Eviction and the cost of getting it wrong

With the government’s recent announcement on the current rules in place around the banning of bailiff evictions (apart from in a set of specific serious circumstances) that were due to end on the 21st February and having been extended until the 31st March, I thought I would bring landlords up to speed with some information relating to the minefield in serving a Section 21 notice.

The pressures put on tenants and landlords alike through the pandemic are immense with some tenants losing their employment and landlords not receiving rent through rent arrears and therefore in some cases, defaulting on mortage payments.


300,000 case backlog in the court system

800,000 tenants in arrears

18 fold increase in arrears

200 new judges employed (some with and some without experience)

The figures above demonstrate we are in unprecedented times. The changes in legislation not only relate to a ban in bailiff evictions and the length of notice needed. The changes also relate to how a section 21 is served. This makes it so much more difficult for agents and landlords to get it right. Professional knowledge and experience is vital. Without the competency to get it right first time when serving notice could cause unbelievably lengthy delays but also cause huge financial headaches. Let’s face it, if landlords or agents make one small error in the serving a Section 21 notice, it is probably not going to be realised until the papers are served to the courts and go in front of the judge. More than likely some 9 months or more down the line.

To demonstrate this, I’ve listed below 15 reasons why a Section 21 notice may not be valid.

 Reason for Invalidity     Outline Description 
 Correct up to date form?  Form 6A is prescribed and must be the latest form published
  Served correctly?  Is there a service clause in the agreement?
  Has it been 4 months from start of tenancy? Check Agreement hasn’t renewed commencement date
  Notice expires before end of current term? Is there a break clause in the Agreement? (not periodic)
  Expiry date correct? 6 months from date of service (not sending)
  Is Notice still valid? (alive) Notice ceases to be valid 10 months from date of issue
  Deposit protected? Within thirty days from taking the money
  PI served within 30 days On all relevant parties (who paid deposit) including latest H2R guide
  GSC, EPC & Electrical Certificates served In date, current and served on time
  If PI not served by the LL, was it signed by Partner/Director  Requirements for formal signing under the Companies Acts 2006 s44
  Is property an HMO?  If yes, valid HMO Licence seen?
  Is property Licenced Accommodation?  If yes, valid LA licence seen?
  Has Local Auth issued a Relevant Notice?  If yes, has 6 months passed since issue of Notice?
  Is form 6A signed properly?  Can be signed by member of your firm.
  Tenants Fees Ban complied with?  Check deposit within limits and fees charged

At Northwood, we’re confident we have the correct paperwork, procedures and support in place to get it right first time and every time. If you’re a landlord and need some advice or have any concerns, please get in touch. Even if we don’t manage your property, I’m more than happy to give you my time on an initial consultation free of charge.

Call 01228 53400 or email carlisle@northwooduk.com

Follow the link link to download our ebook on all thing legal for landlords:


Carlisle Property Overview

I thought I’d take the opportunity to update everyone on how our fair city Carlisle is broken down by property type, are we a city of renters or home owners?, what type of properties do we live in and do we have enough property, so I’ll look here at what’s happening in the new build sector.


Carlisle has over 60% of people living in a property they either own outright or own their property with a mortgage. This outstrips both the North West and National average. Surprisingly there are only 15.1% of people who are privately renting. I personally thought this would be much higher and it does show we are still a country who have an obsession and drive to own our own property, unlike our European neighbours.

The next census figures should make for interesting reading. I expect a shift in these figures.


There are 35113 properties in our local area (CA1, Ca2, CA3, CA4, CA5, CA6 and CA8 post codes).

The most popular dwelling is not surprisingly a semi-detached property, very similar to the North West figures. Much less of us are living in flats or apartments, compared to the North West. I personally like this and believe Carlisle has enough flats or apartments to meet demand. Following the covid-19 outbreak, there has been a massive surge in people’s desire towards properties with gardens and home working space.


The trend is thankfully on the up but does still not meet demand. In the last 5 years there has been 1970 new homes built in Carlisle. Thankfully a proportion of the are low cost and affordable properties, meaning more are available to a greater proportion of potential buyers. this is great for those people with aspirations to get their own little bit of Carlisle.

I expect this trend to continue to rise and is not only good for our city and those people who want a new home, its positive for the overall housing market as well as there is a massive knock on effect with the current housing stock.

My next report will look at affordability but if anyone wants to pick my brains or needs any advice, please get in touch on 01228 534000 or gordonadamson@northwooduk.com

Stay safe everyone.

Best regards, Gordon