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The Deregulation Act 2015 – changes for residential landlords

03 August 2015

The Deregulation Act 2015 was passed earlier this year and covers various issues which will be of interest to landlords, tenants and those appointed to deal with residential properties. One of those relates to section 21 notices, which are the two month notices used by landlords to terminate an assured shorthold tenancy after the fixed term has expired.

From 1 July this year, there is a new prescribed form of notice which needs to be used when giving notice to tenants.

Section 21 timing

For new tenancies commencing after 1 October 2015 it will not be permissible to serve a section 21 notice during the first four months of the tenancy period. In addition, where a section 21 notice has been served, it will not be possible to apply to the court to enforce it more than 6 months after the date it was first given to the tenant.

Retaliatory eviction

For new tenancies commencing after 1 October 2015, section 21 notices will not be validly served if:

• the tenant has made a written complaint to the landlord about the condition of the property prior to it being served; and

• the landlord has not provided an adequate written response within 14 days; and

• the tenant has then complained to the relevant local authority who have decided to serve an improvement notice for the property or have carried out emergency remedial action themselves using powers under the housing health and safety rating system.

Whilst the Deregulation Act has clarified procedure in a number of areas where anomalies existed, we still advise landlords to tread carefully and take advice.

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Nigel Whittaker BA (Hons)
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