Terminating Tenancies with Section 21 Notices (S21) – covering assured shorthold tenancies
From 1st October 2015 the Deregulation Act 2015 introduces a number of important changes to when a landlord may serve a Section 21 Notice in order to regain possession of their property.
The Act sees the introduction of a new prescribed form for Section 21 Notices which must be used for terminating any Assured Shorthold Tenancy that commences on or after 1 October 2015*. The following ‘rules’ must be observed:
• The notice cannot be served during the first FOUR months of the Tenancy
• The notice will only be valid for SIX months from the date of issue
• The notice does NOT need to expire on the last day of a rental period (unless the tenancy started on a periodic basis)
* All existing tenancies will be swept under these new rules on 1 October 2018
In addition the Act provides that a Landlord will not be able to serve a Section 21 Notice unless they have provided tenants with the following information:
• A Gas Safety Record
• An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) if appropriate
• A copy of the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) ‘How to Rent – The Checklist for Renting in England’
• The Prescribed Information relating to Tenancy Deposit Protection.
For properties managed by Savills we arrange all of the above as part of our service and include them within the document package which is sent to tenants. If your property is not managed by Savills you will need to arrange the Energy Performance Certificate and Gas Safety Record and provided we are in receipt of these documents we will include them with the document package that the tenants receive with their tenancy documents.
There are circumstances where a landlord will no longer be able to seek possession using a notice under Section 21.
• Where the Landlord is prevented from retaliatory eviction under Section 33 of the Deregulation Act. A landlord will be prevented from serving notice if a tenant has made a written complaint regarding the condition of the property and the landlord has not responded or provided an adequate response and the Local Authority have issued an enforcement notice.
• Where the landlord has not complied with the provision of required information as listed above
• Where the landlord has not complied with Tenancy Deposit Protection legislation
• Where a property requires an Houses of Multiple Occupation license, but is unlicensed