Recent legislation designed to weed out unscrupulous landlords and provide tenants with a sense of security now means that the no-fault eviction process is not as simple as it once was. While the intention is laudable, the changes have been coming in piecemeal fashion, making it difficult to keep up, especially as the changes aren’t always well-publicised.
Landlords who want to ask their tenants to vacate the premises after the end of a tenancy have to serve tenants with a Section 21 notice. With the changes in legislation, in order to do this, there are a number of steps landlords must undertake during the course of the tenancy.
For those who are confused, we’ve laid out a breakdown below.
What is a Section 21 notice?
A Section 21 notice is a notice of seeking possession. This is a non-fault notice, and you do not need to give your tenant a reason as to why you are asking them to vacate the property, as you would with a Section 8 notice. When serving a Section 21 notice, you must give your tenants at least 2 months’ notice to vacate, ensuring the tenant has time to find suitable accommodation elsewhere.
You can only serve a Section 21 notice if your tenants have a written assured shorthold tenancy (AST) or statutory periodic tenancy agreement (or, if there is an oral tenancy agreement in place), and even then, there are several other things you must have done first.
What do I need to do to be compliant?
In order to serve a Section 21 notice, you need to be able to provide evidence that you’ve taken the appropriate measures to be compliant at the beginning of the tenancy. These include:
- Putting the tenant’s deposit in a deposit protection scheme (there are three legally recognized such schemes in England and Wales) at the start of the tenancy, and providing this information, as well as the T&Cs, to the tenant.
- You must give your tenant a copy of the current How to Rent Guide. To complicate this matter, the form and content of the guide is frequently changed with little or no notice and the version you supply must be up-to-date.
- Making sure the property has been issued with a Gas Safety certificate, if required, and that it has been provided to the tenant.
- You must have provided your tenant with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) free of charge. This has to be supplied within seven days of marketing your property.
- Many of these changes are a result of the Deregulation Act 2015, and more information can be found here.
And another thing…
All of this documentation must be served within specific time frames, proof of which must be documented.
Letflo is the answer. Letflo helps you compile all the necessary documentation into your Tenancy Information Pack, provide this information to your tenants and relevant parties, and evidence doing so, to help ensure that your landlords are legally compliant and able to issue a Section 21 notice. The Tenancy Information Pack is a great selling point for your landlords (produced with your own agency branding!), we help to keep agents up to date with legislation changes through our system, and if you’re off work ill or on holiday, it’s easy for any colleague to pick up right where you left off.
Letflo – we take the complicated out of compliant and let you get back to your day job.
Book your free demo > http://www.letflo.com/contact-us/