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Section 21 Notice rules change

One of biggest nightmares a Landlord can have is not being able to evict its tenants when the time comes or simply they just want their property back – and that nightmare might become reality.

Currently, if a landlord requires to regain possession of his or her property they serve what is known as a Section 21 Notice by providing the tenants name and the date they are required to vacate. Landlords or agents can download the Section 21 Notice form from the Government’s website.

However, new regulations due to be in force effective from 1st October 2015 may mean that this Section 21 Notice may become invalid.

The circumstances surrounding this may become from a landlord who has failed to maintain their property in a good habitable order or has failed to carry out any repairs raised by the tenant.

With the new regulations in place for Section 21 Notice the landlord will not be able to serve the notice:

  • if the tenant has made a formal written complaint to the landlord about the condition of the property prior the notice being served, and also……
  • the landlord has failed to respond adequately within 14 days
  • the tenant has then complaint to the local authority, which has decided to serve an improvement notice in respect to the property or have carried out the emergency works themselves.

This is, without a doubt a concern to most of the landlords as they are thinking that they have lost their right to their own property.

It is imperative that landlords know how to answer correctly to the new regulations. For instance, the classification of an ‘adequate response’ within the 14 day limit is one where a landlord outlines what maintenances he will embark on and how lengthy these upkeeps will take to be completed. Landlords need to make sure this is done in writing so that there is a record of what has been agreed or said between themselves and the tenants.

How to protect the Landlords.

It is imperative that landlords know how to answer correctly to the new regulations. For instance, the classification of an ‘adequate response’ within the 14 day limit is one where a landlord outlines what maintenances he will embark on and how lengthy these upkeeps will take to be completed. Landlords need to make sure this is done in writing so that there is a record of what has been agreed or said between themselves and the tenants.

Landlords will certainly be troubled that infuriated tenants may use the rules against them.

Nevertheless, landlords will be reassured to hear that they at least have selected shields under the new rules. These state that the section 21 notice will not be unacceptable if:

  • the tenant failed to use the property in a tenant like manner, or…
  • the disrepair is due to a breach of a tenant’s responsibility in their agreement, or…
  • a mortgagee is looking for recovery of a property under a mortgage that was in place before the tenancy began, or…
  • when the section 21 notice is served the property is genuinely on the market to be sold

Unsurprisingly, many landlords did not welcome the new proposed regulations. Although, if they keep the property in a well maintained order, carry out any upkeeps when risen by the tenant and most importantly keep an audit trail of any transactions this will ensure  the when the Landlord serves the Section 21 Notice there will be no further surprises along the way.

 

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