New legislation is due to come into force from the 1st of October 2015 which could have wide-reaching repercussions for landlords and tenants alike.
Currently, landlords who wish to take possession of their property from a tenant at the end of the tenancy, need to serve the tenant with a Section 21 Notice. This Notice must be served two months before the landlord wishes to regain possession of the property. So long as the Notice is properly served, and the landlord has complied with deposit protection legislation, the tenant does not have a defence to any subsequent possession proceedings.
Under the new rules, any Section 21 Notice given by the landlord will be invalid in the following circumstances, if:
- Before the Section 21 Notice was given, the tenant made a complaint in writing to the landlord about the condition of the property and;
- The landlord either did not provide a response to the complaint within 14 days, gave an inadequate response or served a Section 21 Notice following the complaint and;
- The tenant has then made a complaint to the relevant local housing authority about the same complaint as raised with the landlord and;
- The relevant local housing authority then served a notice on the landlord in response to the complaint raised by the tenant.
This legislation is intended to prevent tenants from feeling unable to complain about the condition of the property for fear that the landlord will evict them. It is also hoped that it will encourage landlords to keep their property in a good state of repair as they will no doubt be keen to retain the option of the Section 21 Notice.
For any landlords reading this who fear a situation where tenants make bogus complaints to remain in the property, do not fear! A Section 21 Notice will remain valid where the problems with the property have been caused as a result of the tenant’s breach of the tenancy agreement i.e. if they caused the damage themselves. Landlords will also still be able to rely on a Section 21 Notice in circumstances where they have a genuine intention to sell the property to an independent third party or if their mortgagor requires a sale with vacant possession.
For more information contact our experienced team on 0191 232 9547 or Chat Live on our website.