New laws on evicting tenants: What do people with rental properties need to know?

29th October 2018

If you have a rental property it’s important to ensure you have the basics in place when bringing in a new tenant.  The basics will ensure that if you did ever need to evict then the process was as simple and pain free as possible.

The last thing you need is energy and resources spent trying to evict tenants when simple procedures at the start of a contract will ensure you are covered should the need arise.

Here we update you on the new laws surrounding Section 21 and how they can affect landlords:

What is Section 21?

If you want to evict a tenant you generally start the eviction process by issuing a section 21 notice.   The laws and procedures for doing so have recently (October 2018) changed.  In a nutshell, if you don’t follow the new procedures your eviction notice will not be legal and you will likely have problems that could have been easily avoided.

The new section 21 laws apply to rental properties in England.

How does Section 21 affect people with rental properties?

There are a number of things that landlords need to ensure when a contract begins in order to be in a position to issue a section 21 if and when needed.    This includes ensuring your tenants have received a copy (digital or hard copy) of the How to Rent Checklist.   In addition, landlords need to provide a gas safety certificate and Energy Performance Certificates to tenants, as well as information relating to the protection of their deposit.

What are the next best steps  for landlords?

If you are a Bricknells landlord we will have already ensured you are compliant.  You don’t need to do anything and you have nothing to worry about.

If you are not a Bricknells landlord…

  • According to the new rules,  landlords that wish to serve their tenants with a Section 21, or ‘no-fault’ eviction must:
  • Ensure that they have issued a ‘How to rent: the checklist for renting in England’ guide either digitally or as a hard copy;
  • Provide tenants with an up to date Gas Safety Certificate;
  • Issue the property’s Energy Performance Certificate (except where the property isn’t required to have one)
  • Give tenants Information relating to the protection of their deposit (which must be protected);

The form a landlord issues is now a ‘prescribed form’ called Form 6A.   It must follow a set style. Previously it could just be in writing. This prescribed form has parts that require it to be filled out in a certain way. Completing the form incorrectly could mean it’s invalid before you have even started.  The form can’t be served in the first 4 months of a tenancy and it’s also now time limited so has a short 6 month shelf life.

If you are a private landlord you may well be unaware of the legislative burden and hassle that can be endured if a dispute with a tenant arises.  Bricknells offer fully managed landlord packages to take the hassle out of your rental.  Contact us to find out more.