Section 21 - What Happens Behind the Scenes? - Blog Book a Property Valuation

Section 21 - What Happens Behind the Scenes?

Section 21 - What Happens Behind the Scenes?

News Sarah Driscoll 29th January 2018

 

An event that occurred recently in our office has caused my first blog to be somewhat 'heavy'.

A worried couple came in panicking that their agent had served notice on their tenants and they now couldn't supply some 'things' the solicitors were asking for. They were coming to talk with me as they didn't trust what their agent was telling them (alarm bells immediately!). The agent they had instructed they assumed knew what they were doing...which now didn't seem to be the case. Having spent 30 minutes with them running through the process, requirements and procedure they left happier and obviously wishing they had come to us in the first place. But it did get me thinking about just how much we do 'behind the scenes' that ensure tenancy's run as smoothly as possible and that notices served are actually valid. So to give you an idea, today I'm looking at the Section 21 Notice....

So you've decided you want your property back and generally speaking assuming your tenant has signed an Assured Shorthold Tenancy and there are no rent arrears a Section 21 Notice would be served. I'm not going to give you all the information you require to achieve vacant possession, what I aim to highlight here is just how much needs to be carried out BEFORE a tenancy has been signed to ensure a Section 21 noticed can be relied upon.

Whilst the notice itself will need to be served in its prescribed form, using the correct dates and served in the correct manner, to ensure it is valid (i.e. enforceable by law) the following must be true;

For tenancies in Wales or England that started before October 2015

1) Should a deposit have been taken it must be secured in a tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days of receipt (we are members of The DPS, should you wish to check a deposit reference number please click the link to visit their website)

2) Once a deposit is secured within a scheme, you must also serve your tenant with the scheme’s prescribed information within 30 days of receipt of the deposit (prescribed information is supplied by the scheme and amended by ourselves and includes relevant information relating to the deposit, including where it is held, how it will be returned and how disputes are dealt with.

3) If the property is a HMO (House of Multiple Occupancy) it must have a licence.

For tenancies England that started on or after October 2015

1) Should a deposit have been taken it must be secured in a tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days of receipt

2) Once a deposit is secured within a scheme, you must also serve your tenant with the scheme’s prescribed information within 30 days of receipt of the deposit

3) Supplied the tenant with copy of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) during the viewing or at the beginning of a tenancy
 
4) Supplied tenant with a valid Gas Safety Certificate at the beginning of the tenancy.
 
5) Supplied tenant with an up-to-date copy of the “How to Rent” guide, this is a government supplied 'checklist' on how to rent in in England. New versions are produced on an ad-hoc basis, the most up to date version must be served.
 
6) The property must be licensed where the law requires
 
7) The notice will not be valid if there’s evidence of ‘retaliatory eviction’, which means;
  • the tenant has made a written complaint to the landlord about the condition of the property before the notice was served; and
  • the landlord has not provided an adequate written response (e.g. clarify what actions you are going to take to resolve the problem and to what timescale) within 14 days; and
  • the tenant has then complained to the relevant local authority about the problem, who then serve an “Improvement Notice.”

 

As I'm sure you can see from reading the above gaining possession of your property is not just ensuring the right notice is served at the right time. To rely on the notice various documents must be served. 

Going back to the couple that walked into my office last week I hope that their situation has worked out and that they were able to move back into their home. There circumstance only served as a reminder that the lettings 'game' is a complex one and an experienced based business. Its not just about doing the job right but also keeping your Clients informed so they are confident in your ability.

Should you need any help or assistance regarding any of the matters above please do not hesitate to contact me at the office - 01474 321957 or sarah@mandmprop.co.uk

Thanks for reading and I promise something a little 'lighter' next time!

Sarah Driscoll

Director