The rules surrounding tenant evictions are set to change and will affect all assured shorthold tenancies and periodic tenancies regardless of when they were signed.
There is now less than two weeks to go until the Deregulation Act 2015 covering Section 21 eviction notices – also known as “no-fault evictions” – is broadened to include tenancy agreements signed before 1 October 2015. At present, the rules apply to all assured shorthold tenancies (AST) and periodic tenancies signed after 1 October 2015.
What are the rules?
Under Section 21, landlords must give tenants at least two months’ notice to leave a property once the fixed term has ended, but they are not required to give a reason for the eviction. All landlords must also complete a Form 6A in order to serve a Section 21 notice, but they can’t serve it within the first four months of the start of an AST – and a Section 21 notice expires once six months has passed from the date of it originally being served.
Further to this, all landlords must issue their tenants with the government’s “How to Rent” guide, as well as provide an up-to-date energy performance certificate (EPC) and gas safety certificate before the start of the tenancy. If a local authority has deemed that the property requires repairs or maintenance, a Section 21 notice cannot be served, which is in place to protect tenants from “retaliation evictions” where a landlord tries to turf out a tenant because they’ve made complaints over the state of their property.
From the start of next week (1 October), all landlords will need to comply with the Section 21 eviction rules.
Scrapping Section 21
The regulation has come under the spotlight recently after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn claimed he would scrap “no fault” evictions so that tenants can’t be made to leave a property without good reason.
Pressure group Generation Rent has also criticised the rules and has called for them to be changed or removed in order to help the country’s private renters and give them more security.