Since October 2015, in England and November 2016 in Wales, things have been very different in respect of being able to serve a section 21 no reason notice. In England and for tenancies granted on or after 1 October 2015 (including renewals), the EPC, gas safety record and How to Rent Guide must first be given and in Wales since November, the landlord must be registered and either licensed themselves or have an appointed licensed agent.
Despite these significant changes, the accelerated possession claim form that is the form usually used to seek a court order based upon the section 21 notice was not updated to reflect these changes until now.
This week, two new accelerated possession claim forms are available and should now be used for claims.
The first major change to the court form is that there is now one for where the property is located in England and a different one for Wales.
The England form now caters for the EPC, gas safety and How to Rent Guide – asking when they were given and in the case of the Guide, how it was given (hard copy or by email).
The Wales form caters for the new registration and licensing system governed by Rent Smart Wales.
One particular welcome change is in relation to tenancy deposits. It’s an unfortunate reality that many landlords in the past have failed to protect deposits either at all or on time. As a result, the deposit needs to be repaid in full (or agreed deductions) before a section 21 is served. The new forms (both the England and Wales versions) now have a specific part allowing to say if a deposit has been repaid and the date of the repayment. Before this, it was tricky and commonly details of the repayment were hand-written onto the form.
We have totally overhauled our relevant website pages by editing the wizard to direct subscribers to the correct form depending on where the property is located. Guidance on completing the form has been overhauled and is separate depending on location.
Although the forms are now geared towards tenancies or renewals granted on or after 1 October 2015 (for England), the forms will still be used for earlier tenancies too. From October 2018, the England requirements (except how to rent guide) will apply to all tenancies so there will just be a short period where the answers to many of the questions on the forms won’t really be relevant.
The forms and guidance are available for subscribers at the above link but links to the forms directly can be found below: