Will your Section 21 be worth the paper its written on?

Changes are afoot with Section 21 Notices as a result of the Deregulation Bill 2015.

If you’re a self-managing Landlord, I recommend familiarizing yourself with the changes now and certainly before you sign a new tenant!

Please contact the office on 2020 8364 5418 if you have any questions.


No Section 21’s in the first four months.

Some landlords and agents still start their tenancies by handing the tenant an AST and a Section 21 at the same time. I have never liked this practice as it sends the wrong message to the tenant ‘I want to start a relationship with you but I’m also going to ask you to leave,,,,,,, just in case.’

From 1st July 2015 a Section 21 served within the first 4 months will be invalid. While broadly I think this is a good idea it does also puzzle me as the minimum length for an AST is 6 months. To serve notice for the minimum period you would have just a one day window of opportunity which strikes me as a little unrealistic!

No Section 21’s over 6 months old

Linked to the above and also in its own right. Section 21’s will also be timebound and will only be valid for 6 months. Currently there is no limit to the length of time that a Section 21 is valid for, but going forward if possession proceedings are not started within 6 months then a new Section 21 will be required. This will initially only apply to tenancies starting after 1st October 2015, however from October 2018 it will apply to all tenancies.

No Section 21’s without a Gas Safety Certificate and Energy Performance Certificate.

Again from 1st July 2015 tenants will need to be provided with these documents before their tenancy starts. No GSC or EPC? No Section 21. Importantly the burden of proof that these documents were provided will lie with the landlord/ agent so it’s worth getting a signature of receipt. While this is standard stuff already, I am always surprised by the number of people who think a boiler check is the same as a Gas Safety Check!

No Section 21’s when there are outstanding complaints.

This change is designed to address the problem of retaliatory evictions and time will tell whether it is successful. From 1st October 2015 if the following sequence of events occur, the landlord will not be able to serve a Section 21 notice for a further 6 months:

  • Tenant notifies landlord of disrepair
  • Landlord fails to respond within 14 days
  • Tenant complains to the council about disrepair
  • Council serves a notice of disrepair on the landlord

At Belvoir Lettings Enfield  we don’t sell property, we simply use our experience to advise people as to what might make a good buy to let property investment in the Enfield, Haringey and Barnet areas, and how to successfully let their property.