Timing of Notice

It will no longer be possible to serve a section 21 eviction notice at the start of the tenancy and landlords will have to wait a minimum of four months before they can serve an eviction notice.

This means the earliest notice can be served is day 1 of month 5, meaning the notice will expire day 1 of month 7. We are therefore going to change the length of our standard tenancy agreement 6 months and 1 day.

Deemed service rules

It is not always realised that a notice is sometimes treated as if it was served on a different day from the day that you delivered or posted it.  These are the deemed rules of service.

Personal service - If the document is served personally before 4.30p.m. on a business day, on that day; or in any other case, on the next business day after that day.

First class post - The second day after it was posted, left with, delivered to or collected by the relevant service provider provided that day is a business day; or if not, the next business day after that day.

Delivering the document to the property (eg putting it through the letter-box, attaching it to the door, etc) after 4.30pm - the next business day.

Fax - if it is transmitted on a business day before 4.30pm it is deemed served on the same day, otherwise on the next business day

Other electronic method - If the e-mail or other electronic transmission is sent on a business day before 4.30p.m., on that day; or in any other case, on the next business day after the day on which it was sent. Request a read receipt.

Deliveries after 4.30 pm are treated as being served on the next business day. 'Business day' means any day except Saturday, Sunday or a bank holiday (and bank  holidays include Christmas Day and Good Friday).

NB Some people consider that these rules may not apply to notices, which are served before the court proceedings have started.  My view is that if you comply with the deemed service rules you will be safe and it is better to be safe than sorry.


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Legislation Update Oct 2015

New rules governing both tenants safety and regaining possession of rental property are coming into force on 1st of October. Here’s a quick summary on what they are and how they might affect you.

Ultimately if you ever want to give a tenant notice there’s a few more hoops to jump through first!

If you need any further advice or have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Smoke & CO2 Alarms

From October 2015 landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties.

This will bring private rented properties in line with existing building regulations.


The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 are expected to come into force on 1 October 2015.  They impose a duty on landlords of residential premises in England to:-

  • Install a smoke alarm on each storey of premises that are wholly or partly used as living accommodation.

  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room that is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance.

  • Ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in proper working order at the start of a new tenancy.

A new tenancy means a tenancy granted on or after 1 October 2015.  A relevant landlord is the immediate landlord of the premises although a registered provider of social housing is not caught by these regulations.

New Section 21 procedure

The new procedure will mean that Landlords who are disorganised and ill prepared will find it very difficult to evict tenants at the end of the Tenancy.

The new rules will apply to Assured Shorthold Tenancies granted on or after the 1 October 2015.  They will not apply to a Fixed Term Assured Shorthold Tenancy granted prior to the 1 October 2015 even if, after the relevant date, the Fixed Term Assured Shorthold Tenancy becomes a Statutory Periodic Tenancy.

However from the 1 October 2018 the rules will apply to any Assured Shorthold Tenancy.

A new form of Section 21 Notice comes into use.  The new rules also state that a Section 21 Notice cannot be served where:-

  • The tenant has resided in a property for less than four months.  This means that a Landlord cannot serve a Section 21 Notice at the start of the Assured Shorthold Tenancy and ensures that the tenants are actually given two months notice before the tenancy comes to an end.

  • The Landlord cannot serve a Section 21 Notice as a retaliatory action where a tenant is alleging that a Landlord is in breach of his obligations under a Lease, such as Landlords repairing obligations.   

  • Where the property requires a licence but is un-licenced.   

  • Where the Landlord had not complied with the new legal requirements (set out below). Unless fully organised, the new requirements will catch out many landlords and Letting Agents.

The New Legal Requirements

The new legal requirements state that a Landlord cannot serve a Section 21 Notice where it has not done either of the following:-

  1. Provided a tenant with an Energy Performance Certificate free of charge.

  1. Provided a tenant with a Gas Safety Certificate.

  1. Provided the tenant with a copy of the Department for Communities and Local Government Booklet “How to Rent – The Checklist for Renting in England”. Landlords need to be aware that this booklet advises tenants of the law and procedure relating to residential lettings and unless a landlord fully complies with the regulations, this will provide tenants with ready written defence to an ill prepared possession claim under the s21 procedure.

Finally, there has been a lot in the industry press about the approved code of practice for the control of legionella (L8).

This does put an obligation on landlords to carry out annual risk assessments but this is not as onerous as you might think. We are developing a new service offering to cover and advise our clients on this if you’re interested, or need some guidance please get in touch.

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Nathan Gadenne

BSc (Hons), PGDip Surv.