Assured Shorthold Tenancy Update

  • Are you a residential landlord, with tenants under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy?
  • Do you have any tenants with an AST from before 1st October 2015?

If so, did you know that the law changed on 1st October 2018? Judging by the enquiries we have received, many landlords do not know where they stand.

Landlords who granted a new AST on or after 1st October 2015 have had to comply with new requirements since that date. From 1st October 2018, most of these requirements apply retrospectively to all tenancies, even those granted before 1st October 2018.

So if you have had tenants in since before 1st October 2015, you need to check that you have done all that is necessary and if not, put your house in order now, because failure to comply means that you are unable to validly serve a s21 Notice. A s21 Notice is needed to bring the tenancy to an end. It is the compulsory first stage before possession proceedings can be issued.

The requirements which from 1st October 2018 apply to all tenancies (whenever granted) are:-

  • To comply with Prescribed Legal Requirements. These are to give the tenant:-
    • An Energy Performance Certificate
    • A Gas Safety Certificate (if applicable)
  • The need to use the new prescribed form s21 Notice (form 6A)
  • The inability to serve a s21 Notice in cases where, in the previous 6 months, the landlord has been served with an Improvement Notice or Emergency Remedial Action Notice by the local authority in response to a complaint made by the tenant. (“Retaliatory Evictions”).

In contrast, the need to provide the tenant with the Government’s “How to Rent Guide”, which does apply to tenancies granted after 1st October 2015, has not been extended to apply to tenancies granted before 1st October 2015. But you can still provide the tenant with one if you wish.

The law is complex. If you are unsure that you have done everything you need to in order to comply with the law, contact our Suzie Fisher for advice.

Put your “house” in order now, to save yourself problems in the future!

Published 30 January 2019

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