Letting for a 6 month fixed term, all rent paid in advance - when can I serve Section 21 notice to ensure I can regain possession?

Due to temporary relocation, I am letting my home for a fixed term of 6 months. I have a question about ensuring I can regain possession.

I understand that if the rental period is monthly, I cannot validly serve a Section 21 notice or make use of the break clause in the Open Rent standard AST until 4 months have elapsed from commencement of the tenancy.

However, is this affected if a prospective tenant wishes to pay 6 months’ rent up front? I will ensure that the agreement states clearly that the rent is due monthly, not six-monthly. Can I still validly serve the Section 21 at 4 months?

Hi Ben,

Yes, as you say, paying six months’ rent in advance does not mean that the period of the tenancy will be considered six-monthly, as long as the tenancy agreement specifies a monthly period and the payment is clearly described as rent in advance for six rental period, as opposed to one period’s payment.

Assuming you meet all the othe criteria of serving a valid Section 21 eviction, you should still be able to serve a S21 notice once the minimum period of four months has expired.

It is important to note that if you are moving back into a property you once lived in, and you include a term to this effect in the tenancy agreement, then you will be able to serve a Section 8 eviction notice, too, since moving into a property you used as your primary residence is one of the grounds for Section 8.

Obviously it would be fair and best practice to let any tenant moving in know that you plan to reposess the property after 6 months.


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