Deregulation Act 2015 and its effect on landlords

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3 Aug 2015

How does the Deregulation Act 2015 affect landlords?

Author: Dan Dowling

Deregulation Act Section 21Lettings regulations change on a regular basis so it’s important that, as a landlord, you work with an agency that stays up to date on all new legislation and actions any changes immediately, in order to protect your investments and your tenants’ best interests.

One of the most recent updates was the Deregulation Act 2015, which was passed on 26th March 2015 and contains a number of changes that will affect residential landlords, most importantly Section 21.

Section 21 notices are served upon the tenant by the agent/landlord to determine the tenancy to enable the landlord to gain possession of the property. Romans Lettings has listed below information on the changes and the dates they take effect.

New form of Section 21 notice

This was supposed to come into force from 1st July 2015 so that any tenancy created after that date would need to use the new style of notice however there has been a delay. Tenancies created before then, or which are based on renewals or extensions of tenancies created before then, can use the old style notice although most landlords will probably find it easier to switch to the new style notice. From 1st June 2018 all Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) will need to use the new style notice irrespective of when they began.

On the new form there will no longer be a requirement for the date specified in the notice to be the last day of the period of the tenancy.  Section 21 notices will have a shelf life of just six months, following this should a landlord wish to issue court proceedings, a fresh notice will need to be served.

Timing of a Section 21 notice

From 1st October 2015, a landlord will no longer be able to serve a Section 21 notice within the first four months of the contractual term of the tenancy. This is to stop landlords and their agents serving notice at the commencement of a tenancy with a view to being able to terminate it at their convenience.

Further changes mean that landlords may not be able to serve a valid Section 21 notice if they are in breach of legislation relating to the condition of the property, health and safety of occupiers and energy performance certificates.

Tenant complaints about condition

If a tenant makes a complaint about the condition of a property new procedures need to be followed. See this chart from Fixflo simplifying the changes.

Make sure you’re aware of other recent updates to landlord legislation, including; Legionnaires’ disease risk assessments, a legal requirement for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and an important update to Capital Gains Tax for non-UK residents.

With a higher ratio of ARLA qualified agents lettings employees than any other lettings company in the UK, and a dedicated Head of Compliance, we ensure we always provide the right advice to our landlords and tenants, helping them avoid legal pitfalls and liabilities that they may inadvertently stumble into.

To discuss any of these legislation changes in more detail contact your Property Manager or the team of experienced letting agents at your local Romans branch.

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