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Changes in Assured Shorthold Tenancies

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Changes to Assured Shorthold Tenancies came into force today, 1st October 2015. These have important implications for Landlords.

The effect of new provisions in s 21A & 21B Housing Act 1988 is that a Landlord cannot serve a notice requiring possession if he is in breach of certain requirements, prescribed by Statutory Instrument,  concerning the condition of the property, the health and safety of occupiers or the energy performance of the property. The regulations made under these provision require the Landlord to provide an Energy Performance Certificate and a Gas Safety Certificate. The Landlord must also provide the tenant with a copy of “How to rent: the checklist for renting in England”, as published by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The Regulations also prescribe a new form 6A “Notice seeking possession of a property let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy” which is set out in the Schedule to the Regulations.

Amendments to s 21 Housing Act 1988 alter the time limits for serving a notice seeking possession and taking action to recover possession. A Landlord cannot service a notice during the first four months of the tenancy and the notice will expire after 6 months following service; an action to recover possession has to be brought before the expiration of the notice.

Where a local authority has served an improvement notice, the Landlord may not serve a notice under s 21 for six months.

References

Housing Act 1988

Deregulation Act 2015 ss 33  -41

The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015

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