The Deregulation Act 2015 brought in wide-ranging changes to the assured shorthold tenancy (AST) regime. Initially those changes only applied in relation to ASTs that started after 1 October 2015. However, as of 1 October 2018 some of the provisions in the Deregulation Act 2015 now apply to all ASTs, irrespective of when they started.
The key changes are as follow:
- All section 21 notices must now be in Form 6A (a copy of which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/assured-tenancy-forms#form-6a).
- Landlords must be alert to the possibility of retaliatory eviction.
- Proceedings must be issued within six months of section 21 notices being given, otherwise they will expire and the landlord will have to serve a new notice if they want to bring proceedings.
- Landlords cannot serve a section 21 notice in the first four months of the tenancy.
In respect of tenancies that start after 1 October 2015 Landlords must also provide tenants with a copy of the gas safety certificate (before the AST starts), an EPC for the property and the Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government’s ‘How to Rent’ guide. However, these requirements do not apply to tenancies that started before 1 October 2015. Although it is worth mentioning that if landlords fail to provide their tenants with a copy of the gas safety certificate it may be a criminal offence.
We regularly advise clients on issues relating to ASTs. Please contact Bryony Darnell with any queries.