From October, rules set out in the Deregulation Act requiring landlords in England to issue specific documents to tenants come into force for all assured shorthold tenancies, regardless of when they began. If landlords fail to issue these, they won’t be able to serve a section 21 no-fault eviction notice should they need to.
From 1 October 2018 all landlords in England with assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) will need to comply with the requirements of the Deregulation Act 2015.
This includes a Section 21 notice being valid for six months only and protections against ‘retaliatory evictions’ where the local authority has issued an improvement or emergency remedial notice. In the latter case, the landlord is not able to issue a valid Section 21 for six months after receiving a notice.
It also protects tenants who have not received an adequate response to a written complaint and then referred this to the local authority – where an improvement or emergency remedial notice is subsequently issued, any Section 21 served after the tenant’s initial complaint becomes invalid.
The Act also requires landlords to issue tenants with ‘prescribed information’ to be able to serve a Section 21 notice.
The changes were introduced in the Deregulation Act 2015 and the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 on 1 October 2015.
From 1 October 2015 the reforms only applied to tenancies in England granted on or after 1 October 2015 (including renewals). From 1 October 2018 the rules will apply to all ASTs in England.