What is Form 6a of Section 21?

Update: June 2023

In a significant shakeup of the rental sector, the Renters’ Reform Bill is anticipated to bolster the Section 8 eviction process, particularly concerning the removal of anti-social tenants. This move is likely to streamline the eviction procedure and make it more efficient for landlords dealing with disruptive renters.

Section 8, part of the Housing Act 1988, gives landlords grounds for eviction in cases of rent arrears, property damage, or anti-social behaviour. The proposed reform is expected to further amplify these powers, creating a more effective mechanism for tackling persistent anti-social conduct.

This strengthening of Section 8 evictions is seen as a counterbalance to the proposed abolition of Section 21 evictions – colloquially known as the “no fault” evictions. The move to scrap these evictions, which currently allow landlords to evict tenants without any specific reasoning at the end of their tenancy, is anticipated to provide more stability and security for renters.

Simultaneously, in a push towards longer-term security for tenants, the bill proposes changes from Fixed Term Tenancies to Periodic Tenancies, also known as ‘rolling’ tenancies. This change would mean that, instead of having a fixed end date, tenancies would continue on a month-to-month or week-to-week basis, providing flexibility for both landlords and tenants.

These legislative changes are seen by many as a means of rebalancing the power dynamics within the rental sector, offering tenants improved security whilst ensuring landlords maintain essential rights to manage their properties effectively. The Renters’ Reform Bill’s progress will undoubtedly be closely watched by tenants, landlords, and industry experts alike.

Original Article

There are certain circumstances where tenants will breach the terms of their tenancy agreement in such a way that their landlord will have no choice but to regain possession through an eviction notice. As such, it’s important for landlords to be familiar with the various notices that can be served to end a tenancy. One of the most commonly used notices is the Section 21 notice. If you’re unfamiliar with this notice or its accompanying Form 6a, don’t worry – this article will explain everything you need to know.

 

Understanding Section 21

Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 is a legal provision that allows landlords to regain possession of their property at the end of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) without having to provide a reason. There are two types of Section 21 notices: “Section 21(1)(b)” and “Section 21(4)(a)”. The former is used for fixed-term tenancies, while the latter is used for periodic tenancies.

In order to issue a valid Section 21 notice, landlords must comply with several requirements, including serving the notice in writing and providing the tenant with at least two months’ notice.

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What is Form 6a?

Form 6a is a legal document that must accompany a Section 21 notice. Introduced in 2015 to simplify the Section 21 process and standardise the information provided to tenants, it provides tenants with notice that their landlord intends to regain possession of the property and specifies the date on which the notice expires.

When to use Form 6a

Landlords should use Form 6a whenever they issue a Section 21 notice to their tenant. There are several scenarios in which a landlord may wish to regain possession of their property, including when they need to sell the property or move into it themselves.

It’s important to note that landlords cannot use a Section 21 to evict a tenant if they haven’t complied with their legal obligations, such as providing the tenant with copies of compliance documents or protecting the tenant’s deposit in a government-approved scheme.

Completing Form 6a

Form 6a has several sections that must be completed correctly for the notice to be valid. Landlords must provide their name and address, the tenant’s name and address, and the date on which the notice is being served. They must also specify the date on which the notice expires, as a common mistake landlords often make when completing Form 6a include failing to specify the correct notice period (currently two months), which can invalidate the notice. 

Serving Form 6a

Form 6a can be served on the tenant in several ways, including in person, by post, or by email (if the tenant has agreed to receive documents electronically). It’s important to keep a record of how the notice was served, as failure to serve the notice correctly can render it invalid.

If the notice is not served correctly, landlords may need to start the process again, which can be costly and time-consuming.

Conclusion

Form 6a is a crucial document in the Section 21 process, and it’s important for landlords to understand how to use it correctly. By complying with the requirements for issuing a valid notice, completing Form 6a correctly, and serving the notice in the correct way, landlords can regain possession of their property with minimal hassle.

If you have any questions or concerns about the Section 21 process, it’s always a good idea to seek professional advice. A qualified letting agent or solicitor can provide guidance on how to comply with the legal requirements and ensure that the process runs smoothly. 

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