The New Section 21 Rules

There have been recent changes affecting the section 21 which landlords and agents need to be aware of. The new regulations came into force on the 1st October 2015.

The section 21 eviction process has always been seen as the safe way to go about evicting but the new regulations bring in a lot more loop-holes that a difficult tenant can crawl through. There needs be only one mistake for a Judge to reject a possession claim.

Any new assured shorthold tenancy starting on or after the 1st October 2015 will require the new standardised section 21 form. The main requirements that the landlord and agent must conform to are:

  • Provide the tenant with a current copy of the 10 year EPC for the rental property, either when letting information is given or at the viewing whichever is sooner
  • Provide the tenant with a current copy of the Gas Safe Certificate for the rental property before the tenant enters the property
  • Provide the tenant with a current copy of the Government Booklet: How to rent: the checklist for renting in England
  • Protect any tenancy deposit, serve the statutory information and get proof of service within 30 days.

The new section 21 notice cannot be served in the first 4 months of the original tenancy but it can be served at the start of a tenancy renewal. After it has been served, the section 21 only remains valid for 6 months. The new notice does not require the expiry date to be the last day of a tenancy period; it is simply two months’ notice.

One issue that the new regulations address is the retaliatory eviction when a tenant raises a complaint about the condition of the house and the landlord responds with a section 21 notice. This will no longer be allowed – please see our article for more information.