Deregulation Act 2015 heads for Royal Assent

The Deregulation Act 2015 has passed through the various Parliamentary stages and is now awaiting Royal Assent.

In relation to assured shorthold tenancies Sections 30 to 41 are particularly relevant. Changes will include:

1. On deposits any deposit paid on an assured shorthold tenancy granted after the 6th April 2007 must be protected. Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 is also amended so that the Notice cannot be used if a deposit has been paid but not registered correctly. If the deposit was received before the 6th April 2007 it does not need to have to be registered within thirty day of receipt. New deposit protection is not required following a renewal of the tenancy.

2. “Retaliatory” Section 21 Notices.

Provisions have been made for Section 21 Notices to be ineffective if the tenant has advised the landlord or his/her agent in writing of a disrepair and (a) the Local Authority are investigating or have served a formal Improvement Notice or emergency remedial action then the landlord cannot serve a Section 21 Notice of six months from the date of the formal Notice or (b) if the landlord does not respond to the tenant’s disrepair compliant within fourteen days and does not set out a reasonable proposed work timetable to rectify the disrepair.

3. Section 21 Notices

Some of the tricky issues on dates in Section 21 Notices have been removed. A Notice under Section 21(4) where there has always and only been a periodic tenancy does not have to end on the last day of a rental period of the tenancy. A Section 21 Notice cannot be served during the first four months of the tenancy but proceedings relying on that Notice must be issued within six months of the date for the tenant to leave under the Notice otherwise a new Notice will have to be issued. Rent will be apportioned to the date actual vacant possession is given up.

4. Prescribed forms of Section 21 Notices are to be introduced by the Secretary of State. There will also be Prescribed Information on the tenancy that the landlord will have to provide and also a valid gas safety certificate and/or energy performance certificate in place for an effective Section 21 Notice to be served.

If you have any queries concerning the matters raised please contact
Jeremy Teall, Partner and Housing Management Team Leader on
020 8567 3477 or e-mail jteall@prince-evans.co.uk

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