Section 21 law change: October 1 deadline "in grave doubt"

Section 21 law change: October 1 deadline "in grave doubt"

A landlord body says it has had confirmation from the government that there is an error in the published version of the Section 21 form and claims that as a result “the October 1 implementation date is now in grave doubt.”

The National Landlords Association is one of many professional bodies to have complained about the error in the S21 form in the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015.

These are the regulations which introduce new obligations on landlords to provide specific information to their tenants, and which specify the restrictions which will apply on the use of the section 21 notice no fault possession procedure if they fail to do so.

The standard form, as currently drafted, notes that where a fixed term tenancy ends and then turns into a rolling or periodic tenancy the section 21 notice would only be valid for four months from the date that it is served on the tenant.

This contradicts the Deregulation Act, which makes clear that the required period to regain possession of a property where a tenancy is a rolling or periodic tenancy, should instead be four months from the date the section 21 notice expires.

Last week the NLA described the way the new regulations were being introduced as “shoddy” and that it was “plain farcical” that changes were announced in regulation documents that Richard Lambert, chief executive officer of the NLA, described as poorly worded, badly timed and .... with just days to spare before they are due to come into force on October 1.”

It is currently unknown as to whether the amendments will be made in time and, if so, whether they can be integrated into the document given that Parliament itself is now in recess until after the party conference season concludes.

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