Tessa Shepperson summarises the legal changes ushered in before the election which all landlords need to know about: The Deregulation Act 2015
This Deregulation Act 2015, given Royal assent 26 March 2015, has brought in the following changes:
- It is confirmed that agents details can go on notices instead of landlords details if the agent is acting for the landlord
- Landlords of properties where a deposit was paid before 6 April 2007 and where the tenancy continued as a periodic after that date (which was the situation in the Superstrike case) DO have to protect the deposits, but have until 23 June 2015 to get this done. Provided the deposit is protected and the prescribed information is served by that date – you will not suffer any penalty and will be able to serve a valid section 21 notice if you need it.
- If you received the deposit AND the tenancy went periodic before 7 April 2007 – if you have not protected the deposit you have done nothing wrong and are not vulnerable to the penalty. However if you want to use section 21 you will need to protect the deposit and serve the prescribed information before serving your section 21 notice.
- If you have a tenancy where the deposit was paid to you after 7 April 2007, and you DID protect the deposit and serve the prescribed information during the initial fixed term, but did not do this again after the tenancy continued as a periodic – you are now OK! You do not need to re-serve the prescribed information. Provided the property and the parties to the tenancy agreement remain the same.
- If you have a court claim on-going you can take advantage of these rules – but not if your case has been ‘finally determined’. This means either the case has been settled or your time for bringing an appeal has passed.
However – be aware that the new rules will not help you if you have forgotten to protect the deposit.
They are just designed to help people affected by the Superstrike case.
There are other changes coming regarding section 21, but they will be coming into force later, possibly October 2015.
New prescribed forms
The prescribed form for section 8 notices has been changed. The section 8 notices on Landlord Law have been updated and are available to Landlord Law members.
The notice of rent increase has also been amended – this is the notice used under s13 of the Housing Act 1988 when increasing the rent via the notice procedure.
RICS have provided a comprehensive guide to DPS rules here