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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 firstname.lastname@example.org