A section 21 notice is a legal document used by private landlords, letting agents or housing associations.

They use it to tell you that they want you to move out of your house, flat or room. This is also called an eviction notice or a notice seeking possession.

Section 21 notices are no fault eviction notices. If you get one, it does not mean you have done something wrong.

This notice means your landlord does not have to explain why they want you to move out. They might use it because they want to move in to or sell the property.

You might feel very worried if you get a section 21 notice.

However, you don’t have to move out of your house straight away, your landlord must tell you at least two months before they want you to move out. This is called the notice period.

If you get a notice, it is important to get advice from a professional like Shelter or Citizens Advice as soon as you can.

Tell them about your situation and show them any paperwork your landlord has given you.

This will include things like your tenancy agreement - the document you sign when you move into a new home.

They will help you to check that your landlord has followed the rules correctly. This can include:

Checking your landlord gave you all the right documents when you moved in, for example the gas safety certificate.

Checking that all the information in the notice is correct.

Checking your landlord has given you the right amount of notice.

Checking that your deposit has been protected by registering it with a special tenancy deposit protection scheme.

If your landlord has followed all the rules correctly, your section 21 notice will be valid.

This means they can use the notice to go to court to get you to leave, if you are still living in the property after the notice period ends.

You may have to pay your landlord’s costs of issuing the proceedings at court.

If you have reported repair issues in your house that have not been fixed, this could mean your notice is not valid.

Your landlord must follow different rules depending on when you moved into your house.

This means it is very confusing to work out if your landlord has done everything they should. So, it is important to talk to a professional before you decide what to do next.

If your section 21 notice is valid, you will need to find a new place to live, but don’t move out if you have nowhere else to move to.

You may want to ask the council for homeless assistance. The council could decide that you are intentionally homeless if you give up your tenancy voluntarily.

If you receive a section 21 notice and you need some advice, Citizens Advice North Herts can help you to:

. Check the validity of the s21 notice.

. Understand the procedure that your landlord must follow through to eviction.

. Understand the costs that may be involved.

. Find out about the housing options that are available to you.

. Support you to make an application for homeless assistance with the council.