A quietly-introduced change to the form landlords must fill in before accelerated possession proceedings can move forward means the time and effort needed to evict via a Section 21 notice is now on a par with Section 8, LandlordZONE can reveal.

New eviction requirements for landlords introduced by the government earlier this month have removed the advantages previously given to landlords when applying for an accelerated possession procedure eviction.

Until the 6th April when the change was made without fanfare, landlords could evict tenants via a Section 21 notice if the matter was uncontested and they were not claiming for rent arrears with relatively little difficulty.

But the government has published an updated N5B form, which is the court document used for issuing non accelerated possession claims.

Lengthened

It has been lengthened significantly and now requires landlords to fill in a raft of extra information before the eviction process can proceed.

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“Basically, the Section 21 process was supposed to be quick and easy hence the ‘accelerated procedure’ name,” says Tim Frome, Legal Director of Landlord Action

Through legislative and administrative amends like this, it is now as time consuming to evict someone through a Section 21 as a Section 8 claim, a fact that many landlords will not find out until after the Coronavirus crisis eases and they try to start eviction proceedings once more.”

This means the government has, through the court process, effectively ‘banned’ Section 21 notice evictions by placing them on a par with Section 8 ones, a fact that many landlords will not find out until after the Coronavirus crisis and they start eviction proceedings once more.

Changes to the N5B form include asking landlords to provide the following information:

  • The current tenancy agreement and copies of ALL previous ones.
  • Extra information about the tenancy deposit.
  • Confirmation that there have been no Tenant Fees Act breaches during the tenant.
  • All EPCs and annual gas safety certificates.
  • Confirmation that first gas safety certificate was provided to the tenant ‘before the tenancy began’.

“This last point [about gas safety] is particularly controversial because a simple admin error can mean the landlord cannot use a Section 21 notice. The matter is due to be decided by the Court of Appeal with a decision expected shortly,” says Tim Frome.

Read more about that case.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Once again legislation is put in place with little or no thought for the financial hole landlords can be left in due to tenant’s refusal to play by the rules and care properly for the property provided by landlords. Most tenants do not want to buy and most landlords are hones, hard working, ethical owners. None of these rules will catch the worst of the multi property owners in cities, particularly London, where the worst are rife. Landlord bodies across the country should be consulted by the government and not rely totally on Shelter and Citizens Advice. Without the private properties made available hosts of people would be on the streets. These owners should be part of the process of changing legislation. Why do the Gov. think more buy to lets are being sold.

  2. i have no idea how judges will deal with the gas issue….. this new form demands a copy of ALL gas safety certificates for the whole tenancy. However the H&S legislation says we have to keep documents for only 2 years https://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/landlords/gassaferecord.htm?fbclid=IwAR3cOm9xUeIbJPeaN2xeJjr_VeLlWUvkYQhZ1RvTccCaZbA_ng_P2rNxtvg How judges will deal with these two contradictory pieces of legislation remains to be seen. The 20 page S21 form now is so onerous that i suspect only a hardy few landlords or agents will attempt completion. Lawyers will be needed and landlords costs will go up and up – for a change.

  3. What on earth is the Court going to do with a dozen Tenancy Agreements, six gas safety certificates, a couple of EPC’s and so on. What if you slipped up and there was a 7 day gap between the expiry of one gas certificate and the start of the next one? Is some over-worked admin at the Court really going to go through all this stuff – and then refuse to allow the eviction of a tenant who is a complete pita because of a minor administrative error several years ago. Will the landlord be stuck with the tenant for ever?

  4. It not a case of slipping up i have missed dates because the tenant says he will be in for the gas safe and decides to go out. Gas engineer turns up and charges and has to re book. I have had to threaten to start a possession process on a couple of occasions because i could not make the tenants realise i have a legal responsibility to get the gas safe done.
    It all about hitting the landlord as as possible and the tenant is always right.

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