Changes to section 21 notices
14 September 2015
Residential landlords need to be aware of the changes to section 21 notices which are coming into force from 1 October 2015.
A new prescribed form of section 21 notice, Form 6A, has been introduced which landlords must use when terminating an assured shorthold tenancy. Other key changes introduced by the legislation include:
- There will no longer be any requirement for the notice to expire on the last day of a tenancy period. Landlords must simply ensure that they give tenants two months’ notice, although it is important when specifying the date to allow sufficient time for service of the notice.
- Landlords will no longer be able to serve a section 21 notice at the beginning of a tenancy. The earliest a notice can now be served is after the tenant has been in occupation of the property for four months, so that the notice expires after six months.
- Landlords cannot serve a valid section 21 notice if they have not provided the tenant with an energy performance certificate for the property and a current gas safety certificate. Landlords are already obliged to provide these certificates, but the ability to serve a section 21 notice was not previously affected by non-compliance.
- Landlords cannot serve a valid section 21 notice if they have not provided to the tenant at the beginning of the tenancy a document published by the Department for Communities and Local Government called ‘How to Rent’ which can be found here.
- The existing restrictions on service of section 21 notices where the landlord has not complied with the obligations in relation to tenancy deposits continue to apply.
The new form of notice and the above changes will initially apply only to tenancies which begin on or after 1 October 2015. After a transitional period of 3 years, they will begin to apply to all assured shorthold tenancies.
The increased regulation of ASTs means that ending a tenancy can be something of a minefield for landlords, who would be well advised to seek professional advice both at the commencement of a tenancy and prior to the service of any notices.
Clarkslegal, specialist Dispute Resolution lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
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This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.
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