John Todd of AMD Solicitors provides an update after the final sections of the Deregulation Act 2015 come into force.
I previously wrote an article concerning Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) in the wake of the new Deregulation Act of 2015. The full impact of that Act came into force on 1 October 2018. To recap the earlier provisions: –
- Notice Seeking Possession cannot be served in the first four months of a six month tenancy.
- At the commencement of the tenancy the landlord must provide:-
a) An energy performance certificate
b) A gas safety certificate
c) The Government publication of “How to Rent: The check list for renting in England.”
Until 1 October 2018 the above provisions only applied to new or replacement tenancies after 1 October 2015, but as from 1 October 2018 the above provisions will apply to all tenancies whether they began before or after 1 October 2015.
The prescribed Section 21 Notice in form 6A will now have to be used for all Section 21 Notices after 1 October, regardless of the start date of the tenancy.
In a year I frequently see landlords who wish to serve a Section 21 Notice giving the tenant two months in which to vacate. Very often they have prepared the AST themselves and are simply not aware of the above provisions. I, therefore, have to advise them that they must fulfil the above provisions before their Section 21 Notice can be served; otherwise the Notice will be invalid. This is all the more important when the Particulars of Claim are filed with the Court, following the expiry of the Notice, because the form requests the date upon which the above documents have been served on the tenant.
Of course landlords should remember that any deposit paid by the tenant must be paid by the landlord into a deposit protection scheme such as the Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS) or Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) or the appropriate deposit insurance taken out. Importantly, if this is not done, the landlord can be punished by being ordered to pay, not just the return of the deposit, but up to three times the value of the deposit.
AMD are pleased to advise in these situations and contact can be made with our solicitors: