New section 21 rules 1st October 2018
Under the “Deregulation act 2015” hereinafter referred to as “new rules” – new rules came into force 1st of October 2015 the relevant part for purpose of section 21 the new rules stipulate;
a. From 1st of October 2015, where landlords have granted a new tenancy (includes old tenancies which have been renewed) landlords and letting agents must use the new section 21 notice known as “form 6A”. The old section 21 was not a prescribed notice the new section 21 notice is a *prescribed section 21 notice.
b. Under the new rules you cannot serve a Section 21 notice within the first four months of the tenancy. This is only applicable to tenancies that commenced or were renewed after 1/10/15. However, this is set to change for old tenancies after 1/10/18 see notes below*
c. Under the new rules your section 21 notice will only be valid for 6 months. If the 6 months lapse a new section 21 notice will have to be served.
d. Under the new rules you must give to the tenants a ‘How to Rent’ guide.
e. Under the new rules you must give to your tenant a current Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
f. Under the new rules you must give to the tenant a Gas Safety Certificate before the tenancy begins. Failure to do so your section 21 notice maybe deemed as invalid as things stand at the moment, however this may or may not change in the future if challenged in court.
g. Under the new rules you cannot serve a Section 21 notice if the council has served an ‘Improvement Notice’ or ‘Emergency Remedial Action Notice’ within six months of notice being served. This rule is also known as retaliatory eviction. There may be an exemption from this rule if you are genuinely selling the property.
*For older tenancies that commenced before 1/10/15 and were not renewed paragraph (a) and (b) above will apply from 1st of October 2018.
*Warning to Landlords and letting agents unlike old section 21 notices the new prescribed section 21 notice MUST be substantially the same as the prescribed section 21 notice.
Concerns Landlords and Agents will customise prescribed section 21 notice
The old section 21 notice had many weird and wonderful versions floating around. If you decide you are going to cut and paste and create your own pretty version, do not do it, you could render the section 21 notice as invalid. Use the prescribed section 21 notice to avoid problems.
Mr Hanson from the British Landlords Association said “it is a concern some landlords and letting agents will start customising the prescribed section 21 notice and in the process could render the section 21 notice invalid.
We know the old section 21 notice was not a prescribed document. Landlords and letting agents will continue to think they can do the same with the new section 21 notice by adding images and adding text and deleting text to create a problematic beast of their own”.