Earlier in the year the first landlord and tenant changes under the Deregulation Act 2015 (“DA 15”) were implemented, these changes dealt with deposit protection. Now the time has come for the second raft of changes to be implemented.
These changes seek to impose further restrictions on a landlord’s ability to serve a section 21 notice seeking possession. The major change is the new legislation which aims to protect tenants against retaliatory evictions where they have made a complaint to their landlord concerning the repair of the property.
RETALITORY EVICTIONS (sections 33- 41 DA 15)
The DA 15 has introduced new rules restricting a landlord’s right to serve a section 21 notice seeking possession, where the tenant has made a written complaint concerning either the condition of the premises or common parts before service of a section 21 notice.
Where a written complaint has been received the landlord must investigate the complaint and provide a detailed response to the complaint within 14 days.
The retaliatory restriction does not apply in the following situations:
• The tenant is in breach of its duty to use the premises in a tenant like manner
• The premises are on the market for sale
• The premises were charged before the commencement of the tenancy and the mortgage company wishes to exercise its power of sale and requires vacant possession to do so.
This section will come into effect on 1 October 2015.
OTHER KEY CHANGES
The DA 15 also makes the following changes:
• The Secretary of State has power to introduce regulations that prescribed the form and contents of a section 21 notice (section 37 DA 2015)
• Limit on the landlords ability to serve a section 21 notice at the commencement of the tenancy agreement (section 36 DA 15)
• The ability to suspend an eviction where the landlord has failed to comply with statutory requirements, for example EPC and Gas Safety Certificates. (section 38 DA 15)
• Introduces an obligation to serve a statement of rights and responsibilities on the tenant, failure to comply with this obligation will prevent the service of a valid section 21 notice (section 39 DA 15).
• Introduces a procedure that enables tenants to claim back rent paid in advance in respect of a period falling after a section 21 notice terminates the tenancy (section 40 DA 15).