Landlords – The law changes on 1st oct for notices

What is a section 21 Notice?

It’s a legal notice used to get possession of your property from a tenant. It was introduced in 1988 to make it easier for landlords to get their properties back without having to establish “grounds” for possession. It can only be used with assured shorthold tenancies.

What is an assured shorthold tenancy?

Its when a property is let to a private individual and the rent is less than £100,000 a year (that’s the short version).

What is changing?

  • Deregulation Act 2015 – To get possession of your property you will need to use a section 21 notice and it cannot be used in the first 4 months of the tenancy.
  • Once served you have 6 months to get an eviction order or it becomes invalid.
  • If the tenant complains about the property or the common parts, landlord must respond with an adequate course of action within 14 days, the landlord cannot respond by serving a section 21 notice.
  • The tenant, if unsatisfied, can then take the complaint to the housing authority who can inspect and serve enforcement notices on the landlord, if they do, the landlord cannot serve a section 21 notice for 6 months. It is considered to be a Retaliatory eviction.
  • There will be a statutory right for the tenant to claim back rent paid in advance (calculated on a daily basis) where a Section 21 notice brings the tenancy to an end before the end of a payment period.

There are exceptions:

  • If the condition is due to misuse or breach by tenant
  • If at time of section 21 notice the property is genuinely for sale
  • Where the landlord is a provider of social housing
  • Where the property has a mortgage and its in receivership

More than ever it is important to document all correspondence between the landlord & tenant throughout the tenancy.

At Palace Gate we manage property ownership on behalf of landlords.

Please contact us we would be delighted to help if you have any questions.

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