Monthly Archives: October 2015

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By Judith Loeffler

Eviction 2

Another aspect of the Deregulation Act 2015 coming into force on 1st Oct 2015 is to ensure let property is kept adequately repaired and maintained in compliance with Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. Unless the correct procedure is followed a Section 21 notice cannot be served to avoid retaliatory evictions as outlined in Section 33 of the Deregulation Act.

Whenever a landlord receives a complaint in writing from a tenant regarding the condition of the property an ‘adequate’ response must be given in writing within 14 days. There is no further definition of ‘adequate’. Landlords need to show they are actively trying to resolve complaints – this requires sending a competent person to inspect any reported problem. The response must also set out the timescales in which remedial action will be undertaken.

If the tenant is unhappy with the response he can complain to the local authority who may then serve a notice requiring works to be undertaken. If such notice is served then no valid Section 21 notice may be served for 6 months from the date of that notice.

A Section 21 notice cannot be served after an actual complaint either by the tenant or service of the notice by the local authority.

By Judith Loeffler

letter delivery

As part of the Deregulation Act 2015, a new form of the Section 21 notice will have to be used. The new prescribed format must be used as of 1st October 2015.

In order to enforce it, a landlord must have complied with tenancy deposit protection legislation and have issued the Tenant a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), a valid Gas Safety Certificate and a How to rent guide at the start of the tenancy.

Another important change is that the Section 21 notice will now have time restrictions.

Furthermore, Landlords will be unable to issue a Section 21 Notice

  1. during the first four months of the tenancy
  2. where the landlord is not following the correct procedure upon receiving a written disrepair complaint from the tenant (Retaliatory Eviction)
  3. where the landlord has not provided the tenant with an EPC, a gas safety certificate or the ‘How to rent’ guide
  4. where the landlord has not complied with the tenancy deposit protection legislation
  5. where a property requires a licence but is unlicensed

By Judith Loeffler

Smoke alarm

As advised in our blog earlier this year, the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 has become law as of today, 1st Oct 2015.  Under these new regulations, Landlords of all rental properties are required to have smoke alarms on every floor of a property on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation (this includes a hall or landing).

The regulations do not state what kind of smoke alarm system is required, though we would always recommend a hard wired alarm system – hard wired is compulsory for newly built properties since 1992 which require mains powered smoke alarms with battery backup. Each smoke alarm must be tested and be in full working order on the commencement date of every new tenancy.

Landlords are also required to fit carbon monoxide alarms in every room with a solid fuel appliance, which includes wood burners and open fires.  Currently gas appliances are not covered but we would always recommend to have carbon monoxide detectors installed in properties with gas appliances as well.

Landlords may face a penalty of up to £5000 for failure to meet the regulations.