Assured Shorthold Tenancies: A Warning To All Landlords

The Deregulation Act 2015 was introduced in phases to enhance protection for residential tenants and is set to come into force completely by 1st October 2018.

The Act first took effect on 1st October 2015 and since then there has been a three-year transitional period due to expire on 30th September 2018. During this time, certain conditions applied only to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy ('AST') entered into on or after 1st October 2015.

This is all set to change next month at which point the conditions in the Act will apply to every AST regardless of when it was created. So if a landlord wants to evict a tenant by virtue of notice served under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, he or she must ensure the following steps were taken:

  • The tenant's deposit was secured in a tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days of the AST commencing;
  • a Gas Safety Certificate was supplied to the tenant at the start of the AST;
  • an Energy Performance Certificate (or EPC) was also supplied at the start of the AST; and
  • The Government prescribed information (set out in a booklet called How To Rent) was supplied to the tenant at the outset.

Even if these conditions have been satisfied, a landlord cannot serve notice under section 21 within the first four months of the AST and under no circumstances can such notice be sent as some sort of 'retaliatory' eviction.

As these conditions will very soon apply to all ASTs, a landlord wishing to serve a section 21 notice must ensure all relevant steps have been taken. A defective notice can cause months of delay and wasted costs.

How Fosters Can Help You

If you are a landlord and want specialist advice, Fosters Solicitors LLP can assist, offering a full service.

The Litigation and Dispute Resolution team specialises in Landlord and Tenant disputes and offers robust advice and assistance tailored to your needs.

Contacting Us

Our Dispute Resolution lawyers have a wealth of experience and are here to assist with your legal problem. Whether you are after some initial advice or if you want to obtain a possession order without delay, call us on 01603 620508 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the department will be in touch very soon.

If you are a member of the Eastern Landlords Association you can access specialist advice at this firm on a discounted rate. Please let the team member know when you make contact.