Understanding the Types of Notice

Selecting the appropriate type is the first step in effectively serving notice to a tenant. In London’s luxury rental market, landlords primarily rely on two key notices: Section 21 and Section 8. Understanding the purpose and application of each is crucial for ensuring a compliant and efficient termination process.

  • Section 21 Notice (no-fault eviction): This notice allows a landlord to regain possession of their property at the end of a fixed-term tenancy agreement without providing a reason for eviction. However, specific requirements must be met. Firstly, the tenancy agreement must be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST), the most common type in London. Secondly, the deposit must be lodged in a government-approved deposit protection scheme. Finally, the correct form must be used, and the proper notice period (usually two months) must be given. Section 21 notices offer flexibility for landlords who don’t require the property to be vacant immediately, but it may not be ideal if the tenant has breached the tenancy agreement.
  • Section 8 Notice (eviction for breach of tenancy terms): This notice allows a landlord to evict a tenant early due to violating the tenancy agreement. There are various grounds for issuing a Section 8 notice,  including rent arrears, damage to the property, or anti-social behaviour. The specific grounds used will determine the required notice period. Section 8 notices provide landlords with a mechanism to address problematic tenancies,  but the eviction process can be more complex than Section 21.


Choosing the correct notice hinges on the specific circumstances. Landlords seeking to reclaim the property at the end of a tenancy and without citing tenant fault should use a Section 21 notice. However, a Section 8 notice is the appropriate course of action if a tenant has breached the agreement. It is always recommended to consult with a solicitor or a professional letting agent, such as Crown Luxury Homes, who is familiar with London’s specific tenancy regulations to ensure the most suitable notice is selected.

Check Your Tenancy Agreement

Before serving a notice, carefully reviewing the tenancy agreement is essential. This document serves as the foundation of the landlord-tenant relationship, outlining the rights and responsibilities of both parties. The tenancy agreement may contain specific clauses regarding notice periods and procedures for terminating the tenancy. These clauses may differ from the statutory minimum requirements outlined in Section 21 or Section 8 notices.

For instance, the tenancy agreement might stipulate a more extended notice period than the standard two months required by a Section 21 notice. Landlords must adhere to these provisions to ensure compliance and avoid potential legal challenges from the tenant. The agreement may also specify a preferred method for serving notice, such as recorded or in-person delivery. Following these outlined procedures demonstrates good practice and strengthens the landlord’s position in the termination process.

By thoroughly reviewing the tenancy agreement, landlords can ensure they select the correct notice type, provide the appropriate notice period, and follow the agreed-upon procedures for serving notice. This careful approach minimises the risk of delays or complications during the tenancy termination process.

Serving Notice Correctly

Once you have identified the appropriate notice type and reviewed the tenancy agreement, it is time to serve it to your tenant. Following these steps will ensure a smooth and legally compliant process:


1: Deliver the Notice in Writing

  • A physical copy of the notice must be delivered to the tenant. Electronic notices are generally only considered valid in the UK if explicitly permitted by the tenancy agreement.


2: Specify the Reason for Termination (Section 8 Only)

  • If utilising a Section 8 notice, clearly outline the specific breach of tenancy agreement that justifies eviction. Documentary evidence supporting the claim, such as rent arrears statements or noise complaints, should be included.


3:  Provide the Required Notice Period

  • Adhere to the notice period stipulated in the chosen notice type (typically two months for Section 21) or the period outlined in the tenancy agreement, whichever is longer.


4:  Proof of Service is Crucial

Always maintain a record of serving the notice. Recommended methods include:

  • Recorded Delivery: Obtain a certificate and the date the tenant received the notice as proof of delivery.
  • Personal Service: When handing the notice directly to the tenant, have a witness present. The witness should sign a document stating the date and time of service.
  • Left at the Property: If you can’t reach the tenant in person, consider leaving the notice at the property address. Take a time-stamped photo as evidence, and ensure the notice is placed securely through the letterbox.


Following the correct procedure for serving notice is critical to avoid potential disputes or legal challenges from the tenant.

Maintaining Communication

Serving a notice can be a stressful experience for tenants. During this transition period, open communication between landlord and tenant is critical. Here is how you can create a smooth process.

  • Provide Clear Information:  Once the notice is served,  explain the next steps clearly and concisely. Outline any expectations regarding returning keys, property inspections, or forwarding mail. Providing a written summary of these details alongside the notice is a helpful practice.
  • Be Responsive and Approachable:  Maintain open communication channels throughout the notice period. Be prepared to answer tenant questions about the termination process or address any concerns they may have. A prompt and professional demeanour goes a long way in building trust and minimising misunderstandings.
  • Offer Support (when applicable):  If the tenant is facing difficulties finding alternative accommodation, consider offering some support. This could involve providing a list of reputable letting agents or resources to assist with their search. While not an obligation, such gestures demonstrate goodwill and can foster a more positive conclusion to the tenancy.

By maintaining open communication and offering support throughout the notice period, landlords can promptly eliminate misunderstandings, address tenant concerns, and ensure a smoother transition for all parties. Building a positive relationship with tenants, even during a termination, can leave a lasting impression and benefit you through positive word-of-mouth recommendations.


Understanding the intricacies of serving notice to tenants is a crucial skill for landlords operating in London’s luxury rental market. This guide has equipped you with the knowledge to navigate the process effectively.

Follow the outlined steps to ensure a legally compliant and smooth termination process, including selecting the correct notice type, adhering to the tenancy agreement, and maintaining open communication with tenants.