Latest Changes In Landlord & Tenant Law

The Latest Changes In Law (Landlord and Tenant)

A section 21 notice is a legal notice used to regain possession of your property from a tenant. It was introduced in 1988 to ease the process for landlords by eliminating the need to establish ‘grounds’ for possession. Section 21 can only be used with assured shorthold tenancies.

The short definition of an assured shorthold tenancy is let to a private individual and the rent is less than £100,000 a year.

The aspects that have changed under the Deregulation Act 2015 include;

  • A section 21 notice cannot be used in the first 4 months of the tenancy;
  • Once served it is only valid for 6 months (the eviction order must be obtained in this time);
  • If the tenant raises a complaint about the condition of the property or the common parts, the landlord must respond with an adequate course of action within 14 days. The landlord cannot simply respond with a section 21 notice;
  • If the tenant is unsatisfied with the landlord’s response they can take the complaint to a housing authority who will inspect the complaint and issue an enforcement notice if necessary. If this happens the landlord cannot serve a section 21 notice for 6 months as it is considered to be a retaliatory eviction; and
  • There is a statutory right for the tenant to claim back rent paid in advance where a section 21 notice brings the tenancy to an end before the end of a payment period.

There are some exceptions to the above. If the condition of the property is due to the tenant, if at the time of the section 21 notice the property is genuinely for sale, if the landlord is a provider of social housing and where the property is subject to a mortgage and it’s in receivership.

If you require any assistance relating to your landlord and tenant issue please do not hesitate to get in touch online, by calling 01536 276300 or 01536 311690.