New regulations surrounding Section 21 notices will come into force at the start of October despite problems with the drafting of the legislation.
As we reported recently, the implementation of the new regulations was left in serious doubt because of high-profile drafting issues but, it seems, that landlords will now have just a matter of days to ensure that they can comply with the rules.
Industry bodies have said that it was doubtful that the regulations would be imposed because of errors in the draft report and what has been perceived as a lack of clarity for landlords.
In contrast to popular predictions, however, the government has announced that the S21 regulations will be implemented from the first of October.
It confirmed that amendments have been tabled in order to have the wording of the legislation revised. An alternative S21 form has also been circulated in a bid to gather eleventh-hour comments from consumer and industry bodies.
So, whilst it has not yet been set in stone, it does seem likely that landlords or agents acting for them will, from the start of October, have to ensure that all new tenants receive the How To Rent guidelines issued by the government.
It will also be necessary to provide tenants with a Gas Safety Certificate each year, along with an Energy Performance Certificate relating to the property concerned.
Landlords or their agents risk not being able to serve section 21 notices for eviction if they fail to ensure that these conditions have been met and that the tenants have been provided with all of the required information.
The National Landlords Association had joined with many other industry bodies by voicing complaints about the previous error contained within the S21 form.
This ‘error’ related to the length of validity for a section 21 notice in the case of a fixed term tenancy that had become a periodic tenancy or rolling tenancy.
The draft form said that there would be a four-month period of validity from when the notice was issued, which contradicted regulations within the Deregulation Act.
The latter states that the four-month period begins once the notice expires.
As previously reported, the NLA has called the introduction of the new regulations ‘shoddy’, lambasting the government for poor wording and bad timing that has not given landlords and agents enough time to prepare for the introduction of the new regulations.