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Are you serving your Section 21 correctly?

Posted by Katherine Anderson on 8th March 2018
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Section 21 Notices Prerequisites

You are probably aware that all landlords of Assured Shorthold Tenancies which were created or renewed on or after 1st October 2015 must have served a Gas Safety Certificate and an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) on the property before the tenancy starts.

If this isn’t done then a valid Section 21 Notice can’t be served.

In the past the general view was that these documents could be served late and this would allow the situation to be rectified so a valid Section 21 Notice could then be served – however this is not what the regulation wording actually states.

How this Affects you
Moving forward you should always ensure that you have served both the Gas Safety Certificate and the EPC on your property before the tenant(s) are given the keys.

You need to serve these in a way that can be proved later (ideally by getting the tenants to initial and date a copy of the documents – making sure that the date of receipt is before the start of the tenancy), or you may be able to prove service via an electronic signature process. Whichever method you use, make sure you keep full details so you can prove service later should this be necessary.

If your property is one which does not have a gas supply or where an EPC is not required, then make sure you keep a record of this fact.

If your tenancy pre-dates 1st October 2015 then these rules do not apply to you now. But they will after 1st October 2018.

If you have a difficult tenant who you want to evict using a Section 21 but the Gas Safety Certificate and/or the EPC were not obtained (as they should have been) – then you probably have just enough time to evict them before the new rules come into force for your tenancy.

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