Last week, the government released new regulations that will require landlords to serve relevant bits of information to tenants in order to allow them to serve Section 21 notices. They are scheduled to be made applicable to new tenancies from 1 October, and then to all tenancies exactly three years later.
However, having inspected the final version of the new Section 21 form, the Residential Landlords Association have concluded that the government have made a serious error in its drafting. Consequently, they have written a letter to housing minister Brandon Lewis to request that the form is corrected before it becomes legally binding.
According to the RLA, there is a contradiction between the new standard form, as currently drafted, and the Deregulation Act. The former says that where a fixed-term tenancy ends and becomes a rolling or periodic tenancy, the Section 21 notice is only valid for four months from the date it is served. The latter says that the required period to regain possession of a property where a tenancy is rolling or periodic, should be four months from the date the Section 21 notice expires.
This problem, the RLA warns, exposes landlords to a “legal minefield.” They are calling for ministers to not rush the implementation of the new regulations, as the potential legal difficulties for landlords that could arise will be more of a pain to deal with than to suffer a short-term setback by amending the final draft.