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Landlords - don’t fall foul of paperwork issues in eviction cases

Landlords – don’t fall foul of paperwork issues in eviction cases

Now that the ban on tenant evictions has been lifted, landlords are being warned that thousands of Section 21 notices could be invalid because of issues with paperwork.

Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 allows landlords to end an assured shorthold tenancy without the requirement to demonstrate that there has been fault on the part of the tenant. A notice served this way does not require a visit to court.

However, for tenancies that began after October 2015, landlords must have met certain procedural requirements before they can issue a Section 21 notice.

What landlords must provide to renters

Landlords are required to provide tenants with a copy of the property’s Energy Performance Certificate, Gas Safety Record and, if the property is in England, a copy of the Government’s ‘How to Rent’ guide.

An Energy Performance Certificate provides landlords and tenants with information about the energy efficiency of a property and is valid for 10 years from the tenancy start date. Gas safety checks must be carried out annually with those renting a property given a copy within 28 days of its completion.

Information on these certificates plus other details of rights and responsibilities is included in the government handbook.

How many Section 21 notices could be invalid?

According to a recent survey carried out by Generation Rent, a tenants’ rights group, less than half of those renting a property could remember receiving a copy of the Gas Safety Record, with 36% recalling that they had been given an Energy Performance Certificate.

Of course, remembering receiving a copy of a certificate and it having actually been carried out are different things. However, with a spike in evictions predicted following the government ban during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, there could still be large numbers of landlords finding themselves unable to evict a tenant under Section 21.

Brooktech has been providing gas services in the North West for over a decade, including issuing Gas Safety Certificates. Contact us today to find out how we can help you to meet your responsibilities as a landlord and prevent a potential eviction headache.

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