Section 21 Notices

Under the Deregulation Act 2015 there are significant changes to Section 21 notices, which will benefit tenants considerably.  Minor changes include:

· For the first time there will be a prescribed format for Section 21 notices

· If a tenancy begins on or after 1st October 2015, a Section 21 notice cannot be served within the first four months of the tenancy

· A Section 21 notice will become invalid after six months (so use it or lose it)

However, these are not the most serious changes. For tenancies which first commence after 1st October 2015, the service of any improvement notice under the housing health and safety rating system by the relevant local authority or the carrying out of emergency remedial action will mean that a landlord will not be permitted to serve a Section 21 notice for six months.

If a tenant makes a complaint about the condition of a property in writing the landlord will have to respond within 14 days in writing setting out what they intend to do about it and what their timeline for doing this is. If they fail to reply, reply by serving a Section 21 notice, give a reply the tenant considers unsatisfactory, or reply and then subsequently serve a Section 21 notice, then the tenant may complain to the local authority who must inspect the property. If the local authority then serves an improvement notice or carries out emergency remedial action, then the Section 21 notice will be rendered ineffective, and no further notice can then be served for six months.

This change will put extra burden on local authorities to carry out inspections and on the courts which will be faced with more defences to a Section 21 notice.  Finally, landlords will face more complaints about the condition of their properties and be required to act on them.

For any queries please contact Nitika Singh on 0208 290 7347 or email

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