Landlords, beware the 1st of October.

September 2018

From 1st October 2018 there are significant changes relating to Section 21 procedure.   These are the result of the coming into force of the Deregulation Act 2015.   Section 41 applies various requirements to assured shorthold tenancies created before 1st October 2015 (including periodic tenancies arising from such tenancies) which at present only apply to assured shorthold tenancies created from 1st October 2015 onwards.
These are:
-          Prescribed Form 6A must be used to give notice for all s 21 cases.

-          Most notices must be acted upon within 6 months of the date of service or they will expire. (there are some exceptions not  set out here for rental periods of over a month).

-          The rules against retaliatory evictions will apply.

-          A section 21 notice may no longer be given unless the landlord has provided the tenant with an energy performance certificate, a gas safety certificate and a copy of the document entitled “How to rent: the checklist for renting in England” published by the Department for Communities and Local Government. 

There is some confusion over this last requirement as although the Act makes provision for these rules to be extended to older tenancies the regulations referred to in the Act arguably do not exist at present as the only regulations in force are expressly intended to apply to tenancies granted after 1st October 2015.  Therefore, the argument goes,  the information requirements  do not apply to pre October 2015 tenancies.  Legal opinion on this is split and landlords would do well to play things safe and make sure they have served all the certificates and documents referred to above.

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