Marlou Property October Newsletter – Edition 1

Welcome…

Welcome to the news feed version of the first ever Marlou Property monthly newsletter. For a while now we have noticed that there is a lack of information relating to both the investment lettings and the house sales market that is easy to access, understandable and that is specific to Gloucestershire. Because of this we have developed this newsletter, which alongside our news page from our website, our blog and our social media pages will provide a source of relevant, local and industry specific news and information for investment landlords and home owners in Gloucestershire alike.

This first edition is focussing on recent legislation changes to the lettings market and what they mean for you if you are a landlord in Gloucestershire. I hope you find the information useful and if you have any subjects that you think we should wright about I welcome you to get in touch with me.

To read the full newsletter in its original form, click here.

I look forward to hearing from you in the future. All the best,

Mark Bareford
Director at Marlou Property Limited
mark@marlouproperty.co.uk

What’s new in Lettings Legislation?

From the 1st October 2015 a whole range of changes to lettings legislation have been enforced for landlords of private rented property. These changes are a result of the Deregulation Act 2015 and changes that have been made to The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015 No. 1646).

The main changes affecting private residential landlords are relating to how, when and why landlords can serve a section 21 notice to their tenants along with new safety regulations relating to smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for which more information can be found here on our website news feed.

The most publicised of these changes, and probably most talked about, relates to retaliatory evictions, or revenge evictions as the media are calling them. There is quite a bit of information available about these changes and I have written about them on the news page of our website too.

Of the other changes to legislation, the next most important change affecting how private residential landlords can serve a section 21 notice relates to how the tenancy started and has been managed since. In this change, for any new assured shorthold tenancies, (AST), starting after the 1st October 2015, (‘new’ means any fresh AST, not a statutory periodic arising after 1st October 2015), tenants must be provided with a copy of the current Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), a copy of the current gas safety certificate, if applicable, and a copy of the Governments prescribed information booklet which is the “How to rent: the checklist for renting in England” booklet. If these documents have not been provided to the tenants then any section 21 notice issued will be invalid until they have been provided.

Further to this, the date when a section 21 notice can be served and the actual method of serving it has also been changed. For any new AST started after the 1st October 2015, a section 21 notice now cannot be served during the first 4 months of an original fixed period tenancy (this doesn’t relate to a replacement or periodic tenancy) however the need for a section 21 notice to expire on the last date of a period of a tenancy has now been removed so it can now be served at any time after the first 4 months. To accompany this is the requirement to repay the tenant pro rata the ‘unused’ proportion of any rent paid in advance where the section 21 notice expires in the course of a rent period and the tenant leaves. Also, in addition to this, a possession claim now cannot be started on a section 21 notice after the end of 6 months from the date the notice was given.

The final new piece of legislation relating to section 21 notices is a change to the form that they are served on. For all new AST’s started after the 1st October 2015, a section 21 notice must be served on the Governments prescribed form of section 21 notice, Form No. 6A otherwise it will not be valid. You can find a copy of the form here.