We have updated the combined holding deposit receipt and agreement used for England under the Tenant Fees Act.

At the top, we had “prospective landlord” details which needed to be entered but we have now changed this to be details of the person receiving the holding deposit. This makes it clearer that it can be used by agents too.

In respect of the new section 21 notice (Form 6A) which must be used from 1 June 2019, we commented in our report that the legislation contained a number of typing errors but we nevertheless produced our Form 6A precisely as per the legislation.

However, MHCLG has now produced the Form 6A on their website and it is different from the legislation and has the errors corrected. This means there are two versions of Form 6A – one as per the legislation (with errors) and one on MHCLG website (which doesn’t match the legislation).

This puts us in a very difficult position because we would prefer to follow the legislation precisely (including errors) but if the notice is defended by presenting the copy from MHCLG as a comparison, the court may not realise that that differs slightly to the legislation!

For the typing errors in the legislation see this Twitter thread.

We have decided to go with a hybrid mix of the MHCLG version and the one published by the regulations!

This means the typing errors are fixed and the error on the MHCLG version is corrected. To allow for these corrections, we can rely on the legislation which provides the form must be as per the regulations “or … a form substantially to the same effect” (regulation 2, The Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (England) Regulations 2015).

What a mess!

Finally, we are on with updating our section 21 notice wizard to include the tenant fees ban (no section 21 can be served if the landlord has received a prohibited payment and not refunded it). This isn’t actually needed for another four months but we would prefer to get it sorted and so it will hopefully be completed before the end of the month (off our list for when we go on holiday!).

The new wizard is taking a little longer because we’re trying a new system which should allow us to reduce the questions asked to determine if the notice can be given or not but, this adds complicated calculations to be done in the background so not quite so simple.