This week there has been a number of compliance and regulation changes that Landlords need to be aware of. In this blog I'm talking about the Deregulation Act 2015.
The Deregulation Act made changes to prevent 'retaliatory' evictions and all new tenancies starting on and after 1st October 2015 had to adhere to new guidelines as to when and how a section 21 notice could be served.
Back in October 2015 the introduction of the Deregulation Act meant that at the commencement of every tenancy a Landlord or their agent had to be able to demonstrate that the following had been given to their tenant;
- Valid EPC (You can view the EPC register by clicking here.
- Gas Safety Certificate
- The most up to date version of the Governments 'How to Rent' Guide.
- Prescribed information in relation to the deposit
From 1st October 2018 the above now applies to ALL tenancies.
What does this mean to you?
If you have a tenant who is currently on a periodic tenancy that commenced prior to 1st October 2015 the Deregulation Act applies so should you wish to serve a Section 21 notice (commonly known as a 'no fault' notice) then you must be able to prove that you have served all relevant, up to date, documents on the tenant.
The Deregulation Act also changed the service of the Section 21 notice. When issuing a Section 21, landlords will be required to use Form 6a. The new form has combined the two previous types of notices (s.21 (1)(b) and s.21 (4)(a)) into a single notice for both periodic and fixed-term tenancies. The two old forms should not be used from 1 October 2018.
Tenants must be given at least two months’ notice by their landlord or someone acting on behalf of them, before they are expected to vacate the property. The amount of notice required to give to the tenants differs where a tenancy is periodic. For those who pay their rent quarterly, at least three months’ notice will be required, or where the periodic tenancy is half yearly or annual, at least six months’ notice has to be given (which is the upper limit of notice that can be provided). The notice remains valid for six months where two months’ notice is required, and valid for four months where more than two months’ notice is required. Where validity of the notice ends, a new one will need to be served providing that court action was not started.
Obviously for our managed properties we are compliant with the above. For those Landlords that manage their own properties please do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss our management services and ensure compliance. It’s a complicated business and you really can't afford to get this wrong.
Right, now back to the audit!!!