The new form of Section 21 Notice must now be used for all tenancies that start on or after 1st October 2015. However, the old form can be used for any tenancies that started before 1st October 2015 up until 1st October 2018.
Landlords need to be aware that the new Section 21 will only be valid if certain pre-conditions have been met. Before the start of a tenancy the tenant(s) must be provided with (a) a copy of the EPC (b) a copy of the current gas safety certificate, and (c) a copy of the DCLG How to Rent Guide. The Section 21 will also be invalid if the landlord (a) is carrying out a “retaliatory eviction” (b) has failed to properly protect any deposit and (c) the property requires a licence but is unlicensed.
A “retaliatory eviction” applies when (a) a tenant has made a written complaint to the landlord about the condition of the property prior to the Section 21 Notice being served (b) the landlord has not provided an adequate response within 14 days (c) the tenant has subsequently complained (about the same matter) to the Local Authority who have served an Improvement Notice or taken action under the HHSRS.
The upshot of this is that a Section 21 Notice is no longer a simple process but will become “evidence based”. RLA members can find further detailed information on the RLA website. For a copy of the DCLG Right to Rent Guide please email email@example.com