There are new restrictions on serving section 21 Notices early and a new template section 21 form that Landlords and Agents must now use (from 1st October 2015). The new rules also remove the need for a landlord to specify that a tenancy must end on the last day of a rental period; unless the tenancy started on a periodic basis without any initial fixed term period.
The changes affect all new assured shorthold tenancies in England that start on or after 1 October 2015 (which includes ‘renewal’ tenancies under a new fixed term agreement). All remaining assured shorthold tenancies in England will be swept under the new rules on 1 October 2018.
Landlords cannot validly serve a section 21 Notice in the first four months of a tenancy. However, where a tenancy has been renewed the landlord will be able to serve a section 21 Notice at any point during a renewed tenancy.
Section 21 Notices will only be valid for six months from the date of issue (as specified in section 2 of the new template section 21 form). However, where a tenancy is created on a periodic basis (i.e. no initial fixed term), then landlords will still need to regain possession using section 21(4)(a).
Landlords will not be able to serve a section 21 Notice on tenancies that begin on or after 1st October 2015 unless they have provided tenants with the following information: