A major drafting error in Government regulations affecting the private rented sector risks undermining confidence in the new Section 21 legislation according to the Residential Landlords’ Association.
It is the new standard form for landlords or their representatives to complete and provide to a tenant when seeking to regain possession of a property on a no fault basis, which has the alleged error.
With the form due to become legally binding from October 1, the RLA has written to housing minister Brandon Lewis to seek a delay in the law’s introduction.
The standard form, as currently drafted, notes that where a fixed term tenancy ends and then turns into a rolling or periodic tenancy the Section 21 notice would only be valid for four months from the date that it is served on the tenant*.
The RLA says this contradicts the Deregulation Act, which makes clear that the required period to regain possession of a property where a tenancy is a rolling or periodic tenancy, should instead be four months from the date the Section 21 notice expires.
The RLA says that “despite having engaged thoroughly with the government on its proposals, the final version of the standard form, published last week, had not been shown to the RLA” and the association says the drafting exposes landlords to “a legal minefield.”
“This drafting error will serve only to dent the confidence of landlords in the legislation. Whilst Ministers are understandably eager not to let these new measures drift, it would make more sense not to rush their implementation than face the potential legal difficulties that will now arise for landlords” says RLA head of policy David Smith.