Further changes to Section 21 came into force as of 1st October 2018 and will affect landlords who have tenants on assured shorthold tenancies that began before October 2015. The Deregulation Act 2015 introduced a number of important changes to when a landlord may serve a Section 21 Notice in order to regain possession of their property. The Act is designed to improve the possession process for landlords and tenants. Since October 2015 it has been a requirement to use the correct prescribed form when serving a Section 21 called a form 6A and that the Section 21 notice cannot be issued until certain requirements have been met.
Landlords cannot validly serve a Section 21 Notice in the first four months of a tenancy. However, where a tenancy has been renewed the landlord will be able to serve a Section 21 Notice at any point during a renewed tenancy.
Landlords will not be able to serve a Section 21 Notice on tenancies that begin on or after 1st October 2015 unless they have provided tenants with the following information:
- • A Gas Safety Certificate covering all fixed as well as portable gas
appliances provided by the landlord for the tenants’ use. For more
information see our fact sheets on gas safety.
• The property’s Energy Performance Certificates (EPC); except where a
property is not required to have an EPC.
• The Department for Communities and Local Government’s How to
rent: The checklist for renting in England. This can
be provided digitally or as a hard copy if the tenant requests it, or
does not have computer access. Agents and landlords should not
simply supply a link to where the document can be found. This should
be given at the start of a new tenancy. This must be the current version.
• The Prescribed Information relating to the protection of a tenants’
Landlords will no longer be able to seek possession using Section 21:
1. During the first four months of the tenancy, or, in the case of a
renewed tenancy, during the first four months of the original tenancy;
2. Where the landlord is prevented from retaliatory eviction under
section 33 of the Deregulation Act 2015;
3. Where the landlord has not complied with the Required Information
4. Where the landlord has not complied with the tenancy deposit
protection legislation; or
5. Where a property requires a licence but is unlicensed.
CHANGES TO SECTION 21 AS OF 1ST OCTOBER 2018
As of 1st October 2018 ALL of the above criteria will apply to all tenancies on an assured shorthold tenancy regardless of the start date. This will have implications for landlords who have long standing tenants who have been in the property for many years. These landlords will now need to work through their administration to ensure everything is in place if they want to recover possession of the property under Section 21.
If you have long term tenants and you are worried that you do not have all that is required to be compliant in place then why not give us a call on 01245 835859 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get some advice.
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