The Deregulation Act 2015 received Royal Assent on 26th March 2015 and sparks important legislative changes that will be of interest to all Landlords in the Private Rented Sector. Below is a summary of the changes that Acreage Property Services are implementing.

The Deregulation Act 2015 contains important changes to deposit protection legislation and now clarifies the issues created by two recent court cases of Superstrike vs Rodrigues and Charolambous vs Ng.

Deposits taken on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) before 6 April 2007 which have rolled onto a Statutory Periodic Tenancy (SPT) or been renewed since 6 April 2007 must be protected and Prescribed Information (PI) served by 23 June 2015.

  • If a Landlord/Agent has taken a deposit since 6 April 2007, protected it and served the PI, and it has since run onto an SPT or been renewed then you are deemed to have complied.
  • Deposits taken on an AST before 6 April 2007, will need to be protected and the PI served if you plan to issue a Section 21 eviction notice.

The Deregulation Act 2015 also contains changes that make retaliatory evictions more difficult

  • Where a Tenant has made a legitimate complaint about the condition of the property and a local authority has confirmed that a repair is required to prevent a risk to health and safety, you will not be able to evict the Tenant for 6 months.
  • It will not be possible to evict a Tenant when legal obligations such as supplying a Gas Safety Certificate and Energy Performance Certificate have not been met.

We can no longer serve a Section 21 at the start of a tenancy meaning we will have to wait a minimum of 4 months before an eviction notice can be served.

From April 2016 tenants will have rights to request consent to carry out energy efficient measures. No reasonable request in relation to energy efficiency improvements can be refused and by 2018 all private rented properties must have an EPC rating of at least E to be considered a legal letting.

The buy to let measures introduced by the government – including next month’s three per cent stamp duty surcharge on additional properties as well as reform of the Wear & Tear allowance – have combined to “create uncertainty” due to their “corrosive” nature.

The measures, collectively described by Chancellor George Osborne as being designed to give greater priority to making stock available for first time buyers, are unlikely to have the desired effect.