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Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Saturday 3 November 2018

Assured Shorthold Tenancies: New Laws For Old Tenancies

Residential landlords cannot now bring possession proceedings against an assured shorthold tenant once six months have elapsed from service on the tenant of the notice under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 to say they are seeking possession. They would first have to serve a fresh notice.  And any section 21 notice which is  retaliatory step against the tenant for grassing on their landlord to the local council about the bad condition of the premises and which leads to the landlord getting an improvement notice or an emergency action notice, may well be invalid. For greater details, see chapter 43 of Breaking Law.

But wait. These laws and others which are contained in sections 33 to 38 and 40 of the Deregulation Act 2015 have only applied to tenancies granted on or after 1 October 2015. Until now. As from 1 October 2018 they also apply to older assured shorthand tenancies. That's because of the wording of section 41(3) of the Deregulation Act 2015.

For most tenancies granted on or after 1 October 2015, any notice under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 must be in a prescribed form. It's known as (the swinging) form 6A. What about section 21 notices for old tenancies? It has been suggested that the prescribed notice must now be used for them and that any landlord who has served a non-prescribed notice for an older tenancy should now think seriously about serving a second notice in the prescribed form. It is not a view I share and I can tell you that the Government has no intention of making regulations to require form 6A to be used for tenancies granted before 1 October 2015.