Latest News

Is your client money really protected?

06 December 2018

If money is taken out of your client account without your knowledge is that a crime? I’m sure as a member of Propertymark and subscriber to their CMP scheme your answer is going to be “Yes, of course it is!”. Read More...

Amendment made to Tenant Fees Bill

04 December 2018

In another attack on the sector the Government has announced an amendment to the Tenant Fees Bill, that will see security deposits capped at the equivalent of five weeks’ rent. Read More...

Four bedroom properties fare well in latest report by Scottish Government

04 December 2018

The Private Rented Sector in Scotland has more than doubled in size since 1999. The latest Private Rented Sector Statistics released by the Scottish Government show that in the period 2010-2018, four-bedroom properties have fared particularly well, showing a cumulative rental price increase of 33.3 over the eight-year period, and an 11.8% increase within the last year alone. Read More...

Changes to Section 21 Notices for Letting Agents and Landlords in England

Monday 01 October 2018

From today, 1 October 2018, the changes to the Section 21 Notice come into force for letting agents and landlords in England. All landlords and agents should now stop using their existing Notices.

This will require all Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs), regardless of their start date, to comply with guidelines as to when and how a landlord can serve a Section 21 Notice, which enables them to terminate a tenancy agreement.

When issuing a Section 21 Notice, landlords and agents will now be required to use Form 6A. The form, prescribed by Government, combines the two previous types of Notices into a single Notice for both periodic and fixed-term tenancies.

In addition, under the Deregulation Act 2015, landlords and agents wishing to issue their tenants with a Section 21 Notice should:

  • Ensure they have shared the How to rent: the checklist for renting in England guide with tenants
  • Make sure the property has an up to date Gas Safety Certificate and the tenants have seen it
  • Publish the property’s Energy Performance Certificate (except when the property isn’t required to have one)
  • Inform tenants which scheme their deposit is protected in
  • Where the property is licensed, provide a copy of the licence to all of the tenants.

ARLA Propertymark Guidance

To help members and non-members, ARLA Propertymark is offering a dedicated course on Ending Residential Tenancies, which will aim to help letting agents understand the changes to the Section 21 Notices, and what it means in practice. Additionally, members can contact ARLA Propertymark’s Legal Helpline if they need further guidance, and Fact Sheets are available for members to download from the website.

David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark comments

“It’s important agents are executing effective Section 21 Notices when necessary. There is a legal question over whether the additional documents need to be served on pre-October 2015 tenancies, but it’s very unlikely that a judge would throw out a case on the basis that an agent has provided the tenant with too much information. A test case before the courts is probably required to determine exactly what needs to be served for these tenancies.

“Therefore, we think that the safest course of action for letting agents is to serve all the documentation when issuing a Section 21 Notice. The Deregulation Act 2015 makes the will of Parliament clear – these documents should be served – so it’s easier to comply with the spirit of the law rather than rely on a potential legal technicality.

“These changes highlight so clearly that the current system is a mess which must be simplified and improved. We call on the Government to bring forward its promised Call for Evidence on a new Housing Court and work with us to build a system fit for today’s private rented sector.”