How do the new Sec21 rules apply?

by Readers Question

2 years ago

How do the new Sec21 rules apply?

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How do the new Sec21 rules apply?

I am considering evicting a tenant of 2.5 years as they are really hard work, and not looking after my property as it should be.rules

My last inspection was 2 weeks ago an I found the place is becoming a tip and there is damp and mould starting in some rooms due to lack of heating and ventilating. On inspection I could not even open a window as they were all locked and the tenant had to ask is partner for the key.

I asked them to abide by the agreement that states and damp/mould should be washed off, as it could damage the structure and be a health risk for them and there young children. A week later the damp is spreading and it the landlords job to sort it out.

A section 21 was served during the original AST, and they were rolled on to a periodic.

My question; I know there have been changes to serving a section 21, but is my old one served 18 months ago unaffected by the change. Can I say I want you out in a month or do I now have to serve a new sec 21 and give them 2 months notice.

I’m sure others will be wondering if ones served ages ago is valid.



Neil Patterson

2 years ago

With the new Deregulation Act 2015 some important changes are coming into force on 1st October 2015 regarding section 21 notices, and landlords’ further responsibility to tenants. The rules really affect ASTs (‘assured shorthold tenancies’) that begin on or after 1st October 2015.

For ASTs starting before 1st October 2015

In relation to serving Section 21 Notices:
• Landlords can still serve a section 21 notice at any time during the tenancy
• There is no change to the form of the section 21 notices you use
• There is no time-limit after which a section 21 notice expires – unless you give your tenants a new fixed term tenancy, or arguably if you change the terms and conditions of the tenancy, for example by increasing the rent

The above rules for older tenancies will change in October 2018 to the rules set out below.

For ASTs starting on or after 1st October 2015

Importantly, remember that for ASTs that begin on or after this date, you now need to provide the following documents to tenants at the start of each fixed term tenancy:
• Gas appliance safety certificate
• An energy performance certificate (EPC)
• The government’s document called ‘How to rent: The checklist for renting in England’ – you can download a copy from the website –

In relation to serving section 21 notices:
• Landlords can only serve a section 21 notice after 4 months of the first tenancy
• The form of the section 21 notice has to be in the new ‘prescribed form’ (available online before 1st October 2015)
• 6 month limit after which a section 21 notice expires, at the present time running from the date of service
• Any health and safety improvement notice served by the local authority means no section 21 notice can be served for 6 months

Complaints about the property

Any complaint in writing from the tenant about the condition of a property has to be responded to within 14 days. The landlord has to set out in his reply:
• What he intends to do
• The timeline for doing the repair work

If the landlord then either:
• Fails to reply to the written complaint,
• Gives an inadequate reply, or
• Serves a section 21 notice

The tenant can complain to the local authority who must inspect the property. If the local authority inspects the property it can:
• Serve a remedial notice
• Carry out emergency remedial action

At this point the landlord’s rights to evict under section 21 will be held in limbo, since:
• No section 21 notice previously served will be valid
• No further notice may be served for 6 months

However, the landlord can still serve a section 8 notice, but given the repair issues, the tenant may take the opportunity to try and counterclaim to prevent possession and claim damages.

Smoke alarms

Each floor of each property requires a functioning smoke alarm from 1st October under The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015.

Please see Assured Shorthold Tenancies and the Deregulation Act 2015 – The new rules >>

Romain Garcin

2 years ago

Hi Rual,

The recent changes only apply to tenancies created on the 1st October or later.

Therefore, not only the s.21 notice you already served should still be valid, but you can also ignore the recent changes if you served a new s.21 notice now.

Recardo Knights

2 years ago

Hi Neil, & Romain,

I posted this query some months ago and although trying to work with the tenants it has been a waste of time and I need to evict them.

The AST was for six mounts and started in 2014 at which point a sec 21 was served. The tenancy was then rolled over to a periodic.

Their tenancy started on the 28th of a month, can I write them now and ask them to leave on 29th May, as the old sec 21 is still in force That would be about 6 weeks notice using the old sec 21 ,OR do I have to still give a full two months so the leave 29th June (10 weeks).

All other paperwork is ok.

Romain Garcin

2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Recardo Knights" at "09/04/2016 - 15:20":


If the s.21 notice is still valid (which seems to be the case) then you do not need to give any further notice.
However, since it would be easier and cheaper to come to an agreement you could call your tenant (probably best not to put it in writing) to let them know that you intend to action the notice in x weeks so that they hopefully have time to move.

The alternative is to served a brand new s.21 notice.

Neil Patterson

2 years ago

As the section 21 was issued 2014 it is still under the old rules.

Recardo Knights

2 years ago

Thank you both for your comment.
The tenants are DHSS and would have to be rehoused by the council as the have no money. So no point talking to them.

I just wanted to confirm that a 2 month notice is NOT required (in this case) and a 4-6 week notice is OK. this would give the council time to hopefully find them a tent somewhere.

I would hate to wait 6 weeks only to find out I have to start all over again which would then take another 3 months before court action.

This council advises tenants to wait for the bailiffs or the have no duty to rehouse them, as they have no council stock.

So to be clearer I could give them 2 weeks notice, or any time I liked, and then go to the court for a possession order based on the old sec 21?

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