Hot of the press this week is the decision this week to change the law relating to Section 21 notices. As of October 1st 2018, the law will state that a section 21 will only be valid if certain compliance is completed prior to the tenants taking up occupancy.
Compliance with prescribed requirements
The requirement to provide assured shorthold tenants with certain prescribed information before a landlord can serve a section 21 notice already applies to ASTs granted on or after 01 October 2015.
The information to be provided includes :-
1. The relevant Government ‘How to Rent’ Booklet that has effect for the time being (in this respect, see our Legal Updates sent on 27 June 2018 and 12 July 2018);
2. The Energy Performance Certificate for the property; and
3. The Gas Safety Certificate for the property, where applicable (or certain information where there is no relevant gas appliance in any room to be occupied by the tenant). Following the decision earlier this year in Caridon Properties Ltd v Monty Schooltz (2018) (see our Legal Update sent on 14 February 2018), the relevant gas safety certificate should be provided before the tenant takes up occupation of the property, as well as following the regular 12 month inspections. In other words, if the certificate is not provided on or before the commencement of the AST, the landlord will not be able to serve a section 21 notice.
There appears to be an element of uncertainty as to whether these provisions will apply to pre 01 October 2015 ASTs come 01 October 2018, owing to discrepancies between the DA 2015 and the Regulations which set out exactly what the prescribed requirements actually are (as above).
Please contact the team at Elite should you require any further information relating to the above.