This week, a landlord called us with a question about serving a Section 21 notice and when he needed to serve the documents on his renewal tenancy. The tenancy began in July 2017 and is set to become a statutory periodic tenancy on July 1st 2018. The landlord planned to serve a Section 21 notice in August and he phoned us to find out how best to ensure he could serve a valid notice.
From October 1st 2015, landlords who renew or start a tenancy in England cannot serve a valid section 21 notice if they have not provided the EPC, gas safety certificate or the most up to date copy of ‘How to rent: a checklist for renting in England’ to the tenant.
The service of the EPC and gas safety certificate are simple enough, as landlords should provide them prior to the tenancy beginning and any time a new gas safety certificate is obtained. The How to rent booklet is more complicated however.
At the start of the tenancy the landlord must ensure that they provide the most up to date copy of the How to rent guide at the time to all the tenants. For our landlord this was February 2016’s version. This the landlord had done.
At the point the tenancy becomes a statutory periodic tenancy, we informed the landlord that he would be required to provide a copy of the newest edition of the How to rent booklet.
If there had been no update to the booklet he would not be required to serve a new copy but as it happens, the document has been updated twice since the tenancy began (17th January 2018 and 26th June 2018). As such, the landlord was told he had to give the 26th June 2018 edition on the 1st July.
We also advised the landlord if he ever missed a How to rent booklet he should check our archive of how to rent booklets. While the latest version is always available on the government’s website, they do not keep out of date copies. As such, if the tenancy had turned into a statutory periodic tenancy a month earlier before the latest update, the landlord would have been unable to rectify this situation using the government’s website.
- Want an update on the legislation changes due to come into force that will impact you as a landlord? Check out our Landlord Law Update course.
- RLA members can learn more about Section 21 by checking out some of the documents and guides over on our website. This include sample forms.