Serving a 'Section 21 Notice of Possession' (under the Housing Act 1988) is the normal legislative process for a landlord to give notice to a tenant to regain possession of a property at the end of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. Previously, it was not uncommon for landlords or their letting agent to serve these notices at the beginning of a new tenancy as a matter of course. However, the legislation has now been updated.
Firstly, the rules as to WHEN a Section 21 Notice may be served, has changed.
Landlords cannot validly serve a Section 21 Notice in the first four months of a new tenancy and the Section 21 Notice will only be valid for six months from the date of issue. However, when a tenancy has been renewed, the landlord or letting agent is able to serve a Section 21 Notice at any time during this renewed tenancy.
There is also an additional change in that the Section 21 notice would not be valid if it is served BEFORE the following other documents have been provided to the tenants:
- A Gas Safety Certificate (where appropriate)
- The property's Energy Performance Certificates, also known as the EPC.
- The Department for Communities and Local Government's How to Rent Guide.
- The Prescribed Information relating to the protection of the tenant's deposit.
Ideally, these documents should all be served at the START of a new tenancy.
Whilst it is the landlord's responsibility to comply with all of the latest regulations, we're on hand to help you with any legislative advice as things do change so please telephone us for help. If you would rather we just got on with it, then we can offer a fully managed service to make life easier for you.