It has never been thus. It’s not the day you serve the notice that matters but the amount of notice you give to tenants. (Save as in the last section below).
- For most situations now, this will be not less than two months.
- For the remaining older tenancies where you need to serve a section 21(4) notice, it will be not less than two months ending at the end of a period of the tenancy.
Section 21(4) situations
I think it must be section 21(4) which is the reason people think this. But section 21 (4) is all about the date the notice ends. Not the date it is served (as in, the date it is given to the tenant).
So when serving a s21(4) notice you have to work out what the ‘last day of a period of the tenancy’ is, and make sure that your notice ends on the next one after two months after you serve your notice. For monthly tenancies, therefore, the notice period will be between two and three months, depending on when in the month you serve your notice.
It is possible for tenants to challenge notices based on when they were served. But this is not going to be “Ha ha, your notice is invalid because you served it on Thursday and the rent day is Wednesday”. The day they pay their rent has nothing to do with it.
However, they will be able to say “Ha ha, your notice is invalid because you handed it to me on Thursday which means that I did not get enough notice”. When perhaps if you had served it on the Wednesday, your notice period would have been sufficient.
Deregulation Act changes
For the first time, we do now have a prohibition on serving notices on certain days. Under the Deregulation Act 2015, for tenancies which start or are renewed on or after 1 October 2015, you cannot serve your section 21 during the first four months of the original (i.e. not the renewal) tenancy.
But other than that – you can serve your section 21 notice on any day you like. So long as you give the correct notice period.
And of course, assuming you get everything else right (discussed elsewhere).
If you are looking to serve a section 21 notice on your tenants, note that you get extensive guidance with my Landlord Law service.