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Majority of tenants unaware of today's Section 21 law change

The vast majority of tenants are unaware of new laws introduced today which change the Section 21 evictions process. 

From today, under the Deregulation Act 2015, landlords will be unable to end a tenancy using a Section 21 notice if they fail to address a repairs complaint made by a tenant which is then referred to a local authority. 

On top of this, at the start of a new tenancy a landlord must provide tenants with a valid Energy Performance Certificate, an annual Gas Safety Certificate and a copy of the government's How To Rent guide in order to legally serve a section 21 eviction notice in the future. 

There are also changes to how long a Section 21 notice will be valid for as well as a new Section 21 notice. 

A survey of 1,000 tenants, carried out by the National Landlords Association (NLA) last month, found that 88% are unaware of today's law changes. 

The study also found that 9% of tenants said they were asked to leave a private rented property after asking for repairs or maintenance to be carried out and some 78% said their last tenancy ended at the their own request. 

Now that the changes have been introduced, the NLA is calling on local councils to provide a clear framework for how they plan to deal with complaints in order to ensure that legitimate ones are taken seriously and that spurious ones don’t unnecessarily prolong the possession process.

“These kinds of evictions are extremely rare but we have to make sure that complaints by tenants don’t just get lost in the system, regardless of whether they’re legitimate or not,” says Richard Lambert, NLA chief executive.

He says it is of paramount importance that the new system isn't abused by those trying to prolong the evictions process as the majority of landlords choose to end a tenancy only when it's 'absolutely necessary'.

“We all know that local councils are under-resourced but housing problems must take priority. If a tenant complains about a potentially hazardous issue then both they and their landlord should have a clear expectation of how and when the council will deal with it,” Lambert adds.

“If councils fail to act on complaints then it will undermine the law and tenants’ confidence in a system that’s supposed to protect them”.

Further guidance on today's changes can be found here and here

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    Sometimes it is impossible to do works on a house with the tenant in occupation. If you can't evict them then the work can't be done!!

  • Annie Smith

    If your property us that bad you shouldn't be renting it out in the first place! What can't you do while they are there?

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    I think anything that involves having to remove the plaster is immensely disruptive for the tenant, such as a full damp course or wall tie replacement. Also asbestos removal including artex. Lead piping replacement can involve ripping up the floorboards. Agreeing with the tenant to do these things when they are on holiday is fine in theory. But when you are at the behest of contractors or water authorities who may let you down, you can't take the risk. Having had this problem myself I would never again consider letting a property until all outstanding major works are fully completed.

     
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    I would be interested to hear the views of the forum on what will LA's do to protect landlords from the professional "BAD" tenant. I am very concerned that LA's do not have the resource or knowledge to be in a position to act within the new section 21 notice periods. What constitute a repair? or failing of the landlord to comply. Do we have to wait for the LA to issue a repair order? What if the tenant deliberately damages the property? I had one tenant that capped off the open vent pipe on a heating system which resulted in failure of the boiler. Cost to me £6K plus. Where's the landlords protection from this?

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