Section 21 Notice Changes for Pre-October 2015 Tenancies
3 October 2018 by Lawrence Adams
On Monday this week, important changes brought in under the Deregulation Act 2015 came into force.
Landlords will be aware of the importance of a section 21 notice. If a tenant refuses to leave at the end of the tenancy, a section 21 notice gives the landlord the ability to demand possession of the property and enforce that demand through the County Court.
Changes to the regulation of section 21 notices came into force on 01 October 2015. The changes required all section 21 notices served in connection with a tenancy agreement that commenced post-01 October 2015, to use a particular form of section 21 notice, Form 6A. The changes also imposed additional pre-conditions on the use of a section 21 notice.
Under the 2015 Act, tenancy agreements which commenced before October 2015 were given a three year grace period. From 01 October 2018, the provisions of the Deregulation Act 2015 apply to all tenancies.
Chances are, if you have renewed your tenancy within the last three years, you will be aware of the changes that the 2015 Act bought about. What this means is that all landlords will now be required to use Form 6A when serving a section 21 notice. All section 21 notice will now last just six months from the beginning of the day of service and cannot be served in certain circumstances where a tenant complains of the condition of the property.
In addition, the Deregulation Act 2015 requires all landlords to:
- Serve a copy of the government’s ‘How to Rent Guide’
- Serve a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate
- Serve a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate
The wording of the act is not entirely clear about whether these provisions apply to pre-01 October 2015 tenancies. The act appears to exclude the application of these provisions to pre-01 October 2015 tenancies. While a test case will undoubtedly arrive in the near future, for now, it is advisable that landlords take steps now to ensure that these documents are served on their tenants.
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