The RLA’s Landlord Advice Team is on hand to offer free unlimited advice to members. Each week, we are featuring a call from one of our members outlining their problems and how the team helped them.
The new Section 21 form is continuing to cause problems for landlords.
As more and more tenancies from October 1st 2015 onwards come to eviction time, many of our calls are from landlords who failed to provide the necessary documents before serving the section 21.
One such case involved an agency that had served a section 21 notice at the start of the tenancy.
This was the section 21(1)B form, not the new prescribed form, created by her property management software. The agent only discovered the issue when her irate landlord contacted her after a failed attempt at gaining possession through the courts.
The agent joined us to ask what she needed to do next? The Landlord Advice Team talked her through the new requirements for the new prescribed section 21 form.
As it turned out the tenant had not been served an EPC or the ‘How to rent: a checklist for renting in England’ booklet and even more problematically, the gas safety certificate had expired. Thankfully the deposit had been protected correctly.
The LAT expert advised the agent that they needed to sort out the documentation first before they could serve a fresh notice. They suggested she provide the tenant with copies of both the February and October versions of the How to Rent booklet as well as their EPC copy.
Our advice team member also advised them to write to the tenant immediately to remind them of their obligations to allow access to do gas safety checks and arrange a suitable time for the gas safety certificate. I also asked her to ring us back once they had done all of this to advise them further.
Thankfully the tenant allowed access for the gas safety inspection and the other documentation was provided with evidence of delivery to the property. With the safety handled the agent was advised to serve the new section 21 form, giving at least two month’s notice. She was also informed that she should stop issuing section 21s at the outset of the tenancies now as these notices are no longer valid.