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On 1st October 2015 The Deregulation Act 2015 brought in a number of changes to the notice a landlord needed to give to obtain possession of its property pursuant to section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. This type of notice is commonly referred to as a section 21 notice. These changes related to tenancies commencing from 1st October 2015 onwards and included the following:
1. Prevention of retaliatory evictions. Landlords were prevented from serving a section 21 notice in certain circumstances where the landlord has received notice requiring repairs to be carried out by the landlord.
2. A new prescribed section 21 notice was required to be used 1st October 2015.
3. Landlords were no longer able to serve a section 21 notice in the first 4 months of an initial tenancy.
4. Time limits on a section 21 notice. A landlord could no longer rely on a section 21 notice for more than 6 months after the date it was served on the tenant.
5. Prescribed information to be given to a tenant before a section 21 notice was served. Landlords were required to give to tenants the following on commencement of the tenancy:
a) Energy Performance Certificate
b) Gas Safety Certificate (where necessary)
c) The Government’s How to Rent Guide
Whilst these changes have now been in place for some time, on 1st October 2018 the intention is that these changes will apply to all tenancies, whether they were granted on or after 1st October 2015 or before. Unfortunately, at present there is some uncertainty as to how these changes for pre-October 2015 tenancies will apply and how these new rules will be implemented.
This is another big change for landlords which they should be aware of now. Prudent landlords will be preparing for the changes now to make sure new tenancies are fully compliant.