How To Fill in Form 6A: A Step-by-Step Guide
When a landlord wants to take possession of their property under Section 21 (1) or (4) of the Housing Act 1988, completing Form 6A is required in England. There is no prescribed form of notice for properties in Wales currently.
Landlords can use Form 6A for a ‘no fault’ re-possession of the property, and the landlord does not have to give a reason.
Form 6A must be used for all assured shorthold tenancies (AST) created on or after 1 October 2015 and for all tenancies from 1 October 2018 in England.
The minimum notice period the landlord must give for an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) is two months. Depending on the tenancy period, the notice period may be longer for a periodic tenancy. The tenancy agreement may also specify a longer required notice period.
Many landlords or legal professionals complete Form 6A online. It is essential to ensure all required details are present. It is a prescribed form, and you should not remove or amend any of the content.
There are certain circumstances in which you cannot use Form 6A, and there are specific pre-requisites that must be complied with before you can serve a valid Section 21 notice. This update assumes you are aware of these and have complied with the requirements before you serve notice.
Completing Form 6A for Landlords: Step-by-Step
Choosing the Correct Form
You must choose the correct Form 6A based on the type of tenancy.
Form 6A is amended from time to time, and you should always check the UK government website for the current version of the form.
- Tenant information
Complete the tenant’s details. There is the option to add more than one person. If there is more than one tenant on the tenancy agreement, all tenants must be listed here.
- Expiry date of the notice
You must specify the date when the tenant is required to leave the property. As of 1 October 2021, landlords must give a tenant a minimum of two months’ notice to leave the property.
The notice period commences from when the tenant receives or is deemed to have received the notice. You need to check your tenancy agreement to see what the provisions are on the required methods of service of notices and how notices will be deemed served. Date the form at least two months ahead and add extra days for service if the form will be sent via post – please see the section on service below.
- .Address of premises
Fill in the full address of the rental property, including the postcode.
If you are completing the form as the landlord, complete the landlord’s details, including full name, contact address, postcode and contact phone numbers. If there is more than one landlord, complete the details for each landlord.
If you are completing the form as the landlord’s agent, complete your own details.
A named signatory must sign the notice: This must be the landlord (or, in the case of joint landlords, both landlords) or the landlord’s agent. You must tick the capacity box to specify who is signing the form. You must also date the notice on the date signed.
Correct completion of Form 6A
There are many online versions of Form 6A. It’s essential to ensure you use the proper document.
Some downloadable forms have very little space for the landlord to complete their name and address or no room at all.
If the landlord fails to complete Form 6A correctly, the tenant may be able to contest the Notice.
The UK government website has all the correct forms and supporting notes.
Serving Form 6A
A landlord needs to be able to demonstrate that the tenant has received Form 6A.
Personal service, when the form is hand-delivered to the tenant, will require the landlord to complete a certificate of service confirming how the notice was served. It can be useful to take a witness or take dated photographs of delivery of the notice.
Standard postal service by first class post has a deemed date of service two working days after the date the form was posted unless the tenancy agreement specifies otherwise.
Some landlords use both postal service and email. You can only serve notice by email if this is specifically provided for in the tenancy agreement and the tenant has provided their email address for service.
If a landlord sends the notice by email before 4:30 pm on a working day, the court will deem that the tenant received it the same day unless the tenancy agreement specifies otherwise. It is advisable to use a receipted email service. Always serve the notice by post or hand delivery in addition.
It is highly advisable to take legal advice before using Form 6A to give notice to a tenant under section 21 of the 1998 Housing Act.
Correct completion of the form is essential. The service of the document also follows a strict protocol, and incorrect service can easily invalidate a notice.
All prerequisites for service of a valid 6A form must be complied with, or the tenant can contest the Notice.
Form 6A is prescribed in some circumstances but not in others. For example, a Form 6a will be invalid if the landlord failed to provide the tenant with the correct documents at the start of the tenancy. There are numerous other exceptions.
The specialist team at Helix Law can advise on the correct completion and service of Form 6A and offer guidance in the broader context of regaining possession of a property.