We are sure that all of your lettings staff are perfectly clued-up about the changes to Section 21 notices, which came about on 1st October. However, we do also know that you may not be in touch with all of your let-only landlords on a regular basis, so, we have put together a letter for those landlords, which you may wish to send out. This should cover your duty of care to landlords by letting them know of the onus now on them for serving notice on their tenants.
In October 2015, new legislation came into force for the lettings industry called the Deregulation Act, and this brought about a change to the way in which a letting agent or landlord could serve notice on a tenant to bring a fixed term contract to an end, provided that the tenancy agreement was dated after 1st October 2015. A form called a Section 21 Form 6a must be used to give notice, ensuring the tenant has a minimum of 2 months’ notice, that the notice ends on the final day of the fixed term or thereafter, and that a number of pre-requisites have been adhered to (see sections A and B below).
3 years on, and the second part of that legislation has now come into force on 1st October 2018, for ALL tenancies, whatever date they began (so will apply if your tenant has been in the property for a number of years), or whether they are fixed term or a periodic / rolling tenancy:
The changes are 2-fold:
- S21 notice cannot be served in relation to a fixed term Assured Shorthold Tenancy (“AST”):
- within four months from the beginning of the AST, or
- in the case of a replacement AST, within four months from the beginning of the original AST.
A notice must be served under Housing Act 1988, para 21(1) or (4), under the new procedure, must be in writing using the new prescribed Form No 6A. The new Form No 6A states that the landlord should allow two days for service if being sent by ordinary first-class post. This must be considered alongside any service of notice provisions in the tenancy agreement itself.
B. Prior to Serving the New Section 21 Notice – Form 6a:
- A landlord must comply with Tenancy Deposit legislation;
- A landlord must provide an Energy Performance Certificate (“EPC”) to the tenant;
- A landlord must provide a valid Gas Safety Record (“GSR”) to the tenant;
- A landlord must provide the tenant with the prescribed information on how to rent
- A Landlord must not have served the notice as a ‘retaliatory eviction’ (ie. wanting to get the tenant out because they have asked for works to be carried out in the property).