Landing in October this year there will be further Section 21 Notice changes relating to Assured Shorthold Tenancies.
THE HERE AND NOW.
The requirements in relation to how and when Section 21 Notices are used for Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England have been constantly evolving over the last few years. Major changes came in to being in October 2015 under the provisions of the Deregulation Act 2015.
This led to extra steps a landlord had to take to be able to use a Section 21 Notice. These included:
the introduction of a new prescribed Section 21 form
the provision of an EPC certificate to the tenant
the provision of a gas safety certificate to the tenant at the commencement of the tenancy
the provision of the “How to Rent” Guide to the tenant (although this does not apply to registered providers of social housing)
the introduction of new retaliatory eviction protections
new time limits for when a Section 21 Notice can be used (not until 4 months after the tenancy start date, and not later than 6 months after service)
Since October 2015, these changes have only applied to tenancies granted after that date. However, as from October 2018 they will (in the main) apply to all Assured Shorthold Tenancies. The exception to this is the requirement to serve the “How to Rent Guide” because it did not exist prior to the introduction of legislation in October 2015.
One of the most important changes is that all Section 21 Notices from this date will need to be in the prescribed form. It is therefore very important for landlords to make use of the prescribed Section 21 Notice form and not rely on older versions that they may have used in the past or kept as templates.
Landlords are also well advised to carry out a ‘health-check’ of any on-going tenancies, especially those pre-dating October 2015, to ensure that all the requirements are in place to enable them to use the Section 21 process smoothly in the future.
If you'd like to chat about this in further detail please email Joe Warren, or get in touch on 07843613581.
Landlords also should be aware that a new version of the ‘How to Rent’ guide was produced on 26 June 2018 which should be used for all new tenancies from that date in place of previous versions. A copy of the latest version of this guide is available from the gov.uk website.