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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

ARLA courses for agents still unsure about Section 21 changes

The Association of Residential Letting Agencies has set up a course - for non-members as well as members - on Ending Residential Tenancies, which will aim to help letting agents understand changes to the Section 21 Notices.

Since yesterday the changes came into force in England, requiring all Assured Shorthold Tenancies, regardless of their start date, to comply with new guidelines as to when and how a landlord can serve a Section 21 Notice, which enables them to terminate a tenancy agreement.

“It’s important agents are executing effective Section 21 Notices when necessary. There is a legal question over whether the additional documents need to be served on pre-October 2015 tenancies, but it’s very unlikely that a judge would throw out a case on the basis that an agent has provided the tenant with too much information” explains David Cox, ARLA Propertymark’s chief executive. 

“A test case before the courts is probably required to determine exactly what needs to be served for these tenancies. Therefore, we think that the safest course of action for letting agents is to serve all the documentation when issuing a Section 21 Notice” he adds. 

“The Deregulation Act 2015 makes the will of Parliament clear – these documents should be served – so it’s easier to comply with the spirit of the law rather than rely on a potential legal technicality.”

When issuing a Section 21 Notice, landlords and agents will now be required to use Form 6A. The form, prescribed by government, combines the two previous types of Notices into a single Notice for both periodic and fixed-term tenancies.

In addition, under the Deregulation Act 2015, landlords and agents wishing to issue their tenants with a Section 21 Notice should:

- ensure they have shared the How To Rent document with tenants; 

- ensure the property has an up to date Gas Safety Certificate and the tenants have seen it;

- publish the property’s Energy Performance Certificate (except when the property isn’t required to have one);

- inform tenants which scheme their deposit is protected in;

- where the property is licensed, provide a copy of the licence to all of the tenants.

Full details of the course and other ARLA guidance on the issue can be found here.

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