we will never see the end of section 21. A lot of political parties, such as Labour and Liberal Democrats plan to abolish the section if they win the general election.

Landlords and letting agents need to keep up to date with all political party's manifestos to understand their approach to the private housing sector and how it may affect their business.  

How do letting agents and landlords feel about the abolition of section 21?

In 2022, 71% of landlords believed abolishing section 21 would have a negative impact on the lettings industry, according to Goodlord and Vouch's State of the Lettings Industry Report 2022. 

However, in the 2023 edition of the report, this dropped to 62%.

At the same time, the number of landlords feeling neutral about the change has risen from 12% to 29%. 

In contrast, in 2022, 27% of letting agents believed the abolition of section 21 would have a positive impact. In 2023, this number had dropped to just 11%. 


This article is intended as a guide only and does not constitute legal advice. For more information, visit

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