Oct
05

Section 21 – New Rules

Everyone has been banging on about the changes effective from 1 October 2015, so what’s it all about?

The Deregulation Act 2015 has introduced a raft of new legislation effective from 1 October and a very important change has been to the “Landlord’s Friend” the Section 21 – no fault eviction notice.

This change only applies to NEW Assured Shorthold Tenancies starting from 1 October 2015, however once we get to 1 October 2018, it will affect all tenancies no matter when they started.

So what are the changes?

  • A Section 21 Notice cannot be served on the tenant(s) until month 4 of the fixed term – no more serving at the outset of the tenancy.
  • A valid Gas Safety Certificate must be in place.
  • A valid Energy Performance Certificate must be in place.
  • If a Security Deposit has been taken, then the Prescribed Information must have been served correctly within the 30 days time limit.
  • The DCLG booklet “How to Rent” must have been given to the tenant(s) at or before the time of signing the tenancy agreement.
  • There must be no Improvement Notice issued by the local council for the property.  If there is, then a Section 21 cannot be issued for another six months after the work contained in the improvement notice has been completed and signed off by the local council.
  • The new Section 21 has a shelf-life of 6 months – use it or lose it.

These are just the basic changes.

There is an onus on the Landlord or Letting Agent to get all the paperwork correct at the beginning of, during and at the end of the tenancy.  These changes have been introduced to offset the threat of Retaliatory Evictions – something no-one wants, no matter how small the actual percentage of retaliatory evictions in England actually is.

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