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Further Changes for Assured Shorthold Tenancies

Further Changes come into effect on 1 October 2015 regarding Assured Shorthold Tenancies.

Landlords of residential premises should be aware of the regulations introduced by the Deregulation Act 2015 which come into effect on 1 October 2015. This note does not provide a full list, only a summary of the some of the changes.

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For tenancies granted after 1 October 2015 a new form of notice is to be given to a tenant under Section 21 Housing Act 1988 if the landlord wishes to bring the tenancy to an end. (The new form will apply to all assured shorthold tenancies after 1 October 2018.)

The new Form 6A cannot be served at the outset, it can only be used where the tenant has been in occupation of the premises for four months or more.

Gas checks must be made at least every 12 months

Notice cannot be given unless the landlord has complied with the obligation to provide the tenant with a gas safety certificate, (all gas appliances and flues must be checked by an engineer registered with the Gas Safety Register at least every 12 months) and an Energy Performance Certificate. Landlords are also required to provide the tenant with a leaflet entitled “”How to rent: checklist for renting in England”.

The new regulations also provide that landlord cannot serve notice where the tenant has made a complaint about the condition of the premises, and it still remains the case that the landlord must comply with the regulations concerning protecting the tenants deposit under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

Obligations more complex

The notice under Form 6A is also only valid for four months (periodic tenancies) or six months in the case of fixed term tenancies. If legal proceedings have not been issued before the notice expires, a fresh notice will need to be served and landlord will have to wait another two months before issuing proceedings to obtain a possession order.

The obligations upon landlords are becoming ever more complex and it is essential for landlords to obtain specialist legal advice before taking any action, if you feel I may be able to help, please do not hesitate to contact me.