This entry is part 1 of 12 in the series It's All Change On 1st October 2015

The only thing that’s changed is everything!

To steal a line from ‘Apple’ during the launch of their new iPhone 6s, 6s plus and iPad Pro (which look awesome) on the same date as a crucial piece of legislation completing the Deregulation Act jigsaw – “The only thing that’s changed is everything”. This line perfectly sums up the changes to section 21 Housing Act 1988 from 1 October 2015 for new assured shorthold tenancies in England.

In this series we look individually at each change and the new requirements. To summarise the changes, the following applies:

  • new rules to prevent retaliatory evictions where service of a section 21 is prohibited for a period after the service of a HHSRS notice or request by a tenant for repairs in certain circumstances
  • removal of the requirement to expire a section 21 notice under a periodic assured shorthold tenancy ‘after the end of a period of the tenancy’
  • time limits when a section 21 can be served from the time a new tenancy is granted
  • a ‘use it or loose it’ provision after service of a section 21 notice
  • a new ‘prescribed form’ which must be used when serving a section 21 notice
  • compliance with certain ‘prescribed requirements’ (EPC and gas safety record) before a section 21 can be served
  • the giving of prescribed information (how to rent guide) under any new tenancy
  • repayment of rent apportioned daily where a tenant leaves as a result of a section 21 notice being served
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

Except smoke and CO alarms which are required immediately and apply to almost all tenancies, as a general rule, unless otherwise stated and subject to the next paragraph, the legislation in this series only applies to an assured shorthold tenancy granted for a dwelling-house in England on or after 1 October 2015 including a written renewal on or after that date. The rules do not apply where an assured shorthold tenancy becomes a statutory periodic tenancy on or after 1 October 2015 where the original fixed term tenancy was granted before the 1 October 2015.

From 1 October 2018, some of the new rules discussed in this series will apply to ALL assured shorthold tenancies in England including any that were granted before 1 October 2015 (or went statutory periodic). Each rule is independently discussed in respect of its application from 1 October 2018.


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