There are serious changes due to the way landlords are allowed to operate within the UK, and it is important that you are aware of what is happening, and how it affects you, and your tenants.
What’s it all about?
It surrounds the Section 21 act, a section of the Housing Act 1988 that allows landlords to seek recovery of possession of a property which has been let on an assured shorthold tenancy.
The new legislation, which will be enforced with heavy fines if not adhered to correctly, will ensure that both tenants and landlords are protected by a more effective paper trail throughout the duration of a lease, and will help ensure that you and your tenants are able to communicate
When is it happening?
All new assured shorthold tenancies in England that start on or after 1 October 2015 will be affected, whilst all remaining assured short hold tenancies in England will be have to comply with the under the new rules from the 1st October 2018
The new act signals fairly significant changes to the way landlords serve notice, and tenants communicate issues within the property.
- It will no longer be possible to give a section 21 notice in the first four months of the tenancy
- Once a section 21 notice has been given, possession proceedings must start (where appropriate) within six months of the service of the section 21 notice. If this doesn’t happen, the order becomes invalid.
- If your tenant makes a complaint about the condition of your property in writing, you will have to respond within 14 days in writing setting out what you intend to do about it and what the timeline for doing this is. If the landlord (a) fails to reply or (b) replies by serving a section 21 notice or (c) gives a reply that is inadequate, then the tenant may complain to the local authority who must inspect the property
What do I need to do?
From these dates, a valid Section 21 Notice of Eviction can only be served on a tenant if that individual has been served with the following:
- A valid copy of an up-to-date Energy performance certificate (EPC)
- A gas Safety certificate carried out by a Gas Safety Capita registered engineer
- A copy of the most recent booklet ‘How to Rent: The checklist for renting in England must be provided at the start of every lease. This is available for download : www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent
Can you help!?
It sounds like it is going to be a very confusing time, but don’t worry – the regulations have been introduced in order to ensure a more secure industry for both tenants AND landlords.
Urban.co.uk are able to assist you however you require – if you have any questions ensuring you have all of the relevant paperwork in place before you undertake a new tenancy – our lettings team are more than happy to handle any questions you may have.
We work hard to ensure than not only the tenants we help place, but also our landlords are protected and able to rent their properties