Landlords Beware! – Changes to Section 21 Notices

Important changes affecting Landlords October 2015!

Changes have come into effect this week to the procedure for ending Assured Shorthold Tenancies. The new regulations, the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015, prescribe the form of notice to be given when ending an Assured Shorthold Tenancy pursuant to section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, commonly referred to as a ‘Section 21 Notice’.

The changes arriving this week with in the new regulations include (but are not limited to):

  1. A landlord, in his or her Section 21 Notice, no longer needs to specify the last day of a period of the tenancy as the date on which the tenancy will come to an end;
  2. Landlords can no longer serve Section 21 Notices at the start of a tenancy (which was formerly quite a common practice). The aim of this is to ensure that landlords are giving tenants two months’ notice before bringing a tenancy to an end, rather than serving a notice immediately upon the commencement of the tenancy. A landlord cannot now serve a notice unless the tenant has resided at the property for at least four months.
  3. Tenants have the statutory right to claim back rent from a landlord where it has been paid in advance in respect of a period falling after a Section 21 Notice brings a tenancy to an end.

The new rules will apply to new and renewal Assured Shorthold Tenancies granted on or after 1 October 2015. The new rules also bring with them a requirement for landlords to provide tenants with copies of energy performance and gas safety certificates.

If you require advice in respect of a tenancy and would like to speak to a solicitor – call us on 0113 244 9931.

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