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Section 21 notice changes

A Landlord can give their tenants with 2 months’ notice to leave a residential property let under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (“AST”) by way of service of a Section 21 Housing Act 1988 notice (“Section 21 notice”). Such notice does not need to give a reason, i.e rent arrears or other breach of a tenancy agreement, for serving the notice.

The Deregulation Act 2015 introduced various new provisions relating to the service of section 21 notices including:

  • A prohibition on Landlords serving retaliatory notices in response to disrepair claims
  • The removal for the need for a landlord to specify in a Section 21 notice terminating a periodic assured shorthold tenancy the last day of a period of the tenancy as the date on which the tenancy comes to an end
  • The introduction of a prescribed form of section notice
  • A prohibition on Landlords from serving a Section 21 notice if they have not provided the tenant with various information information including a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), gas safety certificate and the current version of How to rent: the checklist for renting in England.

Currently the changes introduced by the Deregulation Act 2015 only apply to Assured Shortholds Tenancies entered into after 1 October 2015. However, from 1 October 2018 the changes will apply to all Assured Shorthold Tenancies regardless of when they were entered into.

Landlords should ensure that they take legal advice at the outset of tenancies and consider instructing solicitors to serve Section 21 notices to make sure they are compliant with all relevant legislation.

For further information relating to the points raised in this article, please contact Philip Feather, Senior Solicitor in our Property Litigation Department.

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Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.

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