Update for landlords: New Section 21 Notice comes into force on 1 October 2015

The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/1646) (“Regulations”) were laid before Parliament on 9 September 2015. They will come into force on the 1 October 2015.

The Regulations set out the new prescribed form of Section 21 Notice (Form No. 6A).

From the 1 October 2015, a Section 21 Notice cannot be used where:

  • The tenant has resided in the property for less than four months.
  • The landlord is prevented from retaliatory eviction under Section 33 of the DA 2015.
  • The landlord has not complied with the requirements under the Regulations (see Legal Requirements below).
  • The landlord has not protected the tenant's deposit under a Tenancy Deposit Scheme (see Practice note, Tenancy Deposit Schemes).
  • The property requires a licence but is unlicensed.

The new Section 21 Notice must be used for all Assured Shorthold Tenancies created on or after 1 October 2015, except for periodic tenancies that come into being after 1 October 2015 and which were fixed term ASTs created before 1 October 2015.

The new Section 21 Notice may nevertheless be used for all ASTs.

Legal requirements

Regulation 2 of the Regulations provides that, for the purpose of Section 21A of the HA 1988, the landlord cannot serve a Section 21 Notice when it has not done either of the following:

  • Provided the tenant with an energy performance certificate free of charge, in accordance with Section 6(5) of the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/3118).
  • Provided the tenant with a gas safety certificate, in accordance with Regulation 36 of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/2451). The requirement to provide a gas safety certificate is limited to providing a copy. Although Regulation 36(6) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 provides that the landlord shall provide a copy of the record within 28 days of the gas safety check, the Regulations disregard the requirement to comply within 28 days.

Prescribed information

Regulation 3 of the Regulations provides that the landlord must supply the tenant with a copy of DCLG: How to rent: The checklist for renting in England.

Landlords are not required to supply a further copy of the booklet each time a different version is published during a tenancy. The requirement does not apply where:

  • A landlord is a registered provider of social housing.
  • The landlord provided the tenant with the booklet under an earlier tenancy and that version is the latest version.

A Section 21 Notice cannot be served by the landlord at a time when the requirement has not been complied with.

A word version of the new Section 21 Notice is available from DWF LLP on request. 

This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.

Kieran Walshe

Partner - Head of Commercial Insurance and Head of Equine

As Head of DWF's Commercial Insurance team I advise on a range of high value and/ or complex litigation matters and misfeasance cases.