A section 21 Notice is used when a landlord requires the tenant to vacate a rented property by a specified date. It must be used to legally terminate an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST).
As of 29th August (2020), landlords must now provide at least 6 month’s-notice period, prior to seeking possession through the courts in most cases (www.gov.uk).
This is only relevant if you have problems with your tenant. They might not be paying their rent or they could have caused damage and you just want them to leave.
With this in mind, due diligence becomes even more important as landlords hope to avoid nightmare tenants.
To help me with the vetting process, I am going to use a local letting agent (Lettings Express) for rental no.5.
They will do all of the credit checks and take care of all the legal side of things (up to date information on the 6 month-notice period for example).
In addition to the ‘Let Only Service’ they will provide, they are also going to produce a detailed Inventory Report.
This is an extensive (time stamped) report that gives a full schedule of condition of the property prior to any tenant moving in.
The report will include numerous pictures and detailed descriptions on the condition of the property. The report covers things like:
- Grass / lawn
- Garden / grounds
- Exterior windows
- Interior windows
- Carpets / flooring
- Kitchen appliances
- Light fittings
- Smoke alarms
The professional services offered by Lettings Express, will hopefully get me a decent tenant so I don’t even have to think about Section 21.
A bonus is that if things go South, I have everything on an inventory report from the start and this will help me deal with the legal side of things if I manage to get a tenant from Hell.
This will help if I have some issues with the DPS (Deposit Protection Scheme) also. Imagine I don’t have an inventory and the tenant from Hell leaves with x2 month rent arrears (roughly £1000) and also gets their deposit back.
Although I have been a Landlord for 18 years, overall, I have been an average Landlord at best. Working with a Lettings Agent who manages over 500 properties has shown me how to be more professional and I have learned a few things that I will use going forward.
If like me, you manage your own properties, I would work alongside a Lettings agent. They can help you find a tenant and make sure you are legally covered. It is very easy to get left behind with all the legislation changes that have happened over recent years.
If you have a portfolio, they could manage it for you to make it more passive. You can also learn from them as they are likely to have a proven systemised business model that you can benefit from.