Please Note: This Article is 4 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

BREAKING – It seems the DCLG may have further “egg on its face” following its embarrassment over the late approval of the new regulations under its Deregulation Act, leaving only two-weeks’ notice for landlords to implement the changes due on the 1st of October.

The new form of notice, intended to remove the confusion often caused by the current two s21 notices, looks like it’s off to a confusing start if the anomaly exposed below is not removed quickly.

It seems that David Smith the Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) Policy Director, a Solicitor with Anthony Gold Solicitors and a specialist in tenancy legal matters, has spotted a serious drafting error in the form for the new section 21 notice seeking possession put out by Government only a few days ago.

With the new notice due to become legally binding for new tenancies signed from the 1st October, the RLA has written to the Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis MP, to seek a delay in its implementation.

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The new standard form notice states that where a fixed-term tenancy ends, and then becomes a periodic tenancy, the Section 21 notice would only be valid for four months from the date that it is served on the tenant*. This of course is not what is said in the Deregulation Act, which makes it clear that the required period to regain possession of a property where a tenancy is a rolling or periodic tenancy should be four months from the date the Section 21 notice expires.

The RLA says:

“Despite having engaged thoroughly with the Government on its proposals, the final version of the standard form, published last week, had not been shown to the RLA.

“The RLA is warning that the drafting exposes landlords to a legal minefield, and is calling for the implementation of the plans to be delayed to give more time to get them right.

RLA policy director, David Smith, said

“The RLA continues to share the Government’s ambitions to ensure that all landlords understand and properly implement their legal responsibilities and obligations.

“In light of the major changes being introduced for the sector it is vital that all documents published by the Government are clearly understood. This drafting error will serve only to dent the confidence of landlords in the legislation.

“Whilst Ministers are understandably eager not to let these new measures drift, it would make more sense not to rush their implementation than face the potential legal difficulties that will now arise for landlords.”

*The new standard form for issuing Section 21 notices can be found here

It notes, “If you have a rolling or periodic tenancy, e.g., you rent the property on a week by week or month by month basis, this notice is only valid for four months from the date of issue.”

Please Note: This Article is 4 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

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