Serving notice on tenants in assured shorthold tenancies - changes take effect from 1 October 2015

On 1st October 2015 the Deregulation Act 2015 will introduce significant changes to the regime under section 21 Housing Act 1988 for serving notices on tenants in assured shorthold tenancies, with potential traps for unwary landlords.

One of the aims of the Deregulation Act is to prevent so-called “retaliatory evictions”.  The principle changes in summary are:

  • A section 21 notice will be invalid if served after a tenant has made some complaint about the condition of the property, to which the landlord has not responded at all or has not responded adequately 
  • There are additional restrictions on the landlord serving a section 21 notice where the landlord has been served with a notice by the local authority under the Housing Act 2004 
  • It will be permissible for the landlord to give two months’ notice expiring on any day on a periodic tenancy under section 21 (4) rather than, as now, timing the expiry of such a notice to coincide with the last day of a period of the tenancy  
  • A section 21 notice cannot be served within the first 4 months of the tenancy 
  • There is likely to be a prescribed form of section 21 notice

This is a very condensed summary of some of the major changes - landlords and tenants who may be affected should seek specialist advice.
For expert advice on this and other civil matters, contact Sue Woolford at our Halifax office on 01422 339 600.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.