Lettings Legislation Changes: The extension of the Deregulation Act
In the second of a series of blogs aiming to prepare both landlords and tenants for the forthcoming changes to lettings legislation, we will explain the impact of the extension of the 2015 Deregulation Act which is scheduled to come into effect in October 2018.
The current Deregulation Act means that all landlords with a tenancy agreement in place which began after October 2015 must provide their tenants with:
- A valid and in date gas safety certificate
- An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- A copy of the current version of the ‘How to rent guide’
- Information of the deposit scheme they are using
If these documents aren’t supplied to the tenant, this means the landlord cannot serve notice under Section 21. A Section 21 notice can be used by landlords to evict tenants after a fixed term tenancy ends, if there’s a written contract, or during a tenancy with no fixed end date - known as a ‘periodic’ tenancy.
From October 2018, this Act will be extended to all properties regardless of when the tenancy began. If you’re a landlord with a tenancy agreement which started before 2015, we strongly advise providing your tenant with these documents as soon as possible.
As part of the Deregulation Act, further changes have been made to the ways in which Section 21 can be utilised to give greater security to tenants. Under the Act, Section 21 cannot be served for the first four months of a tenancy agreement and, if the notice has expired, the landlord must begin court proceedings within six months, otherwise another Section 21 notice would need to be served to begin the process again.
If you would like any advice in preparation for these changes, please give a member of our lettings team a call.
To read our blog on the new EPC legislation, click here.