I have previously summarised the new rules under the Deregulation Act 2015 which apply to Assured Shorthold Tenancies.
A new prescribed Section 21 Notice has now been issued under The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015. These will come into force on the 1st October 2015.
The new Section 21 Notice therein applies to assured shorthold tenancies granted on or after 1st October 2015. The new rules will not apply to a fixed term assured shorthold tenancy granted before 1st October 2015 even if the tenancy continues as a statutory periodic tenancy after that date (although this will change from 1st October 2018).
The new Section 21 Notice cannot be used where:-
- The tenant has resided in the property for less than four months.
- The landlord is prevented from retaliatory eviction under Section 33 of the Deregulation Act 2015.
- The landlord has not complied with the requirements below.
- The landlord has not protected the deposit.
- The property require a licence but one has not been obtained.
Whilst, undoubtedly, the Section 21 Notice is now easier to complete, the new requirements that apply have scope for tripping up landlords and agents. Currently, it is common that landlords and/or agents incorrectly complete a Section 21 Notice where, for example, a Statutory Periodic Tenancy is running. The need to identify correct dates on which the Notice expires caused landlords and agents problems. Whilst that requirement is now to be dispensed with under the new regulations, there are three new requirements that must be met before a landlord can serve a Section 21 Notice. These are:-
- The tenant must be provided with an Energy Performance Certificate.
- The tenant must be provided with a copy of a Gas Safety Certificate.
- The tenant must be provided with a copy of the booklet entitled “DCLG:How to rent: The checklist for renting in England”.
A Section 21 Notice cannot be served by a landlord at any time when the above requirements have not been complied with.
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