Deregulation implications

By Mark Harris

The Deregulation Act 2015 was passed in March 2015 and has 116 sections and 23 schedules. One of these is a new provision that will come into force on 1 October 2015 to protect tenants in England from eviction.

Importantly, Section 33 of the Deregulation Act 2015 restricts a landlord’s ability to serve a ‘Section 21’ notice – used by a landlord to gain possession of a property that has been let under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) – in circumstances where the tenant has complained about the condition of the premises and the landlord either did not respond within 14 days, provided an inadequate response, or responded by serving a Section 21 notice.

From 1 October 2015 in England:

  • There will be no requirement for the date specified in the Section 21 notice to be the last day of a period of the tenancy
  • A landlord will not be able to serve a Section 21 notice within the first four months of the tenancy. This will, therefore, limit the landlord’s ability to serve notice at the start of the AST
  • There will be a statutory right for the tenant to claim back rent paid in advance (calculated on a daily basis) where a Section 21 notice brings the tenancy to an end before the end of a payment period

The Section 21 changes that come into force on 1 October 2015 will apply to an AST granted on or after this date. However, the new rules will in time apply to all tenancies, regardless of the start date.

Whether you are letting out a single property or running a large portfolio, quick and easy access to expert legal advice can bring real benefits.

The Palmers team is experienced in working with residential landlords and have developed a series of cost-effective, fixed fee services focusing on some of the more common issues that landlords have to deal with.

If you have any questions about the topics raised here, need advice about a Section 21 notice or information about deposit protection and how the Deregulation Act affects you, our team can advise and assist.