New law effecting EPCs

Landlord / Letting Agent? -  Deregulation Act 2015 how it affects you and EPCs:

The Deregulation Bill 2015 was given Royal Assent on Friday 27th March 2015. Now called the Deregulation Act 2015 here’s some of the key take home points landlords and letting agents need to be aware of.

Presently a Section 21 Notice is invalid if served before the tenant’s deposit has been protected and the tenant has been provided with the correct documents prescribed in deposit protection legislation. The Deregulation Act 2015 now introduces additional requirements for the landlord to comply with other legislation in order to serve a valid Section 21 Notice. Crucially these relate to:

- the condition of the property - to prevent against ‘retaliatory evictions’

- whether an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) has been provided to the tenant and the energy efficiency of the property.

An EPC should be provided to EVERY PROSPECTIVE TENANT at point of enquiry about a property as it is part of the decision making process. The EPC should not only be given once a tenancy has begun. EPCNW can supply landlords and letting agents with EPCs quickly and easily to ensure you are fully compliant and your ability to serve a future valid Section 21 Notice is not compromised.     

Tenancy Deposit Protection - overturning the Superstrike ruling, landlords no longer have to worry about re-protecting a deposit when the end of the fixed term arrives and the tenancy becomes a Statutory Periodic Tenancy. 

ALL deposits ever taken which are still being held must be protected within 90 days. Once complete the deposit protection certificate and all prescribed information for tenants must be served on the tenant. If any deposit has not been protected or returned to the tenant a Section 21 Notice cannot be validly served

A Section 21 Notice - served in a period after the fixed term has ended - will no longer be invalid if the date of possession does not end on a tenancy period. Previously this was the most common cause for failure to obtain possession via the Courts.  The Deregulation Act 2015 ensures that as long as a full 2 month’s notice via a Section 21 has been served to the tenant(s) then the Section 21 will be valid. It no longer has to end on the last day of a tenancy period.

A Section 21 Notice can only be served AFTER the tenant has lived in the property for a minimum of 4 months. A new Section 21 Notice will be required every time a new fixed term is agreed. This should only be served AFTER the new contract has been signed. This measure is to stop the frequent practice of landlords and letting agents serving a Section 21 Notice at the sign up of a tenancy.

Following the serving of a Section 21 Notice, all rent that has been paid for any period where the tenant ceases to lives in the property must be repaid to the tenant unless the tenant has continued to live in the property for more than one whole day of that period. This has implications where a tenant who has paid their rent decides to leave when they receive the Section 21 Notice. Regardless of being given 2 months notice by the landlord - as required by law -  the landlord must refund the rent payment for any period where the tenant ceases to live in the property. 

You can read the full Deregulation Act 2015 document here