In October 2015 changes to Section 21 notice (Form 6A) were introduced through the Deregulation Act 2015. Almost two years on we are all accustomed to the new rules, however, there are some issues that have been causing concern.
A reminder –
- Notice MUST be served in a prescribed format using the Form 6A Notice
- Notice CANNOT be served if there is an ongoing maintenance issue which has been reported to a Local Authority who has in turn issued an improvement notice.
- Landlords & Letting Agents MUST provide the tenant with the How to Rent Guide, and a hard copy of a valid Gas Safety Certificate and Energy Performance Certificate
- The Notice will be invalid if Tenancy Deposit Protection has not been complied with
- The Notice CANNOT be served during the first four months of the tenancy
- The Notice will expire SIX months from the date of service
The issues have not been yet tested in the high court, however, they are causing problems.
- The Form 6A issued by the Government is missing a field for the DATE OF SERVICE
- Point 4 of the form states that the Landlord’s name & address is required. Once again there is NO FIELD to insert this information. Also please note, the form does not give provision to use the letting agent’s name and address.
- Whilst the guidance notes state that the Form 6A can be used for Assured Shorthold Tenancies which began pre 1st October 2015, some landlords and letting agents are not issuing the How to Rent Guide, Gas Safety Certificate & EPC along with the notice.
- A client of ours received notification where a judge dismissed the claim (Accelerated Possession) on the basis that form 6A was not used for a tenancy which was renewed in April 2016 despite the original tenancy pre-dating the Deregulation Act. The original tenancy started in 2012. In light of this decision, irrespective of whether or not the original tenancy predates 1st October 2015, Form 6A must be used on all cases where the renewal tenancy commenced after 1st October 2015. Only serve the old form section 21 notice where the original tenancy predates 1st October 2015 and the tenancies have subsequently gone periodic and no renewal tenancies have been granted.
Note to self – Remember that notices MUST not be served at Weekends and on Public Holidays