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Attention! Residential Property Landlords

 

Despite what is said, the perception by residential property landlords and, to an extent, the reality for a number of years has been that the Courts will, when and where possible, avoid making an Order for Possession making a tenant homeless. This is irrespective of whether the tenant is in substantial rent arrears.

Residential property landlords may be excused for feeling that they are all viewed by the Courts as “fat cat” property tycoons who can weather substantial loss in rent within their property portfolio.  

The cynics amongst us would say that this continues to be reflected in recent legislation.

It therefore remains of importance that before instigation Court proceedings for possession, residential property landlords ensure that all their ducks are in a row. It includes, amongst a number of requirements, ensuring that on entering into an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement (“AST”) with a tenant on or after 1st October 2015, the tenant is provided with:-

1. an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC);

2. a Gas Safety Certificate; and

3. the information pamphlet published by the Department for Communities and Local Government entitled “How to rent - The checklist for renting in England”.

Without providing the tenant with these documents, any Notice to Quit served on the tenant pursuant to Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 (“Section 21 Notice”) will be invalid.

It is advised that these documents are provided to the tenant at the commencement of the AST. However, if the residential property landlord fails to do so, it does not equate to the residential property landlord not being able to serve a Section 21 Notice. To remedy the situation, all the residential property landlord is required to do is to provide the tenant with these documents before the Section 21 Notice is served.   

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