Posts with tag: section 21 notices

Legal Expert Offers Advice for Landlords on Section 21 Notices

Published On: April 19, 2016 at 1:56 pm


Categories: Landlord News

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When the Deregulation Act 2015 was introduced on 1st October, it brought with it many complications for landlords. Legal expert Francessca Tremeer has advice for landlords on what you must do to avoid a section 21 notice becoming invalid.

Under the Deregulation Act, there are new rules for landlords to adhere to when serving a section 21 notice on tenants for Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) that started on or after 1st October 2015.

Tremeer, of QualitySolicitors Burroughs Day, explains that to ensure best practice, you must “get it right at the start” by complying with all of the rules and regulations that govern the private rental sector. This includes keeping consistent and correct documentation, conducting the required safety checks, complying with

Francessca Tremeer

Francessca Tremeer

deposit legislation and keeping records of all correspondence with your tenants.

“Section 21 notices are easy to get right, but many people get them wrong,” says Tremeer.

If you are serving a section 21 notice to evict a tenant, you do not need to give reasons for asking them to leave. However, be aware that you cannot serve a section 21 notice within the first four months of a tenancy, or within six months of receiving an improvement notice from the local authority. Also, be aware that you must use the word ‘after’ in your notice and specify a calendar date for the tenant to leave. There is a prescribed form of section 21 notice that landlords should use.

“When serving the section 21 notice, you must allow enough time for service of the notice,” says Tremeer. She explains that you must stick to what is written in the tenancy agreement about serving eviction notices and choose the relevant method of service.

“If there is no mention of serving by post, for example, then don’t post it,” adds Tremeer.

You must also keep a proof of service, so if you are serving the notice in person, you should take a witness with you and make a note of the date and time of service. Additionally, you must ensure that the tenant has physically received the notice, either by putting it into their hand, through the letterbox, or under the door.

If your tenant stays in the property after the section 21 notice has expired, what can you do? “You can then use the accelerated possession procedure,” says Tremeer.

There is usually no need for a hearing in these cases, you will simply need to complete a claim form for possession, sign the document and post the form, tenancy agreement and other required documents to the court. However, this comes with a cost of £355. If you let out a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), you may also be required to send your license.

If your tenant still doesn’t leave after a possession date has expired, you can send a bailiff to the property. This typically costs £110, but can take six weeks or more. “If you do need to go down this route, it is useful to have a clause in the tenancy agreement that tells tenants not to leave their possessions in the property, and what you will do if anything is left behind,” advises Tremeer.

As the process of evicting a tenant can take a long time, and if they haven’t been paying the rent already, your finances may suffer. You should consider taking out landlords insurance.

Follow this advice and stick to the law!

QualitySolicitors offers a fixed fee possession service for landlords. If you have further questions relating to problem tenants and how to gain possession, QualitySolicitors Burroughs Day provides a free first advice service and you can also sign up to their regular legal bulletin for landlords.

Tenants Damage Properties to Avoid Eviction

Published On: December 23, 2015 at 12:25 pm


Categories: Landlord News

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Tenants Damage Properties to Avoid Eviction

Tenants Damage Properties to Avoid Eviction

Tenants may be purposefully damaging their rental properties to avoid being evicted, according to an online letting agent.

Under new laws, landlords that do not respond to legitimate repair requests cannot use section 21 notices to regain possession of their properties. The legislation was enforced on 1st October.

However, research from PropertyLetByUs found that 10% of tenants have admitted to causing over £500 worth of damage to their homes.

The Managing Director of the agent, Jane Morris, states: “While in principle the legislation is a good move, ensuring that landlords don’t evict tenants because of a genuine disrepair issue, it is open to dishonest tenants bending the law to avoid eviction.

“Landlords need to ensure that they make regular checks on their properties and handle tenants’ complaints about damage quickly and efficiently. If landlords are suspicious that the damage is intentional to avoid eviction, they should seek legal advice.”1

Have you had an experience similar to this since the new laws were introduced?





















Landlord Action Founder Attacks New Legislation

Published On: October 6, 2015 at 12:53 pm


Categories: Landlord News

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The founder of eviction firm Landlord Action has revealed that he fears new legislation that came into force last week will allow tenants that complain about false repairs to stay in a property for long periods without paying rent.

Landlord Action Founder Attacks New Legislation

Landlord Action Founder Attacks New Legislation

Changes under the Deregulation Act 2015 affect whether or not a landlord can serve a section 21 notice on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) in England.

The new legislation states that if a property is considered in disrepair, landlords cannot issue a section 21 notice for six months from the date an improvement notice is served by the council.

Paul Shamplina argued against the new law last year before the All Party Parliamentary Group. He said the rules could cause tenants complaining of false repair issues to avoid paying rent for longer while investigations are conducted.

He argued: “I think this could lead to a huge spike in complaints from tenants.

“I am a bit fed up of all the frequent landlord bashing. It is about time there were more positive statements for landlords in the private rented sector, which now stands at approximately 19% of the housing market.”

He also believes that the Government has not spent enough time or money on ensuring landlords and letting agents are aware of the changes under the legislation.

He continues: “There have been a lot of significant changes in a short amount of time and I would like to have seen the Government proportion a greater budget to educating landlords, particularly those that don’t use agents to manage their properties, to ensure they are up to speed with new legislation.

“We still receive calls to our advice line on a weekly basis from landlords who don’t know about the deposit scheme, which came into effect eight years ago.”1 










Government Releases Guidance on New Section 21 Law

Published On: September 11, 2015 at 1:35 pm


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The Government has released regulations and guidance on the new section 21 legislation, with around three weeks to go before enforcement.

Property lawyer Tessa Shepperson describes the matter as a “nightmare”1, criticising the short timeframe before implementation.

Another expert complained of there being no meaningful guidance.

The new Government publications highlight how new and renewed tenancies must be dealt with from 1st October onwards.

One expert believes that the new procedure could make it harder for landlords to gain possession of their properties, with enforcement “driven by tenants relying on the argument that the new processes have not been complied with.”1

Along with tenancy deposit details, landlords or their agents must prove that they have given Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), gas safety certificates and the Government handbook, How to Rent, to their tenants.

The booklet, applicable only in England, will be made available to download from the website and it must be printed out for each tenancy.

If landlords or agents cannot prove that they have supplied this paperwork to tenants, they will not be able to use the no fault section 21 procedure.

Lawyers advise landlords and agents to have the tenant sign as proof that they have received the information.

Government Releases Guidance on New Section 21 Law

Government Releases Guidance on New Section 21 Law

Agent Ian Sanford says that another difficulty is that neither the regulations nor the guidance state when the booklet should be provided to tenants.

Sanford, the Managing Director of Pennington Properties in Huntingdon, says: “The legislation doesn’t specify when the booklet should be given, but it should be, presumably, just before the start of the tenancy.

“However, the booklet is laid out in such a way that it is meant to be given to prospective tenants before they even look at a property, so it seems a bit late to be giving it to them once they have committed to a tenancy.

“We will also have to get tenants to sign for the booklet as proof that they have been given it, otherwise they could deny it at a court hearing and invalidate the section 21 notice.

“In the guidance notes, it says that the notice will not be valid until the prescribed information, i.e. the How to Rent booklet, has been provided to the tenant, so presumably, it could be sent to the tenant just before the notice is issued.”

He continues: “We are going to get all our tenants to sign for the EPC, gas safety certificate (where appropriate) and How to Rent booklet at the start of each tenancy after October 1st, as, if we don’t have proof that they have been given these documents, they could claim they never received them, thereby invalidating the section 21 notice and preventing a landlord obtaining possession.

“After the fiasco with the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms legislation, this is another ill thought-out piece of legislation.”1

Additionally, there is some confusion regarding the new section 21 form of notice.

Although it must be applied on tenancies in England that start on or after 1st October, it can be used for tenancies that started before that date.

However, many of the new pre-conditions will not apply to existing tenancies.

Also, the new form of notice cannot be used if the property requires a license, but is unlicensed.

Fixflo’s Rajeev Nayyar, says: “While ostensibly this refers to HMO [House in Multiple Occupation] licensing, the non-specific wording may hint at a wider licensing regime to be introduced in the future.

“These are a complex set of changes being introduced without any meaningful guidance for the industry.

“Unlike other changes that have recently affected lettings businesses, enforcement of the new rules will not come from a Government body and will instead be driven by tenants not wishing to leave their homes and relying on the argument that the new processes have not been complied with.”1 

The legislation can be read here:

And the guidance is here: