Deregulation Bill 2015
This has some serious implications for non compliant landlords. You need to get this right!
The Deregulation Bill came into force on 27th March 2015.
The main areas affected are:
Energy Performance Certificates.
All landlords need to provide tenants with an EPC and a Gas Safety Certificate before the tenancy begins. If at a later date the landlord wants to serve a section 21 notice on a tenant, he will need to prove the tenant has been provided with these two documents, without which the landlord will be prevented from doing so. He will also need to have provided the "How to rent" document and prove the tenant had received it.
Tenancy Deposit Protection
For full details on how this affects your own particular tenancy please follow the link to the My Deposits website. Here you will find detailed information from the very people who protect the deposits. Depending on when you took the deposit means different rules apply to you.
Section 21 notices and disrepair issues.
There are two main changes to section 21 notices - one in relation to the form and length of notice and the other in response to so called retaliatory evictions.
Currently, there are two types of notices - a S21(1)(b) which you use during a fixed term tenancy, and a s21(4)(a) which you use during a periodic tenancy, or when a fixed term becomes periodic. Going forward, if the tenancy originated with a fixed term, you can now use one type of notice regardless of whether it is currently fixed or periodic
From 1st October 2015 for all new tenancies created after that date and will apply to all tenancies (regardless of the date they started) from 1st October 2018. In addition to the changes in the types of s21 notice which can be used, s21 notices now have a limited life span. Currently there is no limit to how long after the notice is serviced it can be relied on in possession proceedings. Going forward (from October 2015) landlords will not be able to serve a s21 during the first 4 months of the originating tenancy. Furthermore, the notice only lasts 6 months from the date of service. If a landlords doesn't issue possession proceedings during the 6 months from the date of service, it will be necessary to serve a fresh notice and then wait for it to expire.
Retaliatory Evictions from 1st October 2015
If a tenant serves a written complaint on a landlord, the landlord must respond within 14 days specifying the proposed action he is going to take. If the landlord does not provide an adequate written response within 14 days and the tenant then complains to the local authority who decides to serve an Improvement Notice or carries out emergency remedial action themselves, then until the works are carried out and signed off by the local authority, the landlord will not be able to validly serve a s21 notice. If a written complaint from a tenant has not been received before a landlord serves a s21 notice then it will not be affected by these provisions.