How to issue section 21 if landlord not up to date with regulations?

by Readers Question

9:55 AM, 14th February 2020
About 2 months ago

How to issue section 21 if landlord not up to date with regulations?

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How to issue section 21 if landlord not up to date with regulations?

A landlord I am working with has a HMO and would like to issue section 21 to all tenants (many of which are long term) as they would like to fully refurbish the property. However they are an elderly couple and haven’t kept up with all of the compliance and regulations surrounding lettings. As such some tenants haven’t had deposits protected, gas safety certificates / EPC’s issued or the “How to rent” guides.

I wondered the best way to move forward to ensure that everything could be made up to date and then issue the section 21’s so that tenants couldn’t state they were invalid etc. to make the process as smooth as possible.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks
Darren



Comments

Neil Patterson

10:08 AM, 14th February 2020
About 2 months ago

Hi Darren,
Under the deregulation act (please see >> https://www.property118.com/what-does-the-deregulation-act-2015-mean-for-landlords/ )

You can't issue a Section21 without risking being sued 3 times the deposit plus the deposit and also no Gas Safety Certificate at the start of the tenancy. Unless maybe they are really old pre 2007 tenancies?

Tessa Shepperson at Landlord Law does a deposit repair kit you need to consider >> https://landlordlaw.co.uk/product/deposit-error-repair-kit/

Do they have a good relationship with the tenants and are they likely to move on anyway and does the refurb have to happen now?

Darren

12:49 PM, 14th February 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 14/02/2020 - 10:08
Hi Neil,

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I need to check the status of the GSC as believe these should be in place for two of the properties as they are licensed HMO's.

I understand that if the landlord didn't protect the deposits the option would then be to return them prior to issuing the section 21 notice and it wouldn't then make it invalid? Although appreciate the tenant could then take the landlord to court as a separate issue because of no deposit protection and nothing to avoid that risk?

The landlords are elderly and want to get on top of the situation now and start a fresh with new tenants once refurbs have been done and have the admin etc. handed over to a property manager to keep on top of compliance etc.

reader

12:54 PM, 14th February 2020
About 2 months ago

What a headache Darren,
You can try a step by step repair with the aim to use S21 or you could try new tenancies for everyone. But you have to formally bring the existing ones to an end before the new ones. How to end them requires some expert legal advice but there is a procedure open to you.Yet you might require the Ts consent. In any event it might delay your plans but ensure possession.

Darren

13:32 PM, 14th February 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by at 14/02/2020 - 12:54
Thanks so much for your comment. I beleive that if I issue EPC's, How to Rent Guide, as GSC's to tenants and refund their deposits (if not protected, need to double check for all tenants) and then issue the S21 it should be valid?

I am going to first speak to all tenants via email to let them know plans and offer 2 months notice to see if they agree to move out without the need for S21's, hopefully. Although have been informed there are a couple of tenants that are a little tricky!

That's an interesting thought of issuing new tenancies, I guess we would then have to wait the 4 month period before being able to issue the S21's if taking that route?

Rob Crawford

17:23 PM, 14th February 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Darren at 14/02/2020 - 13:32Hi Darren, this would be a good damage limitation plan but if a tenant goes to court with a good solicitor it doesn't mean the landlord will succeed or escape the fines etc.

Freda Blogs

10:46 AM, 15th February 2020
About 2 months ago

I would suggest you get your advice/action plan/documents etc all in order BEFORE you speak to tenants.

Navro18@gmail.Com

10:46 AM, 15th February 2020
About 2 months ago

Hmmm...they should be prioritising getting all the compliance in place, not the refurb.

Kabs

17:04 PM, 16th February 2020
About 2 months ago

I'm also in the same sh.. bought a repossessed property from auction tenant has a some kind friendship with the managing agent not sure if the previous landlord or agent has provided relevant documents at the start of the tenancy.
Tenant has not paid rent for almost 1 year. We served S21 znd now taking a chance and applying to a court.

Majestic Lettings Peterborough

20:47 PM, 16th February 2020
About 2 months ago

We've helped landlord's in a similar situation (there's more than a few!).
If the tenants and landlord had a good relationship, we've offered the tenants their deposit back plus £100 if they signed a Deed of Surrender and vacated within 2 months. I've found that 99% are happy to do this.
If there is no relationship, we've posted the EPC, Gas Cert and How to Rent Guide - keep the proof of postage receipt! Then we returned their deposit and served S21 notice. Some tenants vacated within the 2 months notice, other's have needed us to apply to the court for Possession. We were granted possession in both cases.

Michael Barnes

22:05 PM, 16th February 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by at 14/02/2020 - 12:54
I don't think new tenancies fix anything that cannot be fixed in other ways (except, possibly, protection of the deposit), certainly not failure to serve GSC before occupation, and delay serving notice for 4 months.

I would suggest investigating Section 8 Ground 8.

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