1st October 2015 - a day of change for private landlords

Today the world has become a little more complicated for residential landlords. In addition to The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015  a raft of provisions contained in the Deregulation Act 2015 also come into force today, as do the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015.

The Deregulation Act 2015 received Royal Assent in April 2015, but a number of provision relating to the Section 21 regime (for full details see our articles of March  and April have only come into force today.  

By way of brief reminder, where an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) is granted on or after 1 October 2015 in relation to a residential property in England:

  • the service of a retaliatory section 21 notice (that is, where a Landlord serve a notice in response to a Tenant raising a grievance with the property) is prohibited;
  • a 21 notice cannot be issued within the first 4 months of the tenancy;
  • where a landlord is required to give the standard 2 month section 21 notice (where the tenancy is a weekly or monthly tenancy), proceedings to recover possession of the property relying upon the section 21 notice must be issued no later than 6 months after the date the section 21 notice is served upon the Tenant;  
  • where a Landlord is required to give more than 2 months notice (where rent is paid, for example, quarterly or yearly), proceedings to recover possession of  the property relying upon the section 21 notice must be issued relying upon the section 21 notice no later than 4 months after the date specified in the section 21;
  • Section 21 notices will no longer have to expire of to be the last day of a period of the tenancy.

Under the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015:

  • Section 21 notices must be in a new prescribed form. Whilst the new form must be used in relation to new ASTs granted on or after 1 October 2015, there is no requirement for Landlords to use the new notices in relation to tenancies pre-dating 1 October;
  • Landlord's cannot serve a section 21 notice unless it has first provided to a tenant a energy performance certificate (EPC) and a Gas Safety Certificate;
  • No Section 21 notice can be provided unless "prescribed information" is provided, the prescribed information being contained in the CLG booklet "How to rent: the Checklist for renting in England";
  • A slightly amended Section 8 Notice is being introduced by the Regulations 

As with the changes introduced by the Deregulation Act 2015 referred to above, the Regulations apply only to new ASTs granted on or after 1 October 2015.

Posted on: 01/10/2015

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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