Section 21 and Section 8 Notices to Quit

What is Notice to Quit

This is a document issued by a landlord or owner to a tenant, notifying the latter to leave the premises owned by the former; hence the terms ‘notice to quit.’ Notice of this nature gives a tenant a specific date to vacate and settle unpaid and overdue rentals or other concerns which violates the terms of the lease contract. The tenant is usually given a 30-day period to settle his accounts with the landlord or owner. 

What are the Contents of a Notice to Quit

A notice to quit contains details including specific names of persons ordered to vacate the premises, regardless of whether the agreement of their tenancy was written or oral, the total sum of unpaid rentals and other delinquency, the period covered by the accrued amount, and information as to whom the vacated property should be surrendered. Should the terms of the lease agreement be on a month-to-month basis, notice to quit may be issued anytime, regardless of default to pay rentals or violation of the tenancy agreement.

When and How Notice to Quit is Issued

Different states belonging to the United Kingdom have different laws on tenancy. But the generally accepted procedure for service of this notice is made at least three months before the specified date to vacate. The notice must be served in person to the tenant or posted in a conspicuous place of the tenant’s residence, such as the front door with a notice that a copy was sent to the tenant by registered mail. Upon service of the notice and failure of the tenant to vacate after the given period entitles the landlord to institute a lawsuit for unlawful detainer, also known as ‘eviction,’ against the tenant.

Sections 8 and 21 Notices

Section 8 Notice to Quit

Also known as ‘Section 8 possession notice,’ Section 8 notice to quit is a provision culled from Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988. This kind of notice to quit is served on the tenant by a landlord who seeks to regain possession of the property subject of the tenancy agreement while the fixed term of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) is still in force. The Section 8 notice, however, is only applicable when the tenant committed breach of tenancy agreement, the most common of which is non-payment of rentals. This section also provides 17 grounds for a landlord to seek repossession of his property from a tenant before the expiration of the Assured Shorthold Tenancy.

Once the landlord complies with the service of this notice and upon failure or refusal of the tenant to leave the premises, the former may now apply for an order of possession from the court. Thereafter, the landlord may evict the tenant from the premises.

Section 21 Notice to Quit

Just like the Section 8 notice, the Section 21 notice to quit was culled from the Housing Act 1988. This differs from Section 8 in that this notice is given by a landlord who seeks repossession of the premises subject to the tenancy agreement after the expiration of the period for an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. While a landlord has the right to regain possession of his property after the expiration of the agreement, he is nevertheless bound by law to observe the correct procedure in recovering the same.

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For more information on:

  • Assured Shorthold Tenancy
  • The Landlord and Tenant Act of 1987