New changes to landlord and tenant laws

Written by: Keoghs

Date: 1st December 2016

Landlords and tenants need to be aware of new changes to the law from 1st October 2015.

The changes effect the how and when s.21 notices can be given to a tenant. At present, the changes apply to all new assured shorthold tenancies granted on or after 1st October 2015 but they will eventually apply to all tenancies after 3 years.

The changes are as follows:

Landlords cannot serve a s.21 notice after receiving a complaint from their tenant about disrepair at the property until 6 months after the date they received the complaint.

Landlords are now only required to give two months notice and there is no need for the notice to expire on the last day of a period of a tenancy (i.e. the end of the month or week if the notice expires part way through).

Where the tenant pays rent in advance, the notice expires part way through that week or month and the tenant leaves the property at that time, Landlords must repay to the tenant any “unused” proportion of the rent. For example, if the weekly rent is £70 and the tenant leaves on the 4th day, the landlord must work out the daily rate of rent and return 3 days’ worth of rent (i.e. £30) to the tenant.

A s.21 notice cannot be served in the first 4 months of a tenancy, except where a rolling tenancy has arisen after the original fixed term has expired.

A possession claim must be started within 6 months of the notice being given.

Where the notice period has to be longer than 2 months, a possession claim cannot be started based on that notice any later than 4 months after the end date detailed in the notice.

A s.21 notice cannot be given unless the tenant has been provided with the Energy Performance Certificate and a current Gas Safety Certificate for the property.

A s.21 notice cannot be given unless the tenant has been given (by landlord or agent) the prescribed information. This prescribed information is the CLG booklet “How to rent: the checklist for renting in England”. It can be given in hard copy or where the tenant has notified the landlord/agent of an email address where the tenant is prepared to accept service of notices, by email.

For more detailed advice and information, contact a member of our housing team on 0161 928 9321.