Paul Shamplina Educates the Nation

publication date: May 31, 2016
author/source: Guest article - Paul Shamplina

Paul Shamplina Educates the Nation...

Landlords, do you know how recent changes to Section 21 notices affect you?
Not too long ago, Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action sat before the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Private Rented Sector at the Houses of Parliament. This was part of a consultation on changes to Section 21 notices, which would form the Deregulation Act 2015.

As of 1st October 2015, certain elements of The Deregulation Act came into force, introducing a whole range of changes which affect whether or not a landlord can serve a section 21 notice on an assured shorthold tenancy (in England), as well as changes to the form itself. 

Here, Paul Shamplina cuts through the confusion and explain exactly what this means to you.

Read - How to Evict a Tenant

What Is A Section 21 Notice?
A landlord trying to regain possession of his/her property may find it necessary to serve a Section 21 notice. A Section 21 notice is a two month notice to bring a tenancy to an end; these are used when landlords want to evict a tenant either at the end of the fixed term or when using a break clause to regain possession of their property. Landlords do not have to give grounds for ending a tenancy agreement under Section 21.

What’s Changed and is it a Pro or a Con?

Pro - New Prescribed Section 21 Form
The new section 21 notice combines the two previous section 21 notices into a single use notice for both fixed-term and periodic tenancies. It is for use with new tenancies starting after 1st of October 2015 and all tenancies (regardless of when they started) from 1st October 2018.

This is great news for landlords and agents. The form is more straightforward and has a similar feel to that of the section 8 notice, which is already prescribed. It simplifies the claims process and, without the need for complicated end-dates previously required with periodic tenancies, should prevent as many possession claims being rejected at court due to errors with dates. This is a common problem we come across when taking over cases.

Read - How to Evict a Tenant

Pro - Timing of a Section 21 Notice
A landlord is no longer able to serve a section 21 notice within the first four months of the contractual term of the tenancy. This is to stop landlords and their agents serving notice at the commencement of a tenancy with a view to being able to terminate it at their convenience.

A section 21 notice now also has a lifespan and must be used within six months of it being served. Failure to do this will result in the possession notice becoming invalid and a new one being required. We feel this is good practice, as we have previously had to evict tenants on notices which are four years old.

Through the Deregulation Act, the Government is looking to clean up the industry by making it more difficult for rogue landlords and letting agents to continue in operation, giving a platform for the good landlords and agents to flourish.

One area of change which caused me greatest concern is that surrounding prevention of so-called “retaliatory eviction”.

Con - Retaliatory Evictions
The Deregulation Act 2015 contains provisions suspending the operation of section 21 in order to protect a tenant against retaliatory eviction. Retaliatory Eviction occurs where a landlord takes steps to evict a tenant because the tenant has complained about the condition of the property, rather than carry out repairs. The new process means that the tenant has to put in writing to the landlord his/her complaints about disrepair. The landlord has 14 days to respond to the tenant, setting out when they will access the property, look at the remedies and carry out repairs. If the tenant is not satisfied and the landlord has not carried out the repairs, the tenant can make a complaint to the local housing authority. Local councils have been given the power to serve an enforcement notice on the landlord, setting out “a reasonable timescale” for improvement works to be carried out. Landlords served with an improvement notice cannot issue a section 21 within six months of an enforcement notice being served.

At Landlord Action, we have concerns that this opens the flood gates for tenants to submit sham disrepair complaints to councils in a bid to avoid paying rent. Landlord may also experience further delays due to the shortage of Environmental Health Officers within local councils.

Read - How to Evict a Tenant

Good landlords will deal with complaints within the given 14 days, I just hope that thorough procedures are in place to prevent unsubstantiated claims by tenants from negatively impacting landlords.

LBC Property Hour
On the latest episode of LBC Property Paul discusses how evictions work and what Landlords need to do to to evict a tenant. There are a multitude of reasons why a landlord may wish to evict a tenant, including:

Read - How to Evict a Tenant

  • The Landlord needing to sell the property
  • Tenants damaging property
  • Rent arrears
  • Tenant breaking the terms of the tenant

Read - How to Evict a Tenant

So how do you avoid dodgy tenants and avoid landlord rage?

You can listen the the full show here

Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords
Claude left his home of twenty years for work and rented it out, his tenants were fine at first but they now owe him £27,000 which he needs to keep up with the mortgage payments on his current property. Can Paul help get Claude's nightmare tenant out and end his tenant travails?

You can find out here

Paul's video series for Direct Line for Business
Paul has done a series of videos for Direct Line for business including everything from sub-letting scams to eviction notices.

You can watch all the videos here

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