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Changes to Assured Shorthold Tenancies now in force
1 October 2018

Changes to the Deregulation Act 2015 came into force on 1st October 2018 meaning that all landlords in England wishing to serve eviction notices to tenants in Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 will have to comply with additional requirements, making it more challenging to do so.

These changes first came into effect on 1st October 2015 but only for tenancies which started or were renewed for new fixed terms after that date. We have therefore been in a transition period for tenancies which pre-dated 1st October 2015. This transition period ended on 1st October 2018 and from that date the Deregulation Act changes applies to all ASTs.

Under this, a Section 21 notice cannot be served where:

  • A landlord has failed to comply with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme;
  • A landlord has failed to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to the tenant before the tenancy commences;
  • A landlord has failed to provide a Gas Safety Certificate to the tenant before the tenancy commences;
  • A landlord has failed to provide the tenant with the prescribed information on how to rent; and
  • A landlord is deemed to have served the notice as a ‘retaliatory eviction’.

Landlords also need to be aware that they will not be able to serve a Section 21 notice in the first four months of the start of an AST.

Although these provisions have been in effect for newer tenancies for some time, the widening of them may be unexpected for some landlords.

Kellie Marsh, Residential Lettings Manager at Robinson & Hall, commented: “The changes to the Deregulation Act provide even more reason to use a reputable agent to let your property as they will keep on top of maintenance and ensure all regulations are met. We provide this for our landlords at all times.”

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