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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

NLA says new S21 rules “akin to a Laurel and Hardy sketch”

Landlords have hit out at a raft of new rules being introduced in just three weeks’ time.

The Department of Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) announced last week that new regulations will come into force on 1 October.

The new rules include a new Section 21 form and an obligation on landlords to provide tenants with an energy performance certificate (EPC) and Gas Safety certificate.

Landlords also need to give tenants a DCLG Booklet on “How to rent” which can be accessed here.

Under the new regulations, landlords are required to provide the most up to date version of the document at the beginning of tenancies – they are not required to provide updated version during the tenancy or if the tenancy becomes a ‘replacement tenancy’ (that is, when a tenancy renews with same tenants, landlords and basis of tenancy agreement).

If landlords fail to follow any of the new rules they cannot serve a ‘No Fault’ section 21 eviction notice.

The statutory instrument can be viewed in full here.

Another change is that a section 21 notice cannot be served until four months after the tenancy starts and cannot be used six months after it has been served at which point a fresh one would need serving. The notice cannot be served for six months after a local authority has served an improvement notice or carried out emergency remedial action.

Richard Lambert, chief executive officer of the National Landlords Association (NLA), said: “This is just plain farcical. These regulations are poorly worded, badly timed and are being tabled with just days to spare before they are due to come into force on 1 October. As we understand it, there will be no guidance from the Government explaining how to comply before then. How can a landlord about to let a property on a tenancy from the start of October be expected to comply with these new requirements if they’ve not been told what they are and what is expected?

“Given that there is no Government budget for marketing these new laws, and so it is relying on industry organisations and professional advisers as the main route to compliance, it’s shoddy, to say the least.

“Coming hot on the heels of the smoke and carbon monoxide alarm debacle in the Lords yesterday, which due to official incompetence looks highly unlikely to come into force this year, this is something akin to a Laurel and Hardy sketch.”

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