For those of you who are familiar with residential tenancy disputes, you will no doubt be aware that in order to evict a tenant there is an ever-changing procedure to follow… well that procedure is about to change, again!
There are currently two regimes in respect of serving section 21 notices:
For the duration of the three-year transitional period under section 41 of the Deregulation Act 2015, i.e. 1 October 2015 – 30 September 2018, the requirements as to the form of notice, and other requirements for serving a valid section 21 notice in respect of tenancies entered into before 1 October 2015 remain as before. That is to say, in general, a landlord need only serve notice in writing providing the tenant at least two months' notice of the landlord's specified date for possession, which cannot be earlier than the date on which the fixed term is due to expire. This is subject to compliance with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (“TDS”).
The new provisions under DA 2015 apply to English tenancies which were entered into on/after 1 October 2015 (or renewals of fixed term tenancies entered into before 1 October 2015 which did not first become a Statutory periodic tenancy). On 1st October 2018, the new provisions will apply to all English tenancies.
There are various pre-conditions to serving a section 21 notice under the new procedure. Under the new procedure, a section 21 notice cannot be served where:
New Section 21 Notice
Under the new provisions, a section 21 notice cannot be served in relation to a fixed term Assured Shorthold Tenancy (“AST”):
A notice must be served under HA 1988, para 21(1) or (4), under the new procedure, must be in writing using the new prescribed Form No 6A. The new Form No 6A states that the landlord should allow two days for service if being sent by ordinary first-class post. This must be considered alongside any service of notice provisions in the tenancy agreement itself.
Proceedings for a possession order cannot be commenced more than six months after the section 21 notice is served.
This is subject to the proviso that where the date specified in a notice served under HA 1988, s 21(4)(b) needs to be more than two months after the notice was given (for example, because it is in respect of a quarterly contractual periodic tenancy), proceedings cannot commence more than four months after the date specified in the notice.
The procedural requirements are onerous and so it is imperative to tread carefully. A few pointers however, when serving or receiving a section 21 notice:
If you are caught in a landlord and tenant dispute, Holmes & Hills Solicitors are on hand to step in and guide you through the process or pursue the matter on your/your client’s behalf.