The implementation of the Deregulation Act 2015 (DA 2015) will restrict a landlord’s ability to serve a section 21 notice in circumstances where the tenant has complained about the condition of the premises or the common parts of the building, and the landlord:
- did not respond within 14 days;
- provided an inadequate response; or
- responded by serving a section 21 notice.
There are various circumstances in which a tenant will not be assisted by the new provisions, including where:
- the tenant is in breach of the duty to use the premises in a tenant-like manner;
- the property is genuinely on the market for sale;
- the landlord is a private registered provider of social housing; or
- the property was charged before the grant of the tenancy and the mortgagee wishes to exercise its power of sale and requires vacant possession.
The DA 2015 will also introduce an obligation on landlords to provide information about the respective rights and responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenant under the AST. The landlord will be prevented from giving a section 21 notice when it is in breach of this requirement.
The new rules will apply to any ASTs granted on or after 1 October 2015. They will not apply to a fixed term AST granted prior to that date even if the fixed term AST becomes a statutory periodic tenancy.
The position changes, however, after the end of the period of three years, at which point the provisions will apply to any AST in existence.