New regulations due 1st October – Update from readers questions

New regulations due 1st October – Update from readers questions

8:01 AM, 2nd October 2015, About 7 years ago 38

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The Department of Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) new regulations are due to come into force on the 1st of October. They introduce new obligations on landlords to provide specific information to their tenants, and restrictions on the use of the section 21 notice no fault possession procedure if they fail to do so.dclg

The new regulations will only apply to new tenancies from 1st October 2015, and then to all tenancies from October 1st 2018.

Landlords will become responsible for giving tenants a booklet called “How to rent: the checklist for renting in England”.

This is available from the government website here >> https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent   (There is no hard copy available)

This booklet may/will be updated, but it does not look like you have to send a new one to tenants every time this happens. You will need proof it has been given which could be by hard copy or in an email attached as a PDF if you have confirmation of receipt.

There will be no need to send again when a tenancy falls into Statutory Periodic, but if a new term AST is signed then it will need to be re-issued.

Landlords must also give tenants a copy of the EPC certificate which is valid for 10 years and a copy of the Gas Safety certificate.

What about HMOs? It is not clear, but the consensus of industry opinion is that an EPC for the whole building will need to be supplied along with a Gas Safety certificate to tenants.

If any of the above are not given to tenants (at the start of a tenancy to avoid doubt) then the new rules prohibit the use of a section 21 notice to end a tenancy.

Landlords and Agencies are being advised to keep proof these documents were provided.

To see the NLAs response to these rules being rushed in click here

 

The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/1646/pdfs/uksi_20151646_en.pdf

Explanatory Note

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/1646/pdfs/uksiem_20151646_en.pdf



Comments

by Sue Edmunds

21:05 PM, 27th September 2015, About 7 years ago

We're about to start letting out the flat we have lived in for six years - so we still have an EPC from when we bought it, valid for another 4 years.

Reading the above, amI right in thinking we need to get a new EPC which would be valid for the full 10 years? And would we then need to get another one everytime we have a new tenant? (ie if one tenant moves out after a year the EPC is only valid for 9 more years so do we need a new one?)

Thanks!

by Romain Garcin

21:29 PM, 27th September 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Sue Edmunds" at "27/09/2015 - 21:05":

Hi Sue,

You do not need a new EPC.
As long as your property has a valid one when you have to give a copy to a (prospective) tenant you are fine.

by Edwin Cowper

0:12 AM, 1st October 2015, About 7 years ago

I believe the regulations regarding notices may have a fundamental error.

You grant a six month tenancy from and including 1st October. The six months expires on 31st March. On 1st April a statutory tenancy automatically commences. It is a periodic tenancy, and runs from month to month (usually).

You terminate the tenancy by notice served after 4 months (on 1st February). But it runs for 2 months, and expires on 1st April. After the expiry of the old AST. I suggest it is invalid because the new periodic monthly tenancy has started. So that means the notice needs to expire on 30th April, because to terminate a periodic tenancy the notice has to expire at the end of the period of the term. ie in this case the end of the month.

Is it agreed Mark this is a problem with six month tenancies?

Is this a solution : do not grant a tenancy for less than 6 months and 1 week. Then you can serve the termination notice immediately after the 4 months has passed, and get it to take effect on the last day of the AST (ie at the end of 6 months and 1 week)- and you've given the required two months notice

by Romain Garcin

8:24 AM, 1st October 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Edwin Cowper" at "01/10/2015 - 00:12":

Hi Edwin,

A section 21 notice does not end the tenancy.

The scenario you suggest is not impacted by the latest changes. Whether the notice expires on the last day of the fixed term tenancy or the first day of the following periodic tenancy does not impact the validity of the notice, or indeed the creation of the periodic tenancy.

by Edwin Cowper

22:39 PM, 1st October 2015, About 7 years ago

I regret I have to disagree. A S21 Certificate DOES end the tenancy. That is what it is for. However its expiry does not allow the landlord to get possession, unless the tenant vacates voluntarily. If it is not vacated a court order has to be obtained. This is standard.

I don't think you have addressed the legal issue of what happens when the ast fixed term comes to an end because it expires.

The issue is that the law HAS been changed. If the Landlord wanted to terminate a six month tenancy under the old rules, it was simply a requirement to serve not less than two months notice expiring on the last day of the tenancy.

Now, under the new rules if a landlord grants a six month tenancy that is IMPOSSIBLE. You can't serve the two month notice until after the expiry of 4 months. Which means it CAN'T expire on the last date of a six month tenancy.

So I asked if giving a tenancy for six months and one week was the answer. The two months notice can be given after the first four months of the term, and can expire on the last day of the term of 6 months and one week.

What do you think Mark?

by Edwin Cowper

22:54 PM, 1st October 2015, About 7 years ago

You have said that, in effect, a two months notice can expire at any time. However, to terminate a tenancy which is periodic (which it will become if the tenant has remained in the propertyafter the fixed term) at common law a notice has to be given which expires on the monthly rent date.

When the notice is given, it is a fixed term ast notice but when it expires it is a statutory periodic tenancy.

Therefore I suggest that it will be defective because a periodic tenancy can only be determined at the end of any tenancy month (if monthly tenancy)

Whats your view? what about you, Mark, please

by Ross McColl

12:55 PM, 2nd October 2015, About 7 years ago

My understanding of the amendments to the Deregulation Bill tells me that a Section 21 does not need to expire on the last day of a periodic in a periodic tenancy since the introduction of the new prescribed format. It can be 2 straight months from service, and that is the only criteria you need to fulfill as far as timescales are concerned???

by Seething Landlord

23:54 PM, 2nd October 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ross McColl" at "02/10/2015 - 12:55":

The fact that the S21 can expire on any date seems to me to be of major benefit to landlords.

by Edwin Cowper

21:40 PM, 3rd October 2015, About 7 years ago

I suggest that the rules and form notes need to be read very carefully. It says that the notice must be "not less" than two months and then (not very well) points out that if there is a three monthly periodic tenancy then three months needs to be given.It does not consider when that expires.

The rules do NOT so far as I can see abolish the obligation that a notice to terminate must expire on the date of expiry of the period. If I'm mistaken, please point me to the provision of the statutory instrument I have overlooked.

I note that there has been no view whether it is agreed that there is a problem terminating a new 6 month tenancy because of the service dates now required

by Luke P

21:51 PM, 3rd October 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Edwin Cowper" at "03/10/2015 - 21:40":

The Deregulation Bill removed the requirement for a S.21 to end on the last day of a period.


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