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The Deregulation Act 2015

On 1 October 2015 Sections 33 and 34 of the Deregulation Act 2015 will come into force.

These provisions are designed to prevent landlords of residential premises, let under an assured shorthold tenancy, from taking retaliatory action with a view to recovering possession of a property from a tenant, who has complained about the condition of the premises.

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Initially the new regulations will only apply were the tenancy is granted on or after 1 October 2015 but, from October 2018 the new provisions will apply to all assured shorthold tenancies.

Wide ranging implications for landlords

A landlord will be unable to rely upon the service of a Section 21 Notice to recover possession of the property in circumstances where the tenant has made a written complaint about the condition of the property and the landlord has either failed to respond within 14 days, or the landlord’s response is considered inadequate, or where the landlord has failed to respond at all, or has responded by serving a Section 21 Notice. The tenant may complain to the local Housing Authority, and if they serve an Enforcement notice the Section 21 Notice will be invalid and no further notice can be served for six months.

This will therefore have wide ranging implications for landlords who wish to recover possession in such circumstances.

All landlords should ensure they obtain appropriate legal advice before responding to complaints received from the tenant, and before serving a Section 21 Notice.