Still working on the new claim form N5B – give me strength?

by Readers Question

10:27 AM, 10th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Still working on the new claim form N5B – give me strength?

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Still working on the new claim form N5B – give me strength?

Okay so we are working through the new extended claim form for possession of property (tenant wants to be evicted…… so she can get her council house). Doing very well, but stumped at Question 14 which appears initially to be a very simple question:

Has the claimant given the defendant, and to anyone who paid the deposit on behalf of the defendant, the prescribed information?

Then there is a box for you to write the date in I assume they mean when she first went into the property 2014 or the last time we had a written renewal 2018 or when it went periodic 2019.

Unfortunately unlike the old claim form there are no guidance notes anywhere.

Click here to download form N5B

Many thanks

Gemma



Comments

Darren Peters

11:30 AM, 10th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Did the tenant give you a deposit?
Did you protect the deposit and generate a deposit protection certificate and give that to the tenant? Did you also give the tenant the prescribed information pertaining to the dpc then and at any other point? It would have been available to download with the DPC wherever you protected the deposit.

Belt and braces is you re-sent the DPC & prescribed info on renewal and when the tenancy goes to statutory periodic.

As for which date, better minds will advise which of several you pick but perhaps add something to state the other times you served the documents. If you have evidence of sending it's fantastic but the tenant is unlikely to deny receiving I suspect.

Kate Mellor

13:52 PM, 10th June 2020
About 2 months ago

The date will be the date you served the prescribed information at the commencement of the original tenancy. If a tenancy is renewed or becomes periodic, prescribed information is not required to be served again unless there has been a significant change to the terms of the tenancy such as one of the tenants being removed, or a new tenant being added; the landlord has changed; the protection scheme used has changed; the property let has changed.
A rent increase doesn’t require the deposit to be returned and protected again. That is the advice given by the RLA & the DPS for their Custodial scheme; the Insurance scheme may be different.

Gemma

14:36 PM, 10th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Yes I think I’ve figured out the whole form now (hallelujah !) so thank you for the above advice .
Yes Darren I have taken a belt and braces approach giving tentant info when tenancy renewed and went periodic.
Well okay I haven’t quite finished the form ! , still umming and ahhing about question 17 B (gas cert) they obviously want to see a copy of the gas certificate given to the tenant before she went into the property and then it gives you two other spaces to put further gas safety inspection certs that were carried out ‘during the period of the tenancy ‘ and I don’t know if just to do from the last renewal or when it went periodic or just to send them the whole seven years worth of gas certificates and re-draw the grid or add a covering note.
My tenant wants to be evicted so she’s not going to contest anything and I’ve done everything correctly so I feel this form is something I should be able to fill out without putting hand in pocket but at the same time I’ve become paranoid about getting something wrong.

Gemma

13:32 PM, 11th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Yes it’s me I’m back !. Sorted Gas cert question (I’m just sending them the whole bloody lot ) and now I’m left with the very last question (please God). I’ve spoken with 2 of my friends who are both solicitors and they gave me different answers and I’ve also rang the NRLA helpline twice and got two different answers there as well (don’t know if to laugh or cry at this point).
So the questions are ( 18 B )
Has the defendant being given a copy of the then current document ‘how to rent: the checklist for renting in England‘?
So I’ve ticked YES. In fact I’ve given her 3 , first one in 2016 when she renewed her tenancy and this was the first time it was legally required to be given to the tenant .I then supplied her with another one on the date of the next renewal in 2018 and I also gave her one when the tenancy went periodic 2019 (each one was the then current version so all three are different) .
Then we go onto question 18 C and this is when the problem starts. It says ‘ when was the document provided ‘ and it allows you a box for only ONE date . they also want a photocopy of it as well . So which one (2016, 2018 or 2019) ?.
If anybody can help me with this I would be much obliged and I promise I will go away and you will never hear anything about this wretched document again !.

Geoff

11:34 AM, 12th June 2020
About 2 months ago

I’m stuck on exactly the same question , there must be someone who knows the answer to this !. Unbelievable that there is no guidance notes for the form.

Lindsay Keith

8:45 AM, 13th June 2020
About 2 months ago

This is what you get from an underfunded Justice and Courts system constantly chased to produce reams of forms do deal with ever-increasing demands from self-important legislators trying to get a gallon out of a half-pint pot. It is the natural consequence of unthought through cuts, cuts, cuts to the 'Justice' system that is now the laughing or is it weeping stock of the legal profession? It can't be much fun working for such an organisation that is for ever being told to 'slim down'?
And this is a Government that trumpeted it would recruoit 20,000 'more' policemen and women? Ignore that they would only be replacing the 20,000++ thrown away with all their training over the previous few years, most by that most useless of Ministers the Maybot?
They make you lose the will to live.

Michael Bond

12:10 PM, 18th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Property 118 seems to be getting more and more cries of anguish from landlords who are trying to evict their tenants who want to be evicted so as to take advantage of the conditional offer of a Council House/Flat. The cost in time and money for the landlord seems to be potentially large.
Why are we doing this? Is it a favour to the Council, who will chop us off at the knees if given a chance, which this exercise may provide if they spot that we have made a procedural mistake? Or is it a favour to the tenant? Even if the tenant is an excellent tenant, as very many are, this seems far over and above the call of duty!

Kate Mellor

14:15 PM, 18th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Hi Gemma,
The specific legislation is covered in full here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/1646/pdfs/uksi_20151646_en.pdf
The relevant sections are as follows:
"Requirement for landlord to provide prescribed information
3.-(1) A landlord under an assured shorthold tenancy of a dwelling-house in England, or a person acting on behalf of such a landlord, must give the tenant under that tenancy the information mentioned in paragraph (2).
(2) The information is the version of the document entitled “How to rent: the checklist for
renting in England”, as published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, that
has effect for the time being.
(3) The information may be provided to the tenant—
(a) in hard copy; or
(b) where the tenant has notified the landlord, or a person acting on behalf of the landlord, of
an e-mail address at which the tenant is content to accept service of notices and other
documents given under or in connection with the tenancy, by e-mail.
(4) Paragraph (1) does not require a landlord, or person acting on behalf of the landlord, who has
provided the tenant with the document mentioned in paragraph (2) to supply a further copy of the
document each time a different version of that document is published during the tenancy.
(5) This regulation does not apply—
(a) where the landlord is a private registered provider of social housing; or
(b) where—
(i) the tenancy (“the new tenancy”) is a replacement tenancy;
(ii) the landlord, or a person acting on behalf of the landlord, provided the tenant with the document mentioned in paragraph (2) under an earlier tenancy; and
(iii) the version of the document provided to the tenant under the earlier tenancy is the same version as the version which is in effect on the first day of the new tenancy.
(6) In this regulation “replacement tenancy” has the same meaning as in section 21(7) of the Act."
The Act referred to is The Housing Act 1988 which you can view in full here:
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/50/section/21
I have copied section 21(7) for you for ease:
"(7)For the purposes of this section, a replacement tenancy is a tenancy—
(a)which comes into being on the coming to an end of an assured shorthold tenancy, and
(b)under which, on its coming into being—
(i)the landlord and tenant are the same as under the earlier tenancy as at its coming to an end, and
(ii)the premises let are the same or substantially the same as those let under the earlier tenancy as at that time.]"

It seems clear therefore, that any tenancy which may be considered NEW (ie not a replacement tenancy as per the provided definition), must be issued with H2R, but a replacement tenancy (which yours probably are), only requires a copy of the guide to be issued where a new version has been issued since the last one was issued. So yes, you will need to provide all that apply. Awkward since the form doesn't allow space...

Kate Mellor

14:18 PM, 18th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Perhaps you could insert the date of first issue, then provide photocopies of all three with dates of issue written across the top?

Geoff

20:12 PM, 21st June 2020
About 2 months ago

Enjoyed reading all of that Kate but it still doesn’t answer the question does it !, there’s only one box so there’s only one answer they want. I’m in a similar position to Gemma - I gave the tenant the How to Rent booklet when the law came out, a couple of times when the tenancies were renewed and once again when it went periodic. I even gave her another current copy before giving her section 21. I know I’m well covered but which one is the one they want to know about !.
It’s the one question I’m stuck on and if I don’t get an answer I’m going to have to pay some so-called expert a grand to do the paperwork for me.
Please is there anyone out there that knows the answer to this question .....I’m on my knees !

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