New Legislation – Section 21 Notice

The new Section 21 Notice is for use with new tenancies after 1st October 2015 and all tenancies after 1st October 2018.

A new Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) Section 21 notice has been released which aims to simplify the possession claim process and reduce errors. Statistics show that a very high proportion of possessions claims submitted to the courts by landlord and agents are rejected on technical ground, most commonly because the notice dates are wrong in relation to the tenancy end date.

Now, the two previous Section 21 notices are to be combined into one single notice to be used for both fixed-term and periodic tenancies, without the need for complicated end-dates previously required with periodic tenancies.

Under the new regulations, landlords submitting claims for possession (Section 210 will need to provide evidence that they have provided:

  • Their tenants with EPC’S (Energy Performance Certificate), and where appropriate Gas Safety Certificates.
  • Their tenants with the current version of the DCLG Booklet on “How to Rent”.
  • A current Tenancy Agreement.
  • A correctly served Section 21 Notice with proof of service.
  • Where applicable, details of the deposit protection and proof of service of the prescribed information (s213) notice.
  • Where applicable, details of the tenancy licensing arrangements.

These new regulations apply to new tenancies from 1st October 2015, and then to all tenancies from 1st October 2018.

The new regulations will require landlords to have served the key items of information above to their tenants BEFORE they can serve a valid combined new Section 21(1) and Section 21(4) notice. Note, the new notice is a prescribed form notice which must include certain prescribed information.

Whereas until now it was possible to serve a Section 21 notice at any time during the tenancy term, including from the 1st day, and effectively there was no expiry date, now the notice cannot be served until 4 months after the tenancy starts and expires after 6 months from serving.

In addition, a valid Section 21 notice cannot be served for 6 months after a tenant has complained about repairs and a local authority has issued an improvement notice.

Where a landlord fails to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), and when appropriate a Gas Safety Certificate (GSC), tenants are no longer required to conform to the one-month or 28 period of notice to quit, for a periodic tenancy. (No tenant’s notice to quit is required in a fixed-term AST)

Landlords are also required to provide their tenants (via email – if they agree) with the most up to date version of the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) document titled “How to Rent: the checklist for renting in England”.

Should you have any further questions on the new Section 21 Notice legislation or any aspects of property management and letting please contact Terry Rogers at Castle Estates.

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