Housing Changes Timeline England and Wales


New, upcoming and past legislation/changes for the private rented sector in a simple to follow timeline.

Note: where a change affects England and Wales jointly, clicking the node will go to the England guidance page.

View list of recent articles under the new legislation category.

  • England and Wales

    Making Tax Digital

    06 April 2023

    Anyone with rental income of more than £10,000 a year from property must be ready to start recording and filing online.

  • Wales

    Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 Commencement

    15 July 2022

    One of the biggest changes to residential renting legislation in Wales. Includes:

    • Assured shorthold tenancy no longer used and replaced by “occupation contracts” which must be in writing
    • Possession notices changed including minimum six months notice for the “no-fault” notice which cannot be given within first six months of contract
    • Retaliatory evictions introduced
    • Fitness for habitation rules
    • Joint contract holders (no longer referred to as tenants) procedures for changing during a contract
    • Much more …
  • England

    Right to Rent Checks Changing for Some Documents

    06 April 2022

    The way in which Biometric Residence Card (BRC), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and Frontier Worker Permit (FWP) holders evidence their right to rent is changing.

    From 6 April 2022, BRC, BRP and FWP holders will evidence their right to rent using the Home Office online service only, presentation of a physical document will no longer be acceptable.

  • Wales

    Six Months Notice Extended

    17 December 2021Six months notice requirements extended until 24 March 2022.

  • Wales

    Fire Safety Act

    01 October 2021

    The Fire Safety Act commences in Wales from 1 October 2021.

    This expands the definitions contained in the Fire Safety Order.

  • England

    Notice lengths reduced to pre-pandemic levels

    01 October 2021

    For England, notice lengths (section 8 and 21) are reduced to pre-pandemic levels.

    This means 2 months notice for section 21 and 2 weeks notice for ground 8 (two months arrears).Brand new notices must be used from 1 October 2021.

  • Wales

    Six Months Notice Extended

    30 September 2021

    Six months notice requirements extended until 31 December 2021.

  • England

    Length of Section 8 For Rent Arrears Reduced

    01 August 2021

    If the tenant has less than 4 months rent arrears, the length of the section 8 notice can be 2 months on grounds 8, 10 and 11 (reduced from 4 months notice).Where the tenant is in 4 months or more arrears, the length of the section 8 remains at 4 weeks.

  • England

    Right to Rent Changing for EEA

    01 July 2021

    The right to rent guidance has been updated with new documents acceptable when conducting checks.

  • England

    New Section 21 and section 8 Notice Plus Revised Notice Lengths

    01 June 2021

    New section 21 and section 8 notice to be used in England.Notice periods reduced from 6 months to 4 months in most cases.Level of rent arrears where 4 weeks notice can be given is reduced from 6 months arrears to 4 months arrears.

  • England

    New Section 8 Notice

    04 May 2021

    New section 8 notice to be used in England

  • England and Wales

    Debt Respite (Breathing Space) Regulations

    04 May 2021

    In certain circumstances, a debtor (tenant in our context) will be able to apply for breathing space where no action (including serving a section 8 notice on rent arrears ground) must be taken during the breathing space timeframe.

  • England

    Electrical Regulations

    01 April 20201

    Electrical inspections and reports required on all existing tenancies.

  • England and Wales

    Evictions Ban Further Extended

    11 March 2021

    The increased notice lengths and evictions ban has been extended to 31 May 2021 for England and 30 June 2021 for Wales.

  • England and Wales

    Evictions Ban Extended

    11 January 2021

    The evictions ban has been extended to 21 February 2021 for England and 31 March 2021 for Wales.

  • England

    Updated How to Rent Guide

    10 December 2020

    The How to Rent Guide which is legally required to be provided to tenants by landlords in England granting an assured shorthold tenancy has been updated.

  • England

    Evictions Suspended

    17 November 2020

    Evictions are suspended in England for most possession orders until 11 January 2021.

  • England

    Green Homes Grant

    End of September 2020

    Apply for grant vouchers worth up to £5,000 under the scheme

  • Wales

    New Section 8 Notice Required and Changes to Some Grounds

    29 September 2020

    A new section 8 notice is prescribed. Six months notice extended to 31 March 2020 and reduction in notice period for anti-social behaviour.

  • England and Wales

    Courts Reopen and Pre-action Plan

    21 September 2020

    Courts reopen for possession cases after temporary suspension due to Covid-19 Rules. Pre-action lan to be followed before serving a possession notice.

  • England

    New Section 21 Form 6A

    02 September 2020

    New section 21 prescribed form 6A to be used.

  • England

    Six Months Notice (England)

    29 August 2020

    Six months notice required in most cases although for section 8 there are a number of differences.

  • Wales

    Six Months Notice (Wales)

    24 July 2020

    Six months notice required except for section 8 anti-social behaviour which remains at 3 months.

  • England

    Electrical Rules (New Tenancies)

    01 June 2020

    Requirement to ensure electrical standards (18th edition) are met and an inspection and report completed.

  • England

    Tenant Fees Ban (Existing Tenancies)

    01 June 2020

    Tenant fees ban extends to existing tenancies from 1 June 2020

  • Wales

    Prescribed Limits for Certain Permitted Payments

    28 April 2020

    Limits amount which can be charged for a failure to pay rent and the loss of a key.

  • England and Wales

    Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) (Existing Tenancies)

    01 April 2020

    Existing tenancies must have a minimum EPC rating of “E”.

  • England and Wales

    Possession Action Suspended

    27 March 2020

    A landlord with a notice about to expire cannot start possession proceedings during this 90 day period

  • England and Wales

    Notice Length 3 Months

    26 March 2020

    Coronavirus Act 2020 commences including 3 months notice.

  • England

    Fitness Human Habitation (Some Existing)

    20 March 2020

    Fitness for Human Habitation Act applies to existing periodic tenancies.

  • Wales

    Holding Deposits Information Requirements

    28 February 2020

    When receiving a holding deposit (before a tenancy has been granted) specified information must be given.

  • Wales

    Tenancy Fees Ban

    01 September 2019

     It is an offence for a landlord or agent to require a prohibited payment to be made to the landlord, agent, or any other person in consideration of the grant, renewal or continuance of a standard occupation contract (AST), or pursuant to a term which purports to require the payment to be made.

  • England

    How to Rent Guide Updated

    01 June 2019

    How to rent guide updated for tenant fees ban.

  • England

    Section 21 Form 6A Updated

    01 June 2019

    Section 21, form 6A updated.

  • England

    Tenant Fee Ban (New/Renewals)

    01 June 2019

    From 1 June 2019, if you enter into a tenancy agreement, student let or licence to occupy housing in the private rented sector, you will be prohibited from charging any fees or other payments that are not included in the list of permitted payments.

  • England

    Agents to Have Client Money Protection

    01 April 2019

    Letting agents to have client money protection.

  • England and Wales

    Energy Efficiency Minimum Spend (£3,500)

    01 April 2019

    In order to obtain an exemption if property does not meet minimum “E” rating, landlord must spend at least £3,500

  • England

    Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 (New and Renewals)

    20 March 2019

    Any privately rented home, including the common parts of a shared building, must be fit for someone to live in throughout a tenancy, not just the start.

  • England

    Parts of Deregulation Act 2015 Apply to Existing Tenancies

    01 October 2018

    Parts of the Deregulation Act 2015 apply to existing tenancies:

    • Retaliatory eviction provisions
    • Removal of requirement to expire notice “at the end of a period”
    • Time limits when section 21 can be served and must be used
    • Return apportioned rent if the tenant leaves as a result of section 21
  • England

    HMO Licensing - Removal of Storeys and Minimum Room Sizes

    01 October 2018

    Changes made to HMO licensing – number of storeys removed (so now any property with 5 or more unrelated sharers requires a licence) and minimum room sizes.

  • England

    How to Rent Guide Updated

    26 June 2018

    How to rent guide updated.

  • England and Wales

    GDPR (Data Protection)

    25 May 2018

    GDPR regulations commence making changes to data protection rules.

  • England

    Banning Orders and Landlord Database

    06 April 2018

    If a landlord is convicted of a “banning order offence” a local authority may apply to the First-tier Tribunal for a banning order against the landlord or agent who committed the offence

  • England and Wales

    Gas Safety 'MOT Style' Records

    06 April 2018

    Landlords can carry out the annual gas safety check in the two months before the due date and retain the existing expiry date.

  • England and Wales

    Minimum Energy Efficiency Rating (MEES)

    01 April 2018

    New tenancies and renewals must have an EPC rating of at least “E”.

  • England and Wales

    The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016

    08 December 2016

    Where a new electrical appliance is purchased on or after 8 December 2016 and then provided in a letting, landlords and agents must act with due care to ensure the electrical equipment being supplied is safe and have certain accompanied information.

  • Wales

    Rent Smart Wales

    23 November 2016

    Requirement for all landlords to be registered. All agents must have a licence. All self-managing landlords must be licensed.

  • England and Wales

    Reasonable Energy Efficiency Improvements

    01 April 2016

    Tenants can request for “reasonable” energy efficiency improvements.

  • England

    Right to Rent (Immigration Act)

    01 February 2016

    Landlords and agents need to check the identity of all prospective occupiers.

  • England

    Deregulation Act 2015 Changes

    01 October 2015

    Big changes to requirements before a section 21 notice can be served and other things:

    • How to rent guide
    • Provide EPC and gas safety
    • Retaliatory evictions
    • Apporttioned rent
    • Prescribed section 21 form 6A
    • Time limits for serving and using section 21
    • Removal of requirement to expire notice “at the end of a period”



  • England and Wales

    Home Business Tenancies

    01 October 2015

    “Home business tenancy” within residential premises will not become a business tenancy under Part 2 Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 if certain conditions are met.

  • England

    The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015

    01 October 2015

    Requirement to have a smoke alarm installed on each storey and a CO alarm in a room with solid fuel appliance.

  • England and Wales

    Consumer Rights Act 2015 (agents display fees)

    27 May 2015

    Agents to display fees. Also brought in unfair terms.

  • England

    Several Prescribed Forms Updated (inc. Section 8 and Section 13)

    06 April 2015

    Several prescribed forms updated:

    • Section 8 notice seeking possession for England
    • Section 13 notice proposing rent increase for England
    • Section 6 notice proposing new terms (rarely used) for England
    • Notice That Assured Agricultural Occupancy is to be Assured Shorthold Tenancy for England
  • England and Wales

    Deregulation Act 2015 (Changes to Deposit Protection)

    26 March 2015

    Changes made to deposit protection including:

    • Restrictions on claim for penalty for deposits received before 6 April 2007
    • Service of a section 21 notice
    • Superstrike deposits
    • Periodic tenancies and renewals – re-issue of prescribed information
  • England and Wales

    Heat Network Regulations

    18 and 31 December 2014

    Distribution of heating or hot water from a central source.

  • England and Wales

    New Ground 7A

    20 October 2014

    New ground 7A added for use with section 8 notice – serious offence committed.

  • England

    Redress Schemes (Agents)

    01 October 2014

    Letting agents must be a member of a redress scheme.

  • England

    Ground 14(aa) Added

    13 May 2014

    New ground added for use with a section 8 notice:

    “[the tenant] has been guilty of conduct causing or likely to cause a nuisance or annoyance to the landlord of the dwelling-house, or a person employed (whether or not by the landlord) in connection with the exercise of the landlord’s housing management functions, and that is directly or indirectly related to or affects those functions,”

  • England and Wales

    Universal Credit Begins Phasing in

    April 2013

    Universal Credit begins to be phased in. Phase 1 was April 2013 – October 2013.

  • England and Wales

    Council Tax Empty Homes Exemption Removed

    01 April 2013

    Council Tax empty homes and undergoing major works exemptions removed. In addition, second homes could be charged extra council tax if long term empty.

  • England and Wales

    Localism Act 2011 Changes to Tenancy Deposit Schemes

    06 April 2012

    • The time for protecting a deposit is increased from 14 days to 30 days
    • Prescribed information is also increased from 14 days to 30 days
    • The time limit of 30 days will be absolute
    • The penalty payable will be between 1 and 3 times the deposit
    • A former tenant may make a claim for the penalty
    • If a landlord has failed to protect within 30 days, the landlord may only serve a section 21 notice by repaying the deposit in full
    • Providing prescribed information will allow service of section 21.
  • England and Wales

    Smoking Ban

    01 July 2007

    Smoking ban (applies to communal areas so affected rented property with shared parts).

  • England and Wales

    Equality Act 2010

    01 October 2010

    Prohibits discrimination:

    • Disability
    • Gender reassignment
    • Marriage and civil partnership
    • Pregnancy and maternity
    • Race
    • Religion and belief
    • Sex
    • Sexual orientation
  • England and Wales

    Tenancy Deposit Schemes

    06 April 2007

    Requirement to protect deposits in connection with an assured shorthold tenancy.

  • England and Wales

    HHSRS, HMOs and Licensing

    06 April 2006

    • Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
    • HMO definition of more than two unrelated sharers.
    • Licensing of rented property
    • Tenancy deposit schemes (brought in later).

    Link goes to HMO page but HHSRS is just above in left column.

  • England and Wales

    Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

    03 October 1998

    Requirement to obtain annual gas safety record and provide occupier with a copy.

  • England and Wales

    Housing Act 1996 (Assured Shorthold Default)

    28 February 1997

    All new tenancies assured shorthold by default. Notice required to create an assured tenancy (reverse of position since January 1989).

  • England and Wales

    The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations

    01 January 1997

    Persons who hire out furniture in the course of a business (and this includes furniture provided with rented accommodation) are required to comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 which set safety standards for fire and flame-retarding requirements for upholstered furniture manufactured after 1950.

  • England and Wales

    Housing Act 1988

    15 January 1989

    Start of assured shorthold tenancies but a “section 20” notice had to be served in order to create an assured shorthold (otherwise was assured).