Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice and guidance
Advice and guidance is available to help support landlords and agents with private rented properties during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
See further information about changes to services.
Tenancies starting after 1 October 2015
On 1 October 2015 a number of provisions in the Deregulation Act 2015 come into force. This means that it will be a legal requirement to follow them. These provisions are designed to protect tenants against unfair eviction where they have raised a legitimate complaint about the condition of their home.
For new tenancies that start after 1 October 2015, the landlord must provide the following documents to the tenant.
Gas safety certificate
- landlord must have had check done and provided certificate within the last 12 months
- gas safety regulations require certificate to be provided within 28 days of the check, but this time limit does not apply to the section 21 provisions
Energy performance certificates
- the s21 regulations refer to regulation 6(5) of the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/3118). This means that there is a requirement to provide an energy performance certificate to a tenant or buyer free of charge
How to rent guide, is a guide for tenants provided by the landlords, advising them of their rights and responsibilities.
- this may be provided in hard copy or email (if this is acceptable to tenant)
- this must be the latest version on the gov.uk website at the time given to the tenant
- if a tenancy is renewed, landlord must check whether the booklet has been updated since last time it was given
- if there is a new version, landlord must provide the tenant with a new version
- if there is no change, landlord does not need to provide the booklet again on renewal
If they do not provide these three documents to the tenant, they are unable to issue a valid section 21 notice for the tenant to leave.
The section 21 notice cannot be served within 4 months of the start of the first tenancy.
The landlord will be required to use the ‘ prescribed form’ for section 21 notices: (Landlords may use the form for older tenancies, but are not required to (at present)). If they do not use this form, the notice is not valid.
If all these requirements have been followed, the s21 notice will be valid.
Once the valid notice has been served, court proceedings must commence within 6 months of the date the notice was given. After this time, a new s21 notice will need to be provided as the original will no longer be valid.
For any tenancy starting before 1 October 2015, a section 21 notice can be served at any time during the tenancy (as long as all other conditions are complied with) and the landlord can commence possession proceedings on any date after the notice period has expired.
If you have any questions regarding the notice that your landlord has given you, please contact our housing advice team on 01202 633804.
Page last updated: 14 April 2020