New regulations for Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England

Published September 15th, 2015

Farmers and landowners with let cottages will need to familiarise themselves with new requirements which came into effect on October 1st if they wish to maintain their right to recover possession of the property, warns Mark Morison, partner with property professionals Berrys.

The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 came into effect on 1st October 2015. The Regulations, which apply in England only, follow on from changes made in the Deregulation Act 2015. Points to note are:

1. A new prescribed s.21 notice

Regulation 4 introduces a new prescribed form for a section 21 notice (previously there was none) which must be used if possession is sought on no-fault grounds for an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) commencing on or after 1st October 2015.

Where a fixed term AST began before 1st October 2015 and became a periodic tenancy after that date, the requirement to use the prescribed form does not apply, although the prescribed notice may be used on any tenancy which commenced before 1st October if the landlord so chooses.

2. Prescribed legal requirements

Section 38 of the Deregulation Act 2015 inserted a new s21A into the Housing Act 1988 which prevents a s.21 notice from taking effect if the landlord is “in breach of a prescribed legal requirement”. The new Regulations require the landlord to have complied with Regulation 6(5) of the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 – which carry the requirement to make a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate for the property available free of charge to the tenant and Paragraph (6) or (7) of regulation 36 of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 – which carry the requirement to provide the tenant with a copy of the gas safety certificate.

3. Provision of prescribed information

The third regulatory requirement is that the landlord must give to the tenant a copy of the Government guidance titled “How to rent – the checklist for renting in England”. The guidance may be provided in hard copy or by email, where the tenant has agreed to receive notices and documents by email. The guidance only has to be given to the tenant once, even if new editions are subsequently published.

The requirement does not apply to a replacement tenancy, such as a renewal on the same terms.

If property Landlords are unsure of where they stand they can ask us for a compliance audit. Contact Mark Morison at Berrys, Shrewsbury, tel: 01743 290647 or email

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More about Mark Morison

Chartered Surveyor
Tel: 01743 290647

Mark joined Berrys as a partner in July 2015. He comes from a farming background and has worked as a rural practice chartered surveyor in Shropshire and mid Wales since 1997. He is a member and accredited Valuer of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a Fellow of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a member of the British Institute of Agricultural Consultants. He is a past chairman and current examiner for the West Midlands Group of Agricultural Valuers and a past chairman of the Shropshire, Montgomeryshire and District Agricultural Valuers Association.

Mark has vast experience in a range of professional services including valuations, landlord and tenant matters, Common Agricultural Policy and rural land management. He is an experienced rural property practitioner conversant with the RICS Practice Statement and Guidance Notes – ‘Surveyors acting as Expert Witnesses’ and the provisions of the Civil Procedure Rules Part 35 and the Arbitration Act 1996 and also a panel Valuer for a number of High Street banks, including Barclays Bank PLC and Lloyds Bank PLC.