Section 21 Notice
Section 21 Notice and the Deregulation Act
A Section 21 Notice is used by a landlord (giving at least 2 months notice) to gain possession of a property that has been let/ rented under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST). If the tenancy started after April 2007, the tenant’s deposit must also have been placed with a government approved tenancy deposit scheme.
The Deregulation Act 2015
The Deregulation Act, from 1 October 2015, changes the section 21 notice process for new tenancies in England. The Regulations apply in their entirety only to ASTs that are granted on or after the 1 October 2015. We wrote about this proposed change in regulation earlier this year in residential lettings law bill currently under consideration in parliament. The changes summarized are as follows:
New Timeframe for Serving a Section 21 Notice
Landlords will not be able to validly serve a section 21 notice within the first four months of a tenancy and a section 21 notice will be invalid if proceedings are not issued within 6 months of service.
The acts or omissions of a landlord or their agent can prevent a section 21 notice from being validly served for up to six months. For example, if the agent or landlord has failed to provide an adequate response to a tenant’s complaint for maintenance, the tenant has followed the correct procedure and further complains to their local authority which results in a Relevant Notice from the local authority about the condition of the property.
Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Also invalidating a Section 21 Notice is:
1) If the landlord has failed to comply with the new regulations in regards to smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. Landlords are now required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties, effective from October 2015. The law requires landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property and test them at the start of every tenancy. Landlords would also need to install carbon monoxide alarms in high risk rooms – such as those where a solid fuel heating system is installed.
2) if the tenant is not provided with required information such as EPC (Energy Performance Certificate), Gas Inspection Certificate and the How To Rent guide for tenants. Providing additional copies of these at the point a Section 21 Notice is served would avoid arguments as to whether or not they were provided.
New Prescribed Section 21 Notice
Landlords, please visit legislation.gov.uk to update your current Section 21 Notice with the new prescribed information.