New Legislations for Landlords

Landlords may well get substantial tax breaks; but managing a range (or even a couple) of properties, is no picnic in the park.

This is because there are a maze of regulations to understand, and these tend to change  depending on who’s running the country.

And the latest rules contain a number of alterations that will have an impact on landlords of residential property.

The Deregulation Act 2015 was passed on 26 March 2015 – and introduced some key changes to the legislation regarding tenancy deposits and Section 21 notices (or eviction notices).

Some of the regulations will take effect on 1 July (Sections 37-39) and the rest on 1 October 2015. The Act will apply to Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST) created after that date – and then to all ASTs as from 2018; so it’s important to be prepared.

Rent guarantee specialists, Assetgrove have outlined some of the major changes below – the finer points can be quite complex, so do consult a lawyer to see the impact the Act will have on your particular situation.

Retaliatory Evictions

Retaliatory Evictions (Section 33) are when landlords serve Section 21 notices seeking possession after a tenant has made a complaint about the property. The new Act says that a valid eviction notice cannot be served in the following circumstances:

  • When a tenant has made an official, written complaint to the landlord regarding the condition of the property;
  • When a landlord doesn’t respond within 14 days, or the response is inadequate and the landlord doesn’t set out a proposed course of action and a reasonable timescale;
  • Where a local authoirty has served an enforcement notice.

If an enforcement notice is served, a landlord won’t be able to serve a Section 21 notice for six months, although there are some exceptions. This means that the ability of a landlord to recover possession of their property is further restricted.

Section 21 notice

Under Sections 35-39, a landlord won’t be able to serve a Section 21 notice within the first four months of the contractual term of the tenancy. Landlords also won’t be able to serve a valid Section 21 notice if they are in breach of legislation relating to the condition of the property, as well as the health and safety of occupiers and energy performance.

Section 21 will have a shelf life of just six months, if the period expires and the landlord wishes to issue court proceedings, a fresh notice will be needed.

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