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1 October 2015 – section 21 day


[Update 29/09/2015. New regulations correcting the obvious errors in the new prescribed section 21 notice have now been made. See here.]

On 1 October 2015, a whole range of changes come in, which affect whether or not a landlord can serve a s.21 notice on an assured shorthold tenancy (in England). There are some sensible ones, and then there are some which, because of the way the requirements have been set out, will inevitably cause confusion and problems. There is also a whole new prescribed form of section 21 notice, which itself contains a significant error.

The changes are a combination of the Deregulation Act 2015 and The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015 No. 1646). There are also supposed to be the Smoke Detector regulations, which fell apart in Parliament despite being supposedly in force by 1 October.

Specific changes – these apply for all new assured shorthold tenancies starting after 1 October 2015 (and then after 3 years, to all tenancies). By new, that means new – not a statutory periodic arising after 1 October, which is specifically excluded. But will include a ‘renewal’ tenancy – a fresh AST – granted on or after 1 October.

Retaliatory Eviction – the provisions of s.33 and s.34 Deregulation Act will come into effect for all new assured shorthold tenancies granted on or after 1 October 2015. We have discussed these here.

End date for a section 21 notice. The new section 21(4ZA) Housing Act 1988 removes the need for any s.21 notice, even under s.21(4)(a), to expire on the last date of a period of a tenancy (at least in England). Two months notice (for a weekly or monthly rent period) is all that is required.

To accompany this is the requirement to repay the tenant pro rata the ‘unused’ proportion of any rent paid in advance where the s.21 expires in the course of a rent period and the tenant leaves. (Bewilderingly, this is to be enforced by any court making an order for possession under s.21. But if there are possession proceedings, the tenant probably didn’t leave…).

Date for serving a section 21 notice. The new sections (4B) to (4E) of s.21 HA 1988 mean that:

  • A s.21 cannot be served in the first 4 months of a tenancy. But not applicable to a statutory periodic arising, or a replacement tenancy (depending on what ‘original’ means in the new 4B and if it is different to the meaning of ‘original tenancy’ in the new s.215B(1) Housing Act 2004, which can also be a replacement tenancy by way of s.215B(3) – this is all from the Deregulation Act).
  • A possession claim cannot be started on a section 21(1) or (4) notice after the end of 6 months from the date the notice was given. Or for a s.21(4) notice where the notice period has to be longer than two months, a possession claim cannot be started based on that notice more than 4 months after the end date specified in the notice.

Prescribed form of s.21 notice – in the schedule to the SI here. Must be used for all ASTs starting on or after 1 October 2015. May be used for existing tenancies. [NB The notice in the schedule to the SI is wrong! It says at 3 that for a periodic tenancy, the notice is only valid for four months from date of issue. This is simply wrong! Hopefully will be amended quickly.]

Prescribed legal requirements. The new s.21A HA 1988 – No s.21 notice can be given unless (from the SI):

  • The tenant has been provided with the Energy Performance Certificate for the property (probably before the commencement of the tenancy in order to be compliant)
  • The tenant has been provided with a current gas safety certificate. (The regs exclude the ‘within 28 days of inspection’ requirement, but don’t appear to exclude the requirement to provide the latest report before the commencement of the tenant’s occupation)

Prescribed information – the new s.21B – no s.21 notice can be given unless the tenant has been given (by landlord or agent) the prescribed information.

This prescribed information is the CLG booklet “How to rent: the checklist for renting in England” (Current version). It can be given in hard copy or where the tenant has notified the landlord/agent of an email address where the tenant is prepared to accept service of notices, by email.

Now things get a bit complicated. The landlord does not have to provide a further copy whenever the booklet is updated, during the course of the tenancy. However, where a ‘new’ replacement tenancy has been granted (including a statutory periodic, I think), there is no requirement to give a further copy, unless there is a new version of the booklet out before the first day of the new tenancy.

Yes, a stroke of genius there. Rather than make it a ‘once only’ provision, or alternatively require the booklet to be given at the start of any ‘replacement tenancy’ as well as the original one, the Regulations make it conditional on whether the booklet has been updated before the start of the replacement tenancy.  Never mind, there is to be a review in 5 years.


Lots to go wrong here. Not least given the relative paucity of information on these changes (and the last minute approval of the regulations).

The requirements for providing EPC and gas certificate, arguably before the tenant moves in, will no doubt trip up quite a few landlords and agents. Likewise, the ban on service of a notice within the first 4 months of a tenancy will trip up the inveterate ‘serve s.21 on day one of tenancy’ brigade.

Moreover, the actual provisions make it impossible for a s.21 notice to expire on the last day of a 6 month fixed term. (Can’t be served in first four months, but must give two months notice).

The ‘use it or lose it’ provisions will also come as a shock to many, used to letting a s.21 dangle over their tenant’s heads for months, if not longer.

But it is the ‘How to rent’ booklet provisions that seem most likely to cause long term chaos to me. The expectation that landlord (and agents) will check before the start of each replacement tenancy to see if the booklet has been updated since, oh, a year ago, strikes me as hopelessly optimistic.

It also makes me think that someone had better keep an archive of updated editions of the booklet, with dates, for both landlords and tenants purposes. I’ll set up a page for this, I think.

In any event, expect there to be a lot of invalid s.21 notices from 1 February 2016 onwards…

(And we shouldn’t forget the prescribed form for section 8 notices, required from 7 April 2015 onwards. Form 3 here, (which is itself amended by Reg 4(4)(a) from 1 October, with a subtle change of wording to the instructions about not using Section 8 notice for a section 21 claim, but no new template form has yet been provided).  Nor should we forget the now ridiculously complicated deposit regulation requirements after the Deregulation Act, as examined here.)



Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.


  1. Romain

    “To accompany this is the requirement to repay the tenant pro rata the ‘unused’ proportion of any rent paid in advance where the s.21 expires in the course of a rent period and the tenant leaves.”

    The wording of that new provision is rather terrible.

    It does not state that the tenant is owed a refund if he leaves, but if the tenancy ends… And the tenancy does not end just because the tenant leaves.

    It also states that the tenant is owed a refund for every day that he was not in occupation during the last period, which is not the same as until the tenancy ends.

    Terrible drafting, lots to go wrong indeed, and one has to wonder how it will be interpreted.
    There is a big potential for abuse and for landlords having to refund rent on an existing tenancy.

    Don’t get me started on the booklet…

  2. Ben

    Thank you for this, very helpful. The booklet thing is, as you say, rather confusing.

  3. Colin Lunt

    In relation to the requirement to serve EPC and Gas Cert your words

    “arguably before the tenant moves in”, and elsewhere
    “probably before the commencement of the tenancy in order to be compliant” highlights a potential problem as it is not clear if there is intended to be a time limit at all, or if the landlord can remedy a failure prior to issue of a S21.

    The Gas Installation regs require a landlord to issue tenants an existing certificate prior to occupation and then a subsequent one within 28 days. The new S21 regs say that the 28 day requirement does not apply but neither does it say “immediately” or prior to the issue of a S21.

    This does not bode well

    • Giles Peaker

      Colin – yes, exactly. Hence my qualifications. My view on the gas safety regs is that the 28 day requirement is ruled out – so a safety cert could be provided more than 28 days after an inspection during the tenancy and then a s.21 served, but that the initial requirement to provide the existing cert before the tenant takes up occupation is not excluded, so ought to apply.

      Does this mean that, if breached, no s.21 could then be served until after an inspection during the course of the tenancy and a cert provided?

  4. Paul

    “■A s.21 cannot be served in the first 4 months of a tenancy (but not applicable to a statutory periodic arising).”

    My reading of 4B(b) is that it’s not applicable to tenancy renewals either. It’s just the first, ‘original’ tenancy where the 4 month time limit applies. I stand to be corrected.

    • Giles Peaker

      No, I think that is right. Ridiculous, but right. And of course the 6 months from date of service ‘use it or lose it still applies.

      Though I wonder about ‘original’ tenancy in 4B(4). ‘Original’ is not in Housing Act 1988 as it was pre Dereg Act. And the equivalent definition of ‘original tenancy elsewhere in the Deregulation Act (in the new s.215B(1)(a) to Housing Act 2004) is qualified by the new S215B(3) to mean that a replacement tenancy is capable of being an original tenancy (for the purposes of receiving a deposit, at least).

      The drafting is just wonderful.

  5. Tom

    Great article thanks. The EPC and gas safety requirements should not trip up landlords (or agents):

    EPC – The Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 have been law since 9th January 2013 in which it states ‘The prospective landlord must make available free of charge a valid energy performance certificate to any prospective tenant at the earliest opportunity and in any event no later than whichever is the earlier of:
    The first time the prospective landlord makes available to a prospective tenant any written information (such as Lettings particulars for example) about the building to the person; or
    At the time which the prospective tenant views the building.
    The landlord must ensure that a valid energy performance certificate has been given free of charge to the person who ultimately becomes the tenant.

    Gas Safety: Duties of landlords are covered in The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and specificalły Part F, Regulation 36 provides something like ‘a copy of the last record made in respect of each appliance or flue is given to any new tenant of premises to which the record relates before that tenant occupies those premises.’

    So these EPC and Gas safety requirements are nothing new and should not be tripping up landlords with these changes.

    • Giles Peaker

      You’d think, wouldn’t you? But in practice a lot don’t.

  6. Sue

    Hello Giles, re the gas cert. requirement – what’s to stop a savvy tenant who does not want to be evicted for whatever reason (and who is paying rent on time so S8 no use) from refusing access for the gas cert. to be renewed?

  7. Colin Lunt

    Sue, This is one of the circumstances where good practice and file management is key. A good landlord should be able to show that the lack of the Gas Safety Cert was down to the continued refusal and obstruction of the landlord by the tenant.

    In the absence of a specific date given in the S21 regs (as opposed to the Gas Regs) it remains to be seen if an arguable defence can be filed, although there does not appear to be any specified grounds that I can find for a landlord unless there is a “reasonable grounds” defence as under S20A of the HA 1988, but not sure where it is

    • Giles Peaker

      Or, threaten/get an injunction for access. This would really be needed to comply with the gas safety regs anyway, as there is no ‘access obstructed’ defence.

    • S

      If you look at the wording of the Gas Safety regs that have to be complied with, i.e. reg.36(6), that requires that a gas safety certificate be provided to the tenant.

      The 2015 Regulations say the 28 day bit doesn’t appply but makes no mention of what happens when a tenant has refused access. On a proper reading of the new regs, if there is no certificate provided to the tenant you can’t serve a s.21 irrespective of the reason behind there being no certficate.

  8. Ranjit Bains

    The footnote to section 2 of the new prescribed form (allow two months plus two days for service by post) is a bit of a trap. What happens if the tenant can show that the notice did not come in the post until the third day, or the fourth day after posting- where for example service was effected over a bank holiday or by second class post?
    The answer has to be that by following the two month plus two day rule, the tenant has not received the full 2 months notice, and thus the s21 notice is invalid (in the absence, of course, of a saving clause).

    The authors of the footnote appear to assume that delivery will take place no later than the 2nd day after it was posted.

  9. Colin Lunt

    It is common that if a document may be served by post that legislation may determine a designated day of service by post. An actual date of posting is of course necessary to prove


    The new act states:
    Requirement for landlord to provide prescribed information
    3.—(1) A landlord under an assured shorthold tenancy of a dwelling-house in England, or a person acting on behalf of such a landlord, must give the tenant under that tenancy the information mentioned in paragraph (2).
    (2) The information is the version of the document entitled “How to rent: the checklist for renting in England”, as published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, that has effect for the time being.
    (3) The information may be provided to the tenant—
    (a) in hard copy; or
    (b) where the tenant has notified the landlord, or a person acting on behalf of the landlord, of an e-mail address at which the tenant is content to accept service of notices and other documents given under or in connection with the tenancy, by e-mail.

    Presumably this now allows notice to quit to be served by email (if the tenant is ‘content’)?

    Does this also mean the deposit prescribed info can also be served by email in such circumstances?

    • Giles Peaker

      The Act specifically provides for ‘providing’ the handbook by email. It is silent about email being good for service.

      The usual rule is that email is not good service unless the recipient has agreed to service by email in advance. The difficulty, at least for time sensitive service, that a ‘failure’ message can take 2 or 3 days to come back to the sender, and no clear evidence of receipt (like a fax confirmation, or evidence of hand delivery).

  11. DJ

    As 21(4ZA) only applies to England, does Spencer v. Taylor still apply in Wales?

    SI 2015 No. 1646 is specific to England, is there a Welsh version or are landlords of properties in Wales spared the necessity of booklets and prescribed s21’s?

    Similar question to section 8 notices – is the April 2015 s8 prescribed notice valid in Wales or is the slightly different original one the only valid one in the valleys?

    • Giles Peaker

      England only. Of course ‘Renting Homes’ will change everything in Wales before long.

  12. David

    Great Article but I think you make the S21 dates sound too difficult, rhe fact that the exact end date no longer has to be a rent due date makes it much easier for Landlords.

    If it really only tight for a 6m tenancy and you can always create a tenancy for 6 months and 7 days just to cover yourself, you take that extra 7 days on 1sr day of rental.

    Even without that

    If Start of Tenancy is 01/01/2016

    The S21 Earliest Serve date is 01/05/2016

    So the S21 Vacate Date (2 months) 01/07/2016

    which matches

    The 6 Month Tenancy which ends 01/07/2016

    But serving at 4 months should only be for 6 month tenancy as

    the S21 Expiry Date is 01/09/2016

    On a 12 month tenancy you could even give 3 months notice

    12 Month Tenancy expires 01/01/2017

    Optimum 12m S21 Service Date 01/10/2016

    You then have a month to deliver in other ways if the tenant plays games

    It then males sense to go statutory periodic to avoid all the booklet update nonsense as a SPT retains terms of original AST, that is why the booklet stuff exists, it makes sense that a new AST should use an up to date booklet.

    Best thing is have a 12 month & one week AST with a 6 month & one week break clause.


    • Giles Peaker

      No, the 6 months tenancy ends 30/06/2016 in your example. That is the point.

      The 12 month is different, sure, because the 4 month limit is rather by the by. So a 2 month notice could easily be served to take effect 31/12/2016 (the actual last day).

      And a 6 (or 12) month ‘and a week’ AST has all sorts of problems on rent period. What is the rent period when it goes statutory periodic? The last end period was a week…

      I agree the booklet provision ‘makes sense’ for a new fixed term. What doesn’t make sense is leaving the landlord to check whether it has been updated. Why not just require the booklet to be downloaded from the site and served for each and every new AST? Achieves the same end, avoids all the faffing about with checking for update (by landlord and indeed tenant) to ensure validity of any s.21?

  13. David

    The rent period is always monthly, otherwise you have to give greater notice, the 6 month and one week can be called an “initial period” in the tenancy agreement and that is my point, that it is the tenancy agreement that is the contract, the legislation just tries to make it fair. I imagine they will amend it to allow service 48 hours early, of course if you get the tenant to provide an email for service and to consent for its use at the time of signing the initial tenancy, then you can serve at midnight by using email feature called do not send until.

    My poinr was that 6 month tenancies are not good for Landlords or Tenants, ideally at least a year with the break clause at 6 months and one week (the initial period). If no issues with tenant not covered by Section 8 then let it go stat periodic and relax.

    • Giles Peaker


      No, you don’t get to have a monthly rent period ‘plus a week’. I suppose the first period could be a week and thereafter monthly. But the you couldn’t ask for first month’s rent in advance…

      I doubt there will be any amend, let alone for early service. This point was raised during the drafting and passage of the bill. And service ‘at midnight’ makes no odds. Will be the next day – the whole day as the date of service.

      • Romain

        In David’s scenario the initial rent payment could be for a month and a week and thereafter monthly.

        I am not sure what would be the point of that extra week, though.
        Yes, considering the new wording it seems that a s.21 notice cannot expire on the last day of an initial 6 month AST. But it makes little difference in practice apart from creating a extra ‘trap’ for landlords.

  14. Simon

    I think we are missing the point. I have always stated that the rules should be changed to favour Landlords in giving them greater powers to evict tenants in a shorter period of time. However the laws seem to be changing to favour not only the tenants once again as like housing benefit (exceptional situations accepted) but it would now seem that due to a shortage of housing which will increase over time it is in the Governments best interests to keep tenants in properties as long as possible whether they pay or not (even though they state in some respects non payment is not effected under this ruling, but tenants will take advantage of maintenance issues and the courts will have to judge on “test cases” in a system that is already in a horrendous state ). Council housing benefit officers already advise tenants not to leave properties and not to hand the keys back to agents or landlords under any circumstances and to wait for the final bailiff stage (which the courts have complete control over) but they can also now put back the process even further back mainly due to maintenance issues which can be falsified or manipulated in the tenants favour. Its all well and good having your repairs correctly noted but waiting 4 months for the council to carry out repairs on properties with no calls back even after continually chasing and waiting for 6-8 months for Council leaseholder information packs when selling is a disgrace! It would seem that the tide is turning for Landlords in general coupled with the change in tax laws. Could this be the start of a change in the market with a downturn to favour buy to live in as opposed to buy to let thus also reducing the burden on the Governments to build more homes. Lets face it if not its Green Belt next!

    • Giles Peaker


      Tenants ‘will take advantage of maintenance issues’? You mean if the landlord has failed to carry out repairs within a reasonable time of being notified of them, and then waited for the Council EHO to inspect, and then waited for the Council to serve an improvement notice, the tenant is taking advantage of the landlord’s utter failure over a period of months to follow their obligations by defending a possession claim? How very dare they!

      And you seriously believe that Council EHO departments will falsify reports to benefit the tenant? It is virtually impossible to get them to inspect in the first place, let alone serve an improvement notice rather than send a bit of a suggestion by letter. I’m afraid you have left the realms of reality far behind and headed into the thin if heady atmosphere of conspiracy theory.


    hi giles

    i think thats harsh.

    tenants do falsify or exaggerate disrepair in order to delay possession or win compo. sometimes they dont understand that the disrepair is of their own making such as condensation mould or water splashing from douching causing a kitchen ceiling beneath to collapse (true/ seen it).

    and my experience of EHO’s is they do tend to side with the tenant as they are not surveyors and dont have the necessary knowledge to understand building defects.

    • Giles Peaker

      The harshness was directed at the idea that the retaliatory eviction provisions could be gamed, with the conspiratorial assistance of the EHOs. And an issue caused by the tenant is not valid under the retaliatory eviction provisions.

      The HHSRS is not necessarily about building defects. It is not section 11.

      Ah, condensation mould – never seen a landlord who didn’t blame it all on the tenant. It can be down to tenant usage sometimes, to be sure, but often it is normal usage and bad design.

  16. Paul

    With regard to the ‘How to Rent’ booklet – unless I’ve missed something I can’t see where the SI says it must be served at the start of the tenancy.

    It would appear to me that as long as it’s served before a s21 is issued then that’s ok, which would make things a bit easier. Have I missed something?

    • Giles Peaker

      No, that is right. Which is why the post doesn’t mention service at start of tenancy. However, the first day of the ‘replacement’ tenancy is the relevant date for checking whether there is an updated booklet that needs to be served.

  17. Colin Lunt

    The stringency of the proposed legislation was significantly reduced from the original proposals to that which was passed under the Deregulation Act.

    In any event an LA must act proportionately in respect of enforcement and must not just issue formal Notices merely because a complaint has been made. My knowledge of LA EHOs is that they will normally follow informal procedures, and there is no reason to suspect that they will change their practice even if presented with a written request by a tenant to a landlord of a want of repair along with the story of the history of the issue and lack of a reasonable response.

    • Giles Peaker

      Which is, of course, a significant problem for the retaliatory eviction provisions. We will see how it plays out.

  18. Sally Eva

    Re the gas safety cert provisions: a new gas safety cert is required every year for rented property. Is this what must be served with the S21? The one served at the outset of the tenancy is likely to be long out of date and irrelevant, surely

    • Giles Peaker

      Yes, must be the current gas safety cert. But doesn’t have to be served within 28 days of inspection for s.21 to be valid. (But would still be breach of gas safety regs not to serve within 28 days.)

  19. Sally Eva

    But neither the new form, the gas safety cert nor the EPO apply to tenancies that pre-date october 1st 2015.

    • Giles Peaker

      No they don’t, as my post makes clear. But they will to any ‘renewal’ tenancy on or after 1 Oct. And EPC and Gas Certs are obligatory anyway.

      • Sally Eva

        re gas cert and EPO, yes, of course. Sorry, I’m a measure twice cut once sort of person so I like everything tied down just so. It can be very irritating.

  20. Andy

    I have a tenant who wants to rent a property for 5 months. How would you suggest proceeding with this when both landlord and tenant want a 5 month tenancy, but the serving of the section 21 notice not being able to be done until 4 months in presents a real issue.

  21. Colin Lunt

    The new section 21 provisions will not have changed the scenario that you put forward. An AST has always had provision that a landlord can not seek possession to be effective at a date earlier than six months from the commencement date.

    A landlord is able to issue a S21 after 4 months but it will not become operative until two months later as is standard for all ASTs. It is an anomaly within the system that has always been there. If both sides agree then the tenant moves out after 5 months. If there is a dispute by the tenant as with any tenancy, it will continue after the normal expiry date until the court orders possession

  22. Garry Rawlinson

    It would seem to me that Mr Giles Parker has never let properties to tenants or he has paid somebody else to take the responsibility.

    An old saying springs to mind from a wise acquaintance he said ” if you ever want to do somebody a disservice in this life leave them a street full of houses”

    We are a maintenance company who look after many landlords and their properties in the north east of England, we are landlords ourselves with commercial, residential and social properties , I can honestly say it’s always been a tough business with if you do things correctly an average return of 3 to 4% per annum.

    I have attended many court cases on both sides and often witnessed the ineptitude of the legal system when the truthfull facts of the situation had been staring them in the face I have seen many young and old landlords financially ruined by the legal system and ” savvy tenants “.

    The inequality of the bond system is well documented and has caused many people trauma and distress, this new system introduced on the 1st October is going to be a pitfall of problems it’s fairly obvious that the Government are introducing these measures as a way of keeping their homeless figures down

    Most small and medium private landlords and agents are going to suffer to a high degree, there will be more insolvencys and cheaper properties coming on to the market as more and more landlords attempt to offload,

    Most private Landlords are normal people who have invested to build up their pension pots or people who have been left property or cash from wills, we call many of these accidental landlords, most of these will not survive, I believe that these ill thought out changes will bring nothing bur chaos to an already flawed system and it will ultimately lead to a higher degree of homelessness, I for one will not carry on next year on residentials I will be purely commercial I think a lot of people will be doing the same, this government are not thinking things through sensibly, they are reacting to what has been happening in the southern counties the north east is very different a high proportion of tenants in this area are housing benefits and if past experiences are anything to go by some will exploit this system to their own advantage.

    There are of course some bad landlords but they are in the minority generally we play by the rules, we are not ogres we are simply running a business, if these constraints were placed on any other sector the extent they have been placed on the private rented sector I am sure there would be an uproar.

    If any body out there is considering being a private landlord then take some advice from me ( with 35 years experience ) don’t , there are many other ways to make money

    Private renting would be a bad choice

    • Giles Peaker


      It would help if you didn’t start by getting my name wrong. It just suggests you aren’t paying any serious attention.

      I’ll pretty much pass by the rest, as you don’t actually say anything to the point. But there are plenty of sectors with equivalent levels of regulation. Like, well, most of them. Employment law, heath and safety regulation, consumer rights regulation, age regulations on sale of certain goods, food safety regulations, and oh so so much more. Given that landlords are providing a service which is vital for their tenant’s well being, I’m puzzled why you think that they, uniquely, should escape the kind of regulation that any other business has to comply with.

      I have no idea what you mean by ‘the inequality of the bond system’. But anyone sane would have to acknowledge that until the Localism Act amendments in 2012, the deposit scheme regulations had been interpreted by the courts in a manner wholly against the tenants’ interests.

      I can assure you that the 1 October regulations have not been introduced to keep homeless figures down. Central govt sees homelessness purely as a local govt problem and has no difficulty in passing legislation that makes homelessness significantly worse.

      And I return to the general pointlessness of landlords adopting a conspiracy theory position. Everyone is against you, the tenants, the courts, the government, councils, letting agents and the Inland Revenue. Landlords are the most put upon business in the country. Etc. If you really can’t see how unattractive that kind of special pleading is to anyone who isn’t a small landlord, you frankly deserve to lose the political arguments.

  23. AKT

    Giles, Can you clarify for me if any changes have been made to the notice requirements for tenants – one of my client tenants has been told by the managing agents that, as with landlords now, notice from a tenant once the AST has gone periodic does not have to expire on the last day of a rent period – I can find no reference to this in the recent changes. Can my client tenant give a months notice to expire on any day or does it still have to be the last day of a period?

    • Giles Peaker

      No changes. Tenant’s notice to quit governed by common law still.

  24. Sam Leed

    Am I right in thinking that a s21(4) NRP in relation to a weekly periodic tenancy that started say in 2014, if served BEFORE 1st Oct 2015, and does NOT specify the last date of the period of the tenancy will now be valid? S21(4ZA)?

    The date in force of s21(4ZA) is 1st Oct 2015 – Deregulation Act 2015 (Commencement No 1 and Transitional and Saving Provisions) Order 2015 (SI 2015/994). It doesn’t say applies to tenancies commencing AFTER that date? Or NRPs served AFTER that date, presumably it applies retrospectively?

    • Giles Peaker

      No, see s.41 Deregulation Act. However, Spencer v Taylor would apply to a post fixed term statutory periodic.

  25. cathy tarpey

    hi, i have been a tenant in my present home for 15 years, my 2 year tenancy is about to run out on the 20th jan, i was served a section 21 at the start of the tenancy jan 2014, under the new rulings of 1st oct 2015, is this section 21, still legal?, thank you in advance

    • Giles Peaker

      Assuming it was not invalid for some other reason (deposit protection failures etc), and the s.21 is itself correct, then yes. The Deregulation Act provisions are only for tenancies starting on or after 1 Oct 2015 (until 1 Oct 2018, when all are caught).

  26. Chris Lowry

    Latest on this….I have a potential retaliatory eviction..what I can’t work out from the Act is the status of a s21 notice between tenant complaining of disrepair and EHO serving notice…in my case EHO dragging their feet..has anyone had any similar cases or thoughts on this?

    • Giles Peaker

      The notice remains valid until improvement notice served, then becomes invalid (unless a possession order has been made in the meantime).

  27. Paul

    I guess if EHO has made it clear that an Improvement Notice may be served that may be grounds to ask the court for some form of adjournment or suspension of a possession order – awaiting the outcome of EHO involvement?

    • Giles Peaker

      Certainly worth asking for an adjournment. DEFINITELY NOT an SPO, as any possession order made remains valid if improvement notice served after PO made.

  28. Chris Lowry

    Thanks Giles…however the omission of the word ‘and’ at the end of subsection2 (iii) immediately before subsection 2 (iii) (c) is the confusing bit..if it said ‘and’ then it would be sui generis…if your view of it is the way the Act should be read then as you opined in the first blog we are in the hands of a very underfunded EHO department at all stages!

    • Giles Peaker

      Yes, that is exactly what it is. The steps are sequential and all required. That is why 2(c) starts ‘the tenant then made a complaint..’. The list at 2. are not alternatives.

    • Giles Peaker

      If it is an AST that began on or after 1 October 2015 – which it has to be for the retaliatory eviction provisions to apply – more fertile ground to knock out the s.21 may be checking whether gas safety cert, EPC and the ‘How to Rent’ booklet were all properly served.

  29. Paul

    Yes very good point!

  30. Chris Lowry

    Are you sure that the retaliatory eviction provisions only apply to new tenancies? It is clear that the new prescribed requirements do but the retaliatory eviction applies to any s21 , surely?

  31. Chris Lowry

    ….Ps s21 served after 1st October not tenancy began after 1st October?

    • Giles Peaker

      No, tenancy began on or after 1 October.

  32. Chris Lowry

    thanks Giles…I hadn’t got around to reading the whole Act yet! Understandable that all the new prescribed information and certificates should not be retrospective but unusual that such a regulation would exclude s21 notices just because the tenancy started before 1st October…..retaliatory eviction is the same whether your tenancy started before of after October 1st. will all be academic within a year I suppose.

  33. Paul Smith

    if a landlord gives 2 months s.21 notice to a tenant on a periodic assured shorthold tenancy when there is not a valid gas safety certificate for the premises, is that notice legal and if not does it automatically become legal once a gas safety certificate is obtained and issued to the tenant, or does a new s.21 notice have to be issued to the tenant after the gas safety certificate has been issued.

    • Giles Peaker

      The requirement for a gas safety certificate for a valid s.21 only applies to tenancies that started on or after 1 October 2015. Assuming it is one of those tenancies, then the s.21 is not valid and a new one would have to be served after the gas safety certificate has been provided to the tenant.

  34. Marc John

    My tenancy started in 2012 – started as a fixed term and become a periodic monthly tenancy sometime in 2014. I have just been served notice under section 21 where the end date is earlier than the last date of the tenancy.
    Is this a valid notice, given that you mention the new regulations are only applicable to new tenancies after 1st October 2015 and mine is not ?

    • Giles Peaker

      We can’t advise on individual cases. All I can say is that the gas safety certificate requirement will not apply.

  35. Marc John

    Thanks, Giles.

    But can you clarify if Section 21 (4ZA) Housing Act 1988 is applicable only for tenancies after 1st October 2015. Your article implies that but it is not clear from the Deregulation act, unlike the The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015, which clearly states that it is applicable only to tenancies after 1st October

  36. Marc John

    Thanks. That is very useful.

  37. Kelly

    Please can someone help me! Re the section 21 can’t be served in the 1st 4 months but I need to get the tenant out now! Does this mean if she moved in on 01/10/15 I have to serve the 2 month notice section 21 on 31/01/16?? Please help! 😃

    • Giles Peaker

      1 Feb. But even before these changes, a s.21 couldn’t expire until the end of 6 months. You do realise the tenant doesn’t have to leave at the end of the 2 months notice?

  38. Joanna

    Do the retaliatory eviction provisions only apply to post 1 Oct 15 tenancies? Do you know where the authority for this is as I can’t see it. Thanks

  39. Jackie

    Can you serve the S21 if the tenant has failed to allow access into the home for the starter visits specifically the one month and six month visits or should this be Persued via normal possession procedures. Obviously you would ensure your records show that you have done all you can to gain access to the property. I would be looking to serve the notice at 4 month period if going down the s21 route.

    • Giles Peaker

      You don’t need a reason to serve a s.21. That is rather the point of them.

  40. Essex landlord

    What does renewed after October 2015 mean exactly? Does it just mean when the Tenancy Agreement goes periodic or is it “renewed” every time the rent is increased?

    • Giles Peaker

      As per the post:

      “By new, that means new – not a statutory periodic arising after 1 October, which is specifically excluded. But will include a ‘renewal’ tenancy – a fresh AST – granted on or after 1 October.”

  41. Paul Smith

    I would argue that as agents commonly refer to periodic tenancies as ‘monthly rolling contracts’ that the tenancy agreement is in fact renewed each month. I am curious whether anyone as tested this yet.

    • Giles Peaker

      No, a monthly periodic is one, ongoing, tenancy. Continues until terminated by court order and eviction.

  42. edward arundel

    if housing benefits contribution to a tenants rent is accepted after a s21 has expired with tenant still in possession will this affect the s21’s validity

    • Giles Peaker

      No, of course not. The tenancy continues until the tenant leaves or until possession order and eviction, as does the rent liability.

  43. Paul

    Landlords often complain on their various websites/forums of all the ‘red tape’ they have to comply with and how it’s all so very unfair (it’s really not).

    But the comments over the last 3 months or so on this blog, many of which are clearly from landlords, really shows up what’s gone wrong and is part of the reason they’re now starting to get a (tiny) bit of a ‘hard time’ (like not being able to retaliatory evict in a very limited number of circumstances – how awful!).

    So many of them just haven’t got a clue.

  44. Mark Reynolds

    Can you clarify something for me please? You say in this article

    “End date for a section 21 notice. The new section 21(4ZA) Housing Act 1988 removes the need for any s.21 notice, even under s.21(4)(a), to expire on the last date of a period of a tenancy (at least in England). Two months notice (for a weekly or monthly rent period) is all that is required.”

    Does this mean that the dates on the section 21 for a periodic pre 1st Oct 2015 still need to be worked out, if so can you tell me what they are?

    I always believed it has to be 2 rent periods – For example rent is due on the 1st so the notice runs 2 months from the 1st being the rent date?


    • Giles Peaker

      Same as it ever was, two months notice expiring on the last date of a period.

      But if it was a fixed term that went statutory periodic, could serve a s.21(1)(b) notice instead, as per Spencer v Taylor.

  45. Clive Harrison

    I have a tenancy commencing 1 Dec and ending 31 May. I currently don’t intend to renew it and will serve a s21 notice. As I can’t serve it within the first four months, it can’t be dated before 1 Apr, but as two month’s notice has to be given, it can’t end the tenancy by 31 May, allowing for service.

    Is there a ‘deemed’ date of service where the notice is sent by post? The only way I can end the tenancy on 31 May seems to be to serve the notice by hand on 1 Apr and get the tenant’s acknowledgement of service – but that depends upon the tenant’s co-operation…

    Does a tenant have any obligation to give notice that they do not seek to remain in a property at the end of a fixed term? It seems daft that I might be serving notice to end a tenancy on 7 Jun, when the tenant may be expecting to leave, anyway, on 31 May, having not negotiated any renewal of the term.

    • Giles Peaker

      As noted in the post, the effect of the Act is that you can’t give notice that expires on the last day of the fixed term for post 1 October 2015 tenancies. But it can expire the day after. Rent pro rata for the extra day, I guess.

  46. MJ Ammik

    Interesting thread.

    Scenario: Tenant moves in 1 Jan 2016, 12 months straight. Form 6 A issued 1 November 2016, requiring return of property after 2 Jan 2017.

    This after business. If I stick 2nd Jan in, it’s a bit loose to say after. If I was the tenant I’d be like, well when after… I assume we can’t say in a separate accompanying letter that we want them out on 2 Jan..?


    I read someplace:

    “If you serve a Section 21 FORM 6A during the fixed term and then let the tenancy roll over into a Periodic Tenancy, the section 21 will no longer be valid, and you will need to serve another notice”.

    Assuming correct, is it not then the case that EVERY tenancy reaching the end of a fixed term is going to roll into statutory periodic while we allow the extra couple of days…?

    Bloody confusing that’s what this is!

    • Giles Peaker

      First question. A s.21 could be served to require possession ‘after 31 December 2016. And no, ‘after’ means what it says, so no accompanying letter saying otherwise.

      Second question. The answer is that what you read is wrong.

      This is not difficult. Either you should not be a landlord or you should pay someone how does understand it.

  47. Renata Littlehales

    Dear Mr Peaker

    I signed a fixed 6-month assured tenancy agreement with my tenant on 12 March 2016. I do not wish to renew their contract on 12 September 2016. I am aware that I cannot serve a Section 21 Form 6A during the first 4 months of the tenancy which will end on 11 July 2016. In order to preserve the required 2 month notice is 12 July the only day I can serve the form? This by my calculation would give the tenant exactly 2 months notice (12 July-11 September). Also do I seek possession of the property after 11 or 12 September 2016. I would appreciate your assistance on this.

    Thank you


    • Giles Peaker

      No, that is not two months. It is now impossible to serve a s.21 notice that will expire on the last day of a 6 months fixed term.

      Anything else is advice that we get paid for.

  48. Renata Littlehales

    Thank you very much for your answer. How can I receive your paid advice? Renata

    • Giles Peaker

      Sorry, Renata, you caught me in a bad mood. I’d suggest joining one of the large landlord organisations, RLA or NLA. They provide the kind of information you are after.

  49. Chris Daniel

    Its worth pointing out when EVERY piece of legislation is mention, to where it applies, i.e England and / or Wales – as for example The Smoke alarms and Retalitory eviction mentioned Don’t apply in Wales.

  50. Sam

    If a tenant has not been provided with the ‘How to Rent’ booklet and EPC at the start of the tenancy, can these be provided as soon as possible and prior to any Section 21 notice being issued to ensure the s. 21 notice is not rejected by the court?

  51. Sam

    Thanks for your reply Giles Peaker. I have spoken to an eviction agent and he suggested that you can get a witness to video record you posting these documents through the tenant’s letterbox prior to issue of a s. 21 notice and that should be sufficient evidence for the court if legal action became necessary.

  52. Shammi

    my first agreement for a tenant started on 1st july 2015 – 31st december 2015.

    i then renewed their agreement on the 1st january 2016 – 30th june 2016. it is now on a statutory periodic tenancy rolling over from 1st july 2016 till now.

    for me to evict this tenant,

    would i have to issue them the new form 6a notice? and give them a epc & gas safe?

    or is a standard section 21 ok, as the original tenancy started 1st july 2015 (before the new rules from 1st october 2015)/it is now on a statutory periodic

    many thanks

    • Giles Peaker

      We don’t give individual advice on the site. But the answer is in the post anyway.

  53. Phyllis

    If the property does not need an EPC (eg HMO) or it has no gas and hence no gas cert these cannot be served but form 6A is very specific.
    We have seen the Courts disagree with the wording in legislation before.
    Is it advisable to put a note in with Court proceedings to explain why these documents have not been served?

  54. Steve Crowther

    Has anybody used the new Section 21 (4ZA) yet to give notice to a tenant? and if so, have you found it to be succesful, where required, in gaining possession through the courts if a tenant does not vacate? I am still a bit dubious in using them without having seen any cases of them being used.

    Also, just so I have it clear in my head, am I right in thinking that, if I have a 6 month tenancy commencing 09/09/2016, the earliest I can serve any form of Section 21 will be 09/01/2017. If I then serve a regular Section 21, am I right in thinking that it would not expire until 08/04/2017, this being then almost 3 months notice?

    My understanding of the new 4ZA is that I would be able to serve this on 09/01/2017, dated as being effective a few days later to take into account the 2 day first class post element of a certificate of service, say 12/01/2017. 2 full periods from the 12th Jan would then take it to 12th March 2017 with a requirement to refund pro rata any rent paid by the tenant beyon this date.

    • Giles Peaker

      I think you’ve got a bit confused. s.21(4ZA) applies whether you like it or not! And you have to use the prescribed form of s.21 notice, which incorprates the effect of (4ZA). If you are serving any other form of s.21 notice, those are probably defective.

    • Giles Peaker

      Certainly. All assured shorthold tenancies.

  55. Peter

    The link I posted, does not mention the “How to rent” booklet. Is this a special relaxation for Housing associations or just an omission by Shelter?

    The similar page for eviction from demoted tenancies does not mention the booklet either.

    There does not seem to be a page for eviction from a Housing Association fixed term tenancy.

    So much to take in and get right when advising on whether a notice is valid or not.
    Thank you for your blog. Peter

  56. Elizabeth

    Mr Peaker, if a tenant living in a property has two consecutive six-month ASTs, followed by a period of a year or so of statutory periodic tenancy, followed by a new six-month AST, would this latter AST be classed as a replacement tenancy or a new tenancy? (I hope this counts as a general question but I apologise if it doesn’t.)

    • David

      Elizabeth, it might be helpful for you to elaborate. The Dereg act came out in March and Oct 2015, if we add up the temrs of the tenancies you mention they go before that, so best to give the dates of the contracts and what you are trying to achieve. “It is never what they tell you but what they don’t tell you that matters”.

    • Giles Peaker

      For what purpose? Or in regard to what? Deposit issues? Retaliatory eviction? EPC/Gas Cert etc?

      If the (most recent) new six month AST was granted on or after 1 October 2015, then the EPC/Gas Safety Cert/How to Rent booklet requirements would apply. So would the s.21 limits.

  57. David

    Don’t you love it when people make cryptic requests, expect you to be able to read thei rmind and do not state why they are asking. It makes it virtually impossible to give a meaningful/relevant answer and it wastes a lot of time.

  58. Elizabeth

    Sorry, I wasn’t meaning to be cryptic, I was trying to be succinct and save your time rather than wasting it by going into too much boring detail! I’d forgotten that the law is all about boring detail. Yes, I was thinking about the issue of re-supplying the Guide to Renting, EPC and current gas certificate on a tenancy renewal post-October 2015 even though the tenant already has all these documents. I’d decided to err on the side of caution and give them all to the tenant again. I am very grateful to you, Mr Peaker, for clarifying the position.

  59. Elizabeth

    Thank you for your comments, David. I now feel suitably chastised! You are completely right of course.

  60. Dan


    Thanks for putting up this blog. it is so useful.

    I was wondering if you could clarify a few things about new act

    For a tenancy that started Nov 2015 and went periodic a year later where

    No “How to rent” booklet issued for either tenancy
    No EPC issued
    No Gas Safety Certificate issued

    Other than stopping S21 being issued is there any legal action that can be taken against a Landlord or Agent?

    Deposit was protected (Insurance backed) for first tenancy and says protected for 3 months beyond date tenant leaves.

    Landlord name is completely different on Deposit Certificate and Tenancy agreement, both names foreign

    Tenant left Jan 2017

    My understanding was that deposit protection continues from AST to SPT but with no “how to rent” or revision thereof issued for SPT is deposit protection valid? Could legal action be taken against Landlord for non compliance of Deposit protection legislation?

    Rent was late on last month as tenant thought it could be deducted from deposit. Agent issued an invoice for the shortfall plus £1500 late payment fee. No provision for such a huge fee in tenancy agreement, just £50 a month.

    So can legal action be taken or are requirements for docs above just preventing S21 being issued?

    • Giles Peaker

      Post deregulation Act, deposit doesn’t need ‘re-protecting’ or further prescribed information served on move from fixed term to stat periodic if (and ONLY if) if was in fact protected and PI served during the initial fixed term – even if late.

      But it does sound like there may be a breach on the prescribed information – must give landlords or agent’s name – so may be a claim there.

      Not serving EPC/Booklet/Gas safety does not invalidate deposit protection.

      The £1500 late payment fee is completely extortionate – be tempted to go to trading standards.

  61. Claire


    I am hoping you can clarify this as it seems many in the profession are acting on conflicting assumptions/understandings.

    If landlord uses the Form 6A on a tenancy which commenced pre-01/10/15 did he need to comply with the changes under the the DRA2015; i.e. serve Gas Cert, EPC & How to rent guide? Or can they use the new form 6A, not serve the documents because those new rules only apply to post 01/01/15 tenancies and thus no need to provide them.

    There are 2 understandings floating around.

    1. You can use form 6A in any event and because the tenancy is pre-01/10/15 there is no need to serve the documents; and the other understanding is….
    2. You can use form 6A in any event but even though the tenancy is pre-01/10/15 you must still serve them in order to be allowed to use the form 6A.

    I am hoping for a person such as yourself to provide clarification.

    • Giles Peaker

      If you want advice that you will be acting on, that is what we get paid for, I’m afraid. We are not insured to advise through the site.

  62. Claire

    Ok, no problem, I was just looking at previous comments and replies and I thought it was ok to ask for matters of clarification regarding the general changes which were unclear and un-reported on. My question was asked on a general basis which would apply to all readers not for a specific matter I am involved with.

    Thanks anyway, I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts and regularly refer to them for answers.

    • Giles Peaker

      Oh I’m happy to offer my opinion – as just that – but you were rather looking for an answer you could rely on.

      For what it is worth, I think the form 6A can be used for pre 1 Oct 2015 tenancies, not lest because the notes on it say so. And no, I don;t think that the post 1 Oct 2015 docs have to be served in those circumstances, because there is no obligation to do so. The notes on the latest form 6A are less than helpfully clear on that, but the notes themselves cannot add a legal obligation.

      But that is just my opinion.

  63. John

    Is there a requirement to supply an EPC when a tenancy changes from a fixed term to a periodic tenancy?

    If an EPC expires midterm of a fixed term do you have to carry out a new EPC? Does it have to be supplied to the tenant?

    If an EPC expires during a periodic tenancy is it an offence to not to have a new EPC carried out?

    Does a tenant with a periodic tenancy have to be given a new EPC if it runs out? The tenant was supplied an EPC when the fixed term was originally taken out.

    • Giles Peaker

      Where one was served at the start of the fixed term? No.

  64. Dan

    Hey Giles

    I wonder if you could please clarify something regarding S21 post Dereg.

    Historically, it has always been the Landlord’s responsibility to serve papers, albeit that they may be given by the agent. Save cases like OKADIGBO et al and CHAN et al where Agent allowed for mitigation.

    Has this changed in Dereg 2015 if there is an agent involved, particularly a local Council acting as an agent (glorified referral scheme if you ask me but hey).

    My understanding was that the buck stops with the Landlord and a Court must enforce provisions of Dereg and throw out a S21 when there are issues with EPC, Gas Safety, Repairs reported (revenge eviction).

    Fly in ointment is Council involvement as an agent, it is surely still the responsibility of Landlord not Council or any other agent to serve such papers.

    Next question is whether it is worth appealing such cases if deposit was protected? County Court Judges seem near useless in knowledge of Deregulation Act and if Tenant not represented they seem to kick it out.

    At the end of the day it can only buy tenants time and unless there is deposit issue, seems risky to fund it further.

    It just bugs me that we have this Law to protect from Rogue Landlords and it is not being followed.

    • Giles Peaker

      It was always the landlord’s responsibility. And still is. An agent may serve the papers, of course, but that doesn’t get the landlord off the hook if not done.

      If the court ignored the statutory requirements (EPC, gas cert, How to Rent booklet) I’d have thought worth an appeal. These are absolute requirements, not discretionary extras. Appeal must include application for stay of the possession order. DJs may need a bit of training and time to catch on ;-)

      Revenge eviction is more complicated than repairs reported. Only an improvement or emergency remedial notice having been served by the council can void the s.21 (up to the date the possession order is made).

  65. Sree

    Hi Giles,

    He lives in Canada. I have taken his property in Hull for rent that was through Open Rent which was started on 25th of Sep 2016. Initially I had a discussion with him to have a contract for six month and I was willing to extend it later but as he was willing to give for 1 year contract, I have signed agreed for it.

    I have informed him on 31st of March about my new job and situation and mentioned him about my leaving date (15th of May), as he agreed I have made all other arrangements go with new job in Huntingdon but with me he agreed on phone.

    Later, during April, he mentioned in one email stating that I need to pay rent till the end of contract until unless he will able to replace me with a new tenant.

    I do have problems with Fridge and boiler since February and was unable to use fridge and freezer completely. He was trying to ask some repair company but that was not replaced or replaced even by the time I left. I used to buy food from outside every day.

    As he is living in Canada I thought he will take some support from any agency or care taker to fill the property, which was not happened. I was able to show the property to three out of four people viewed the property during weekends and evenings. They were interested take the property but he said, credit check was not passed for all of them.

    As I said to him before I left the property during May. Now He is asking me to pay the rent for the month of June (starts from May 25th). I have explained him about my situation, mentioned him about his oral agreement couple of times, He is not responding about his oral agreement in his mail.

    Finally, I did mention to him, I could pay for this month, which will give you another month to find a new tenant but before I do, please relieve me from the lease with your consent.

    He is not willing to go for that and he says I need to honour him with another 4 month rent. Is there any solution for this?

    • Giles Peaker

      We can’t give individual advice. I’d suggest you talk to a CAB or other advice centre.

  66. Sonny

    Giles, leaving aside the EPC and the booklet. I’m still not completely sure about tenancies which began before Oct 15 and tenancies which became statutory periodic before Oct 15
    My reading of it is that notice under s21(4) requires two months written notice and 21(4ZA) removes the requirement for the date specified to be the last date of the period for all AST’s irrespective of the date on which they began or became periodic. That the only difference before and after is the requirement to use From 6A for those which began after. Is this correct? Are there any circumstances where the “Old” date rules would still apply?

    • Giles Peaker

      S.21(4ZA) only applies to post 1 October 2015 tenancies.

      However, Spencer v Taylor applies to pre 1 Oct 2015 tenancies.

      The only exception would be a pre 1 October 2015 tenancy that was periodic from the start, or that was a ‘fixed term followed by periodic’ contractual tenancy, where s,21(4) requirements would apply.

  67. Sonny

    Thank you Giles

  68. J Wilson

    Hi Giles

    Can you please confirm whether in your opinion the Deregulation Act (2015) means that sanctions may now only be claimed once, for historic AST’s or do we still have a snapshot in time for each breach. e.g. Multiple AST’s and SPT’s covering worst dates from 2007 to 2009, going SPT in say 2010 or 2013 and running till say 2017.

    As a point of law is it

    the date of the agreement for the AST,

    the creation for the SPT’s or the date they run to

    that applies

    Does the snapshot in time also apply to the 14 day and 30 obligation to protect if a claim is made say in 2017 for a tenancy taken out in say 2008 before the 30 day change made in Localism Act 2011

    Will Oct 2018 then make all aspects of Deregulation Act retrospective to all previous tenancies or only the EPC, Gas Safety and How to Rent aspects.

    Many thanks for your help and your great blog

  69. Phil B

    Hi Giles

    Thanks for all the info you provide. I wanted to clarify that while the Dereg Act considers a deposit protected if it goes periodic, does that apply to new AST’s to the same tenant each year?

    Also does the PI have to be re-issued for each AST because surely details recorded on the original PI will not have changed and the deposit will have remained protected in an authorised scheme?

  70. Phil B

    Thanks Giles

    That was informative post, my reading of it is that the Dereg act considers all future tenancies that are substantially the same (whether Stat Periodic or new AST, as long as a previous one has been done correctly, would you agree?

    Yet you also seem to be saying than one can argue than once a tenancy has been protected properly, even if late, then future AST’s that are substantially the same should have no penalty?

    The issue I am interested in is when you have multiple tenancies where the tenant disputes receiving PI, the agent went out of business so can’t get statement there. The problem is first few tenancies were before Oct 2015 but all others are post Oct 2015.

    If one could prove the PI of the first then the dominoes would protect all the others, but just as a tenant can’t prove a negative, it is difficult for a Landlord to prove too.

    I would be interested in your personal thoughts on such cases as I imagine many of your readers will have this sort of thing.

    Again, thanks so much, not only is your blog fantastic but you really seem to be involved in a lot of social justice which is admirable.

    • Giles Peaker

      Protection (including PI) during a previous tenancy, even late protection, is good for subsequent tenancies/statutory periodic tenancy. This would not prevent a claim for late protection on the previous tenancy. This is applied retrospectively by the Deregulation Act 2015 to include any post April 2007 deposit.

      But a failure to protect properly (including PI) means that the breach is repeated with each new tenancy/stat periodic.

  71. Shant K

    How must a letting agent serve an EPC and Gas Certificate? Post October 2015, Is email okay for serving EPC and Gas Certificate as attached documents with a covering email?

    • Giles Peaker

      No, only the How to Rent Booklet can be sent by email. Unless, I suppose, with the tenant’s express agreement. But then the EPC and gas cert are to be provided before the tenant takes up occupation…

  72. Shant K

    The Gas Certificate does not have landlord’s names and the address of landlord. Is it a valid Gas Safety Certificate?

    I think there is also a question of who actually provided the Gas Cert.

    Can these be pointed out to court?

    The Gas Certificate was also issued 1 day later than tenancy start date.

    That is there was no Gas Certificate provided at the start of tenancy, which I think is very similar to what you are referring to in your tweets:

    I am yet to receive the court papers and preparing the defence. Let’s see how it goes.


    • Giles Peaker

      We can’t advise on individual cases. However, the gas certificate does not have to have the landlord’s name and address on it. Doesn’t matter who provided it. It does have to have been done by a gas safe registered engineer.

      Whether ‘late’ provision of a gas safety certificate is sufficient to enable a s.21 to be served is a live issue before the county courts. It could go either way, at least until a higher court gets to decide.

  73. David

    @Shant K

    Without commenting on your personal case let me tell you that even with the legislation it is still futile.

    A tenant goes to Court, the Judge kicks out the S21 if they deem appropriate and all the landlord will do is get a new Gas Certificate for £30 to £50, then issue a new S21 and 2 months later the tenant is out.

    S21 is a no fault possession order, some tenants are better off putting their energy into finding a new home because they are only delaying the inevitable.

    If a tenant feels that their Gas Safety certificate is fake (I have seen quite a few) then they should take it to their Local Council, a landlord may have a plethora of properties and could be doing the same thing. The Council have many powers at their disposal including legal remedies and fines.

    In my experience Landlords who are sloppy about one thing tend to be sloppy about all, including deposit protection. So it is advisable for tenants to check with the three deposit protection companies that their deposit was protected WITHIN 30 DAYS, they should have also been issued with the Prescribed Information WITHIN 30 DAYS. If they failed on either of these counts they may be liable to a sanction of between 1x and 3x the deposit which actually goes to the tenant, in addition to getting their deposit back (less damages or non performance).

    Tenants have up to 6 six to make such a claim in some circumstances.

    • Shant K

      Yes, I agree with Landlords who are sloppy about about one thing tend to be sloppy about all. This is true in my personal case as well. No EPC provided, No ‘How to Rent’ provided, late service of Gas safety certificate with no Landlord name and address, late protection of deposit and no service of prescribe information, not mending disrepairs and attending maintenance despite persistent reporting for about 19 months etc.

      Though I do no want to argue, if a county court accepts that ‘late’ service of gas safety certificate as a breach that cannot be rectified later, then it will be the case whenever new gas certificate is issued as well, no?

      We reported to the council and council said all disrepairs and maintenance issues fall under section 12 and they cannot issue improvement notice. The council issued some letter listing the issues and said it is the policy of council not to take legal action against landlord for section 12 issues and the coulcil also said though the policy might change for section 12 issues in the future.

      Then lanlord gave 3 days notice for a door-repair trade person (whose name lanlord provided) visit and then sent another person with the door-repair trade person and we did not allow in the other person and the other person verbally abused my wife and children in very offensive language, and it now appears the other person came for gas safety check. The question is as to why landlord did not inform us about the other person.

      The Landlord suddenly paid the deposit back into the my bank account and issued section 21 notice. This another separate issue we are delaing with letting agent and ICO because we instructed letting agent to destroy all bank statements and not to reatin our bank account details once the tenancy was signed.

      I have to provide a snapshot of issues that I am having to face with this Landlord to put some context for the general situation.

      How one must approach claiming against the breach of deposit protection rules/regulation etc? Are there any guides on the Internet for this?


      • Giles Peaker

        No, the provision of subsequent gas reports – after the tenancy start one – can be late. The 28 days rule in the Gas Safety Regs is expressly disapplied for purposes of serving a s.21. Just has to be provided before serving the s.21.

        If the tenancy began before 1 October 2015, no requirement to provide EPC or How to Rent booklet.

        Shelter have advice pages on deposit claims.

      • David


        Not commenting on your particular case but speaking generally, the Deregulation Act 2015 prevents revenge evictions on tenancies started after October 1st 2015, where the repairs sought were reported to the Council.

        Regarding Deposit Protection the procedure is to send a letter before action giving reasonable notice of your intention to claim for failure to protect deposit in an accordance of S213-5 of the Housing Act. Then if that yields no response it is two forms to be files and a Court fee that will likely be recoverable with the sanctions.

        Tenants can ask for what they would have likely got if the case has gone to Court, if the landlord does not settle they are likely to pay costs and fees. It does not matter if they have returned the deposit, the sanctions can still be sought now or later.

        I always suggest landlords and tenants reach a settlement based on the gravity of the failure, for someone facing an S21 a Judge will take into account the circumstances, but more likely to dismiss the S21 on other grounds, such as Gas Safety (annual), EPC every 5 years or current how to rent if it has changed since original issue.

        If post Oct 2015 tenancy has gone Statutory Periodic sanctions may apply twice; if the original tenancy was NOT protected then neither was the new but if the original WAS protected then so is the new. Same applies to PI.

        I would strongly suggest avoiding claim companies as there are numerous complaints about then online suggesting they are only interested in ramping up the legal fees as well as taking 35% of sanctions, but mostly because they only deal with the claim not the other legal issues such as damages or revenge eviction etc.

        Instead seek the advice of a Solicitor with housing experience , I am not affiliated with this site or the firm, but I would suggest you contact Anthony Gold Solicitors who may be able to work on a conditional fee arrangement. They have an excellent reputation and will tell you straight whether they can help you.

        Tenancy agreements usually provide a clause for 24 hours notice and requirement to provide emergency access for things like Gas leaks, no doubt a landlord would bring up a refusal to allow their contractor to enter the property. It is best for tenants not to appear obstructive about contractors, check ID, call a landlord and the firm they represent to confirm they are bona fide, even check they are Gas Safe certified at One could reasonably suggest that the name of the contractor should have provided 24 hours earlier to allow such checks to take place and if a contractor was abusive when challenged for ID then clearly a tenant would not feel safe letting such a person into their home.

        Nobody can comment on individual cases without seeing the full facts, but if you step back from your situation you must realise that it is only a matter of time before you are out of this property. So it is better to reach a settlement and move on. Remember that it costs money to enforce the Law, whether it be statutory or the terms in a tenancy agreement.

        A well drafted letter explaining that tenant will be challenging the S21 notice, listing the grounds, but tenant would rather resolve the matter amicably and reach a settlement. This might typically include a payment of what one might get if they went to Court and perhaps a positive reference. This would save landlord legal costs and Court fees, Court time would not be wasted and tenant saved the stress.

        Bear in mind that a Judge may kick out an S21 if grounds are sufficient, the usual outcome is for them to give an instruction for the landlord to rectify any missing issues, at which point another S21 may be issued. A failure is does not give a tenant right to stay in the property forever.

        If the S21 had not yet been actioned then it seems to me to be a perfect time to seek a settlement which would save the landlord the S21 Court Fees.

        If a tenant has children and are facing eviction the Local Authority may have a duty to house them, the hurdles presented vary greatly from Council to Council, they typically want the S21 issued, some wait for eviction, some will say tenants are intentionally homeless if they have arrears or anti social behaviour etc.

        If a Council is not taking Section 12 issues seriously then might be a matter for CEO and of Council, MP or Ombudsman for maladministration. The issues should be serious though.

        • Giles Peaker

          “the Deregulation Act 2015 prevents revenge evictions on tenancies started after October 1st 2015, where the repairs sought were reported to the Council.”

          No, no it doesn’t. It is only prevented where either an Improvement Notice or an Emergency Remedial Notice have been served by the council after the tenant’s report.

          I presume ‘s.12’ issues are section 11 Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 – repairing obligation. There is no reason a council EHO should ignore those.

        • David


          Sorry you are absolutely right, was presuming that would follow them reporting to Council. I have seen tenants assume that because they reported a repair to the Landlord they are protected by Dereg Act.

          Revenge eviction protection pretty weak really, I wonder if there are stats on how many tenants successfully used it.

        • Giles Peaker

          No stats. Anecdotally, I’ve heard of one. But the national figures for serving improvement notices (only obtainable by FOI) are dreadful.

  74. Shant K

    Apologies for not writing what I meant.

    If a county court accepts that gas safety certificate not provided at the start of tenancy as a breach that cannot be rectified later, then it will be the case whenever new gas certificate is issued as well, no?

    That is to satisfy 36 6 (b) of The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, which specifically refers to new tenant before that tenant occupies.

    I can see that why because a tenant remains ‘a new tenant’ only beween being prospective tenant (i.e. when paying holding deposit) and inclusive of the start date of a particular tenancy. The next day the same tenant will become an exisitng tenant in relation to the same tenancy.

    The 28 days rule (for covering 36 6 (a) of The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998) that 2015 Deregulation specifically removes its applicability, yes I agree that it can be any time, even after few years, once 36 6 (b) is satisfied.

    I can see why 28 days rule was removed, because it is to facilitate the gas cert provision for 36 6 (b) as well as providing gas cert for existing tenants, and by removing 28 days requirement 2015 Deregulation facilates the provision of unexpired gas cert (however old or late, i.e. can be more than 28 days old, unexpired for satisfying 36 6 (b) or later than 28 days ,even years or months later for existing tenants) both sides of 36 6 (b) as well as not having to bother about 36 6 (a) once 36 6 (b) is satisfied.

    A Landlord can use exisiting, unexpired gas cert (however old, i.e. can be more than 28 days old) for satisfying 36 6 (b), and after that, at the least in theory, the Lanlord does not have to bother about gas cert (well diregarding all regulations and section 11 requirements etc.) until such time the same Landlord will be dealing with section 21 notice, provided that if and when the Landlord can get access to the same premises or property.

    If 36 6 (b) of The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 is breached, it cannot be rectified later because the tenant would not become ‘new tenant who was about to move in to the same property’, unless of course the same tenant first ends the tenancy either voluntararily or by lawful eviction, moves out, then starts a new tenancy at the same property.

    This is common sense and forces Landlords to issue unexpired gas cert at the least at start of a tenancy.

    I also read somewhere a high or an appeal court commented about using common sense.

    Then again, I agree that it all depends all how legislation and courts define and qualify by the phrases of ‘new tetant’ and ‘existing tenant’.

    My idea is to include a timeline diagram (in relation to my tenancy) to illustrate these points to county court. Let’s see how it goes because I do have other valid defence (EPC and How to Rent).

    It’s a good education for me, which I never thought could come across as a tenant and being a professional in a STEM field!


    • Giles Peaker

      The issue is that the Deregulation Act and subsequent regulation are not clear – It says the Gas Safety regulations apply, but then says that the requirement to provide a gas safety cert within 28 days of a inspection doesn’t apply – so the time limits on providing a safety cert on a re-inspection are expressly removed.

      If the aim was to make it impossible to serve a s.21 during the whole life of a tenancy (or at least until a ‘new’ replacement tenancy was entered into), if the cert was not provided at the start of the tenancy, why would the 28 days limit on a re-inspection certificate be disapplied, so that could be provided at any time whatsoever before service of a s.21? There is no logic to a landlord getting that leeway on a re-inspection certificate, but none at all on the initial certificate.

      As I said, this is going through the courts at the moment. My personal sense is that a higher court will (eventually) decide that late provision of a certificate is fine for serving a s.21, whether initial or re-inspection.

  75. Shant K

    I missed one point. The 2015 Derugulation forces a gas safety certification cycle on Landlords by forcing to issue an unxpired gas cert prior to new tenant moving in and unexpired gas cert before a Landlord’s ‘no-fault’ removal of an existing tenant becomes a reality.

    Thank you.

    • Giles Peaker

      No, it doesn’t. That is already a requirement under the Gas Safety regulations

  76. Shant K


    Yes, I know it’s buying time at the best with all things unpredictable in the legal process. This Landlord is like my way or no way type.

    The whole tenancy would not have reached this level of bitterness when we asked wthether the Landlord wanted us out and if not, we asked for the mending all disrepairs and attending all maintenance issues.

    The Landlord wanted us to stay and offered to provide a plan and dates for mending all disrepairs and attending all maintenance issues.

    Then, out of the blue, section 21 notice.

    Yes, I will try my best to reach an amicable parting-apart, and it all depends upon other side (the Lanlord) willingness for playing the same ball.

    I will also contact Anthony Gold solictors as you say.


  77. Shant K

    I have no rent arrears. However, a leaking pipe at the back of toilet bowl and cistern area caused water to reach where one has to stump and step for sitting on toilet seat and using sink, and at nights the children experienced stepping on puddle of water in hal-sleep when they had to pee. So, we repaired and provided the invoices to the letting agent.

  78. Shant K


    Thank you for pointing the direction and guidance below.

    “If a Council is not taking Section 12 issues seriously then might be a matter for CEO and of Council, MP or Ombudsman for maladministration. The issues should be serious though.”

    • Giles Peaker

      I presume you mean section 11 issues? I don’t think what you describe would amount to a category 1 hazard, so council not obliged to do anything.

  79. David


    I totally understand how you feel, I would feel the same way if I and my children were treated in this way, but as a father I would like to suggest you step outside of your situation and consider the way forward. Right now you have experienced loss and are flipping between Denial, Negotiation and Anger stages, you need to get to Acceptance stage ASAP. for your own sake.

    Having a protracted fight with a Landlord is a lose lose situation, it will sap your energy, make you angry with every stunt pulled and increase anxiety.

    It is never easy to lose a home but the reality is that in this country there is no security of tenure beyond six months unless you are in social housing.

    The only reason I can imagine you would want to stay in this property is cost and proximity, which means that moving is going to put up your costs substantially. However, the fact is the best you can do by fighting the S21 is delaying the inevitable.

    When I see people grabbing at every bit of law it points to them feeling they were treated unfairly, this blog post shows that the law is a mess, even dereg act which was supposed to fix things has all kinds of mistakes. Around that there is case law that you may not be aware of.

    I am not saying you should not seek a settlement or get sanctions, speak to Solicitors as recommended above, but your energy needs to be on getting a new home.

    Your first decision might be to consider whether you can afford the private rented sector and whether this is an opportunity to get into social housing, this is not easy, it may involve a stepping stone of temporary housing (for up to a year) but it may lead to a nice home with a decent rent and long term security.

    If you decide to aim for this then you will need to speak to Local Council Housing Dept to understand the lay of the land, do they insist on eviction or do they take the S21 expiry date as their date of obligation to you and your family? Ask them the typical lead time in temporary housing and whether they are relying on B&B’s or proper temp housing facilities. Bear in mind most of the Country is at breaking point and they would prefer you found another solution in the private sector.

    If social housing is not for you then look at LHA rates in your area and determine if you need to move out of area. considering the impact to work, schools etc. then make your plan. It is likely you only need to give a months notice and can still seek deposit sanctions later.

    Explore your potential income from the Solicitors, it will be a max of 3x the deposit per tenancy, offer a settlement as a letter before action to landlord for their S213-5 breach and then let the Solicitor handle it if they will not settle. The stress this saves is well worth any potential fee, conditional or not.

    I understand that you will be feeling a great sense of insecurity at this difficult time, this can affect your family relationships and your work, but fighting the S21 is only delaying things. December is a dire month for landlords to let their properties, this can mean you have less competition and are able to obtain a bargain rent or nicer property without the competition you will have in January or March.

    I am not saying your landlord does not deserve a slap, just that your objective is to provide for your family and you have to consider how best that objective may be achieved. Moving home is one of the top 5 most stressful things and losing a home one of biggest causes of depression, the way to fight that is to create hope. Having a plan for you new home will create that hope.

  80. Sam

    In the initial article you suggest that for the purpose of the how to rent guide – “where a ‘new’ replacement tenancy has been granted (including a statutory periodic, I think), there is no requirement to give a further copy, unless there is a new version of the booklet out before the first day of the new tenancy.” Is it yet possible to be more definite on whether Section 21 (7) includes a statutory periodic tenancy?

  81. David

    Section 21 (7) does not define an SPT, an SPT is created by Statute when a Tenancy is not provided or if a tenant remains in the property at the end of a tenancy.

    A replacement tenancy refers to a tenancy that is a replacement of a previous tenancy, e.g, if the Landlord issues a new tenancy at the end of a tenancy.

    For the How to Rent guide it is quite simple, if a new one has come out issue the latest version before serving the S21, most recent was January 2018 at the time of me writing this.

    • Sam

      s21(7) does define a replacement tenancy for the purpose of the AST Notices and prescribed requirements Regs 2015 Reg(3)Para(6)

      GP stated in the article that he thinks a replacement tenancy includes a SPT.

      Reg(3) Para(4) says a further copy of the document [ is not required ] each time a different version of that document is published during the tenancy.

      So if today a s21 notice is served during the tenancy (within the fixed term of a tenancy) which began before the latest guide was published would then Para(4) mean that the relevant guide would be the Feb 2016 version?

      and if today a s21 notice was served where the tenancy had become an SPT after 01 Jan 18 would then the relevant guide be the Jan 18 version?

      and then which would be the relevant guide if the SPT had come into being before Jan 18? reading para(4) might suggest that Feb 16 version was current at the time the SPT came into being so during the SPT a further copy is not required if the Feb 16 version was the current version at the start of the SPT.

      There appears – to me at any rate – to be some difference between what is to be considered the current version as defined in Para(2) and what might be the current version as defined at Para(5)(b)(iii)

      • Giles Peaker

        S.21(7) defines replacement tenancy as:

        (7) For the purposes of this section, a replacement tenancy is a tenancy—

        (a) which comes into being on the coming to an end of an assured shorthold tenancy, and

        (b) under which, on its coming into being—

        (i) the landlord and tenant are the same as under the earlier tenancy as at its coming to an end, and

        (ii) the premises let are the same or substantially the same as those let under the earlier tenancy as at that time.

        An SPT ‘comes into being’ at the end of an AST, or as s.5 puts it ‘arises’ (Superstrike relevant here.)

        But as far as the How to Rent Guide goes, it simply has to be served on the tenant before a section 21 notice is served, if the Guide wasn’t previously given to the tenant. And in those circumstances, it should be the current version.

        There is no requirement that the Guide was served correctly on each previous tenancy.

        You are really tying yourself in knots. 3(4) of the Regs simply means that if the guide has previously been served on the tenant, and the guide is then updated, then the updated guide doesn’t have to be served again during the period of the tenancy. But if it has been updated in the meantime, then the latest version does have to be served for any ‘new’ (replacement) tenancy starting after the date of the update – 3(5)(b)

  82. David



    So if today a s21 notice is served during the tenancy (within the fixed term of a tenancy) which began before the latest guide was published would then Para(4) mean that the relevant guide would be the Feb 2016 version?

    and if today a s21 notice was served where the tenancy had become an SPT after 01 Jan 18 would then the relevant guide be the Jan 18 version?




    FOR THE LANDLORD IT IS SIMPLE, INCLUDE THE HTR DOC “that has effect for the time being” AT THE BEGINNING OF THE TENANCY AND AGAIN THE LATEST VERSION “that has effect for the time being” BEFORE ISSUING A S21.




    (2) The information is the version of the document entitled “How to rent: the checklist for renting in England”, as published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, THAT HAS EFFECT FOR THE TIME BEING.


    (4) Paragraph (1) does NOT REQUIRE a landlord, or person acting on behalf of the landlord, who has provided the tenant with the document mentioned in paragraph (2) to supply a further copy of the document each time a different version of that document is published DURING THE TENANCY.

    INTENTION WAS A CURRENT VERSION HENCE “that has effect for the time being”.

    (5) This regulation does NOT apply—

    (a)where the landlord is a private registered provider of social housing; or
    (i)the tenancy (“the new tenancy”) IS A REPLACEMENT TENANCY;
    (ii)the landlord, or a person acting on behalf of the landlord, provided the tenant with the document mentioned in paragraph (2) under an earlier tenancy; AND
    (iii)the version of the document provided to the tenant under the earlier tenancy is the SAME VERSION as the version which is in effect on the FIRST DAY OF THE NEW TENANCY.



    (6) In this regulation “replacement tenancy” has the same meaning as in section 21(7) of the Act.

    SO JUMP TO 21(7)

    (7)For the purposes of this section, a replacement tenancy is a tenancy—

    (a)which comes into being on the coming to an end of an assured shorthold tenancy, and

    (b)under which, on its coming into being—

    (i)the landlord and tenant are the same as under the earlier tenancy as at its coming to an end, and

    (ii)the premises let are the same or substantially the same as those let under the earlier tenancy as at that time.]

    AKA MY OLD FAVOURITE “substantially the same”




    “which comes into being on the coming to an end of an assured shorthold tenancy”

    COULD EQUALLY APPLY TO ANY OF i. ii. or iii.


    • Giles Peaker

      David – I agree, but no need to shout!

      The position on deposits is quite different, as there are specific provisions on ‘original’ and ‘replacement’ tenancies, as well as SPTs in some circumstances.

    • Sam

      Thank you both for your replies. Yes I should have said OR rather than AND.

      I am for the moment only focusing on the HTR Guide. (For deposits Housing Act 2004 S.215B(4) has its own definition of a replacement tenancy.)

      It’s more to do with understanding the position as oppose to arguing about it.
      Words can be slippery and don’t always mean what they appear to mean at first glance and sometimes case-law puts a different slant on things over time.

      It’s not so much that I have an angle, but if I did it might be more from the tenants perspective.
      I take your point about delaying the inevitable, but a tenant may have a legitimate reason to delay the inevitable. in say a situation where securing another property is proving difficult.
      I would think they have a right to delay the inevitable where there is some technicality that brings the validity of the notice into question.
      If the tenant buys themselves a further two months and is able to secure another property in that time; wouldn’t he then avoid the costs of the claim and fees? Wouldn’t that be worth a tenant pursuing?

      So on the date of the s21 notice being issued,
      If the guide provided prior to the issue of the notice was the ‘then current’ guide at the start of the AST/SPT which is being determined by that notice. The notice will be valid.

      A notice would be invalidated only where the AST/SPT being determined by that notice had come into being after the publication of a new guide and that new guide had not been provided before the notice was issued.

      because the intention as you put it of reg(3) para(2) is for a current guide
      If the landlord serves the current guide before the issue of a notice. The notice is valid regardless of when the AST/SPT being determined had begun.
      I am thinking it might be absurd to argue that a previous guide was relevant and should have been given.

      • Giles Peaker

        Sam, the How to Rent Guide doesn’t even have to served/provided at the start of the AST/SPT. It just has to be provided before service of a s.21 notice (and be the current edition at that point). Obviously, good practice is to serve the Guide at the start of each tenancy (if there has been a new edition in the meantime)- and indeed that is what the regulations say. But breaching that requirement has no effect at all, so long as the current edition is served before a s.21 notice.

        You are still confusing yourself. It really is that simple.

  83. Sam

    Thank you GP, I think I have it straight. It should be simple but it’s not quite as simple as saying the version of the HTRG being relied upon must be the current version . There is a greater potential for it to go wrong where there is a recent version update.

    • Giles Peaker

      Once more, Sam, you are over complicating.

      If no HTR booklet has been given to the tenant at any point (first or subsequent tenancies) the landlord just has to give them the current version before serving a s.21 notice.

      If the HTR booklet was given to the tenant in a first tenancy, then it only has to be given to them again at the start of a replacement tenancy if it has been updated in the meantime. That has the potential to go wrong, certainly. I always said so, but it is trivial to rectify by – well – giving them the current booklet before serving a s.21.

  84. David

    Giles, Sorry for CAPS, was only to try and highlight (really need a bold button!)

    Sam, I totally understand what you are trying to do, but as Giles has pointed out, it would likely be futile to rely on HTR doc except if one has never been served or maybe if version not current when S21 served.

    In my experience is bad enough when Judges ignore stronger legislation.

    The difficultly in these situations is that for a Tenant it is their home and the loss of tenancy in just 2 months may affect their job, their kid’s schooling and other family issues.

    I think many Landlords use or abuse the S21 because it is a no fault procedure rather than use S8 which has it’s own problems (e.g. reducing arrears to £1 under 2 months rent just prior to Court date).

    I would like to see S21 period extended to 4 or 6 months if not removed completely and maybe changing some of S8, e.g. for a repayment of arrears to postpone the Court proceedings (so no further Court fee) and then for them to be cancelled if the tenant enters an agreement to tackle the arrears. I wonder if it would it not be better to remove arrears from Courts altogether; perhaps have a procedure managed via the debt charities so the tenants get the help they need and the Landlord is more secure.

    I do stand by my comment that delaying the inevitable does not help the tenant, in some cases I have helped tenants delay by 18 months, it cost both the Landlord and the Tenant over £8k and the tenant had an even higher rent to pay than they would have had to pay if they had left after the original S21 notice.

    In my experience it is always better for the Landlord and Tenant to come to an amicable agreement, but if you really want to delay things then you are better to focus on law that has teeth, e.g. Gas Safety, Deposit Legislation and the PI of that.

  85. A disillusioned tenant

    It is my understanding that an EPC can not be served via email and that provisions are only made for the right to rent booklet to be served in this manner. Are there any regulations that do allow for the EPC to be sent via email Without agreement from the tenant that you are aware of please?

    Thank you

    • Giles Peaker

      There is no requirement that the EPC be ‘served’. The Energy Performance Regulations simply require the EPC ‘to have been given’.

      The regulations on prescribed information on the How to Rent booklet do prescribe the possible means of service of the booklet.

  86. A disillusioned tenant

    Thank you very much for this information. I was looking under the section 21 regulations
    and did not think to look on the actual energy performance regulations.

    I have found this section to be extremely helpful. “Electronic production of energy performance certificates

    13. Where regulation 6(2) or 6(5) requires a valid energy performance certificate to be given or made available to any person, the certificate may be given or made available electronically if the intended recipient consents to receiving the certificate electronically.”

    Thank you once again and for such a speedy response, this is just what I needed.

  87. John F

    I have a question about the Deregulation Act 2015, specifically

    215B (1)(b)

    Shorthold tenancies: deposit received on or after 6 April 2007

    the initial requirements of an authorised scheme have been complied with by the landlord in relation to the deposit (ignoring any requirement to take particular steps within any specified period),

    It is that last bit in brackets

    (ignoring any requirement to take particular steps within any specified period),

    What does this mean?

    Does this mean

    that the 30 day deadline for protecting the initial deposit and PI do not apply

    or does it mean

    Assuming you protected the initial deposit and issued the PI within 30 days?

    Note: My understanding was that under Dereg SPT is deemed as protected if original deposit was protected within 30 days and PI served within 30 days, I am curious if the original deposit was protected late and no PI given, does this make the SPT liable for sanctions too?

    Many thanks in advance

  88. John F

    Thanks Giles

    I read that but when I got to

    “I trust that is all perfectly clear…”

    I was not sure that I had taken it all in on these two paragraphs and how they relate to the specific sections in Dereg Act?

    (both paragraphs from the post 6 April 2012 – 30 day requirement for protection and service of PI part of article)

    Para A
    “But if protected/served late but within original tenancy term, and the tenancy has subsequently been renewed or become a statutory periodic, a s.21 notice can be served. However, penalty claim on original default (only the original default).”

    Para B
    “If deposit not protected and PI served within original tenancy term, a s.21 notice can’t be served until the deposit is returned (or PI served, if the deposit was protected but PI defective or not served). Penalty claim applies on first and any subsequent breaches (on new tenancy/statutory periodic)”

    Putting aside the S21 for the moment

    Q1. In Para A, why is there only a penalty on the original, is it the paragraph I quoted above?

    (ignoring any requirement to take particular steps within any specified period)

    Q2. In Para B, Why does “Penalty claim applies on first and any subsequent breaches (on new tenancy/statutory periodic)” if the deposit was protected but PI defective or not served).

    Seems strange that in two failing situations, one has penalty for SPT and one not?

    Q3. How do these two paragraphs connect to the legislation?

    In past, I have had District Judge completely disregard PI failure when deposit protected, but late.

    Also am I nit picking to point out:

    Q4. The opening paragraph seems oxymoronic as if a deposit is not protected how can the PI be served?)

    • Giles Peaker

      Q1. Because the deposit was protected, albeit late, and by the Deregulation Act counts as protected for subsequent tenancies.
      Q2. Not odd at all, there are continued breaches.
      Q3. They explain the effect of the legislation. A poor decision by a District Judge doesn’t change that.
      Q4. Which opening paragraph? Of ‘B’? You have misunderstood, that refers to the requirement to protect deposit AND serve PI.

  89. Anon

    Does an EPC have to be served before commencement of the tenancy in order for the S.21 notice to be valid or will it suffice if it is served prior to service of the notice?

    • Giles Peaker

      No cases on that yet. My view is OK if served before the notice.

      • Sam Singh

        I gave my tenant an EPC before they moved in on 13/10/17. It expired in September 2019. I have now served them a section 21 notice. Is my section 21 invalid?

        • Giles Peaker

          The EPC expiring, by itself, doesn’t invalidate a section 21, but it may depend on what else happened. If there was only the one tenancy starting in 2017, which then became a statutory periodic tenancy on the expiry of the fixed term, then a section 21 would, I think, be valid, as the requirement in the EPC regs is for a valid EPC to be given to the tenant at the start of the tenancy. (There have been no public judgments on this issue). If there were subsequent tenancy agreements entered into after the expiry of the EPC, things might be more complicated. And I’m not going to give you an answer on that.

        • John F

          @Sam Singh , my thinking is that IF you had evidence of the 2017 service such as a signed copy, then it was valid at the time the EPS was served so should be OK. If you don’t have such evidence then it is your word against theirs, so it would fall on who the Judge believes – which may be affected by statements on both sides.

          If you had tried to serve the now expired EPC immediately prior to the current S21 then it would fail. Generally the EPC requirement is not so strict as the other prerequisites shown in the Section 21 Notice checker on this fine site. Things like How to Rent needing to be latest at time of service.

          You have to drill down the legislation, from the notes of the S21 form, to the Act you are concerned about, to any Act or , Regulations mentioned therein.

          e.g. this 2015 regulation which jumps to the 2012 regs,

          The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015

          (a) regulation 6(5) of the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012(2) (requirement to provide an energy performance certificate to a tenant or buyer free of charge); and

          (b)paragraph (6) or (as the case may be) paragraph (7) of regulation 36 of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998(3) (requirement to provide tenant with a gas safety certificate).

          (2) For the purposes of section 21A of the Act, the requirement prescribed by paragraph (1)(b) is limited to the requirement on a landlord to give a copy of the relevant record to the tenant and the 28 day period for compliance with that requirement does not apply.

        • Giles Peaker

          There is, I think, no problem in providing an EPC ‘late’ (ie after start of tenancy, but before serving a s.21). Though of course that has to be a valid EPC at the time of service.

          The question is whether an EPC served at start of a previous tenancy still counts if a) EPC has expired, and b) a new ‘replacement’ tenancy has been entered into (same property, tenant and landlord) after the date that the original EPC expired. There is, as yet, no case law on that point, and I don’t think there is an easy answer either way.

        • Sam Singh

          Dear Giles
          Thank you so much for your quick response. Yes we did sign another agreement in October 2019 and clearly didn’t know about the EPC issue.
          The website does say:
          …You also cannot use a Section 21 notice if you have not given the tenants copies of:

          · the property’s Energy Performance Certificate

          · the government’s ‘How to rent’ guide

          · a current gas safety certificate for the property, if gas is installed

          You must have given your tenants the gas safety certificate and the ‘How to rent’ guide before they moved in.

          You must have given your tenants a copy of the property’s Energy Performance Certificate before they rented the property.

          The above seem to imply that the section 21 would be valid.

          What do you think.

        • Giles Peaker

          We don’t give individual advice through the site, I’m afraid. (Particularly where it is a question I have just said I wasn’t going to answer.)

        • Sam Singh

          Thank you John F for your input.
          My dilemma is whether to go with the website which gives the impression that the section 21 would be valid. The statement
          You must…. before they rented the property. Implies the first time the property is rented out or occupied. But it is unclear. I have spoken with a few solicitors and more of them agree that the section 21 would be ok. Hence my dilemma.

        • Giles Peaker

          The gov uk website is wrong. There is nothing in the 2015 regulations that requires an EPC to be provided to the tenants before the property was rented in order for a s.21 to be valid. It could be provided at any time before the s.21 notice is served.

          Govt ‘advice’ is not the law.

          I presume you didn’t actually pay any of these ‘few solicitors’ for advice?

          On the other hand, I am willing to tell you, for free, that I don’t think there is a definite answer yet. And that anyone who gives you a definite answer probably hasn’t thought about it enough. So, basically, you have the option of taking a risk on the s.21 being valid – which it may be, or may not be – or getting a new EPC, serving that and then serving a s.21, which would be valid, but that is a delay and additional expense.

        • Sam Singh

          Thank you, Giles.
          I understand what you say. However, if is not the law where can I find the ‘Law’ or the legislation states that a valid epc must be served before giving a section 21. Could you please direct me to this.
          Also, I emailed the epc to the tenants – should I have posted it hand delivered it?
          Thanks for all your advice.

        • Giles Peaker

          The links to the relevant regulations are in the post above.

          The requirement is just that that the EPC has been ‘provided’, so doing so by email is probably OK. The ‘How to Rent’ Guide has to be given in hard copy though, unless the tenant has expressly agreed to receiving a PDF by email. Did you provide the then most recent copy of the How to Rent guide at the start of the October 2019 tenancy?

        • Sam Singh

          Thanks Giles. The How to Rent guide was delivered to the tenants on 4/10/21 but was not given in October 2019.
          I am not sure which link you are referring to for the EPC.

        • John F

          @Sam this is a legal housing blog discussing various aspects of legislation, case decisions and their impact. It cannot be used for individual advice because lawyers need to see whole files to give proper advice and would not want you or any readers to take what is written here as legal advice. There are a plethora of Landlord and property investment websites that have blogs and even forums of their own.

          I think you have already been provided with as good an answer as you can get, i.e. there is no case law on this matter, you can search the legislation gov website via google using the site command then put text in quotes to say it must appear e.g. site:legislation gov uk “Energy Performance” (but with dots) or you could use the search option on this website to look at historic cases on epc but don’t go into anxiety mode on each thread, the questions are for legal questions really.

          However, before you waste more time on what might happen consider the worst case scenario, which is fix the defect and start over, so 2 months delay. Speaking generically, any tenant not leaving at the end of the S21 notce period with flimsy reason risks you continuing the accelerated S21 procedure to Court, where they could very well be liable for your legal costs and eviction costs, typically more than £3000.

          So there you have it, you have had as much advice on EPC as is possible, the Law is often vague so in the absence of clarity a Judge or your Lawyer will look at what was the intention of legislators. Probably just for Tenants and Buyers to be informed about energy cost, which is provided by the Property Search sites who clearly display the EPC. Does the EP of a property change over the course of a tenancy, probably not unless you have changed the Windows or taken other measures (which would only improve the situation).

          If your concerns are about other S21 defeating measures, remember that they each came with case law like Superstrike and legislation like Deregulation Act to get where we are today. Look at the notes of the Form6a, then drill down the legislation for each of the prerequisites mentions, e.g. the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015), if that legislation quotes other legislation then follow the trail and consider the intention at all times. Was being provided with Prescribed Information designed to trip up Landlords or just to make sure the Tenant was informed, did they somehow become uninformed when a tenancy was renewed or became an SPT? For me the most important thing is evidence of previous service BEFORE the tenancy started so the Tenant knew what they were getting into (pina storage heaters or single glazing windows).

          Each one has some specific requirement, for example the How to Rent needs the latest version to be served, you can determine this in the first few pages or you can use the How to Rent archive on this site. You can also use the Section 21 Flowchart on this website. A complete lack of case law on a matter should tell you something; that no case has ever been appealed and a decision changed, despite many tens of thousands of S21 evictions every year. If there is case law in Housing you will likely see it discussed on this site, so type EPC in the search and you will see a list including Troubles with TLAs – HMOs and EPCs which is not case law because Circuit Court but gives you an idea of how thought processes work.

          If the worst thing happened and you were adamant you wanted to challenge the decision you could ask the Judge for permission to appeal whilst in Court (to avoid paying for permission to appeal). You could then even crowd fund seeking a decision on the matter from a higher court. If you did that you might seek to crowd fund it from Landlord organisations or websites and you could not do better than consult Anthony Gold Solicitors and Giles himself for Housing Legal Advice.

          Honestly, worst case for any S21 is you just fix ALL defects and restart, if you realise you have made an obvious mistake do not wait for the S21 to expire, fix it now and start over with a new S21 or just roll with it and cross whatever bridge when you come to it.

          Good luck with your situation.

        • Sam Singh

          Thank you John for a very comprehensive response. It’s the first time I am using this site and all the responses have been very valuable. My only other option now is to go down the section 8 route as I have already given this notice. The tenants owe me over £15000.

        • Sam Singh

          Thanks Giles.
          I have a already got a new epc last November and emailed it to each tenant.

        • Giles Peaker

          Before the s.21 was served? If so, there’s no problem.

        • Sam Singh

          Hello again Giles.
          I had already read these links you sent me. Thank you. The contents only refer to making available the EPC before selling or renting. I am sorry but I cannot find anywhere where it states or implies that a valid EPC is to be provided before serving section 21.
          (5) The relevant person must ensure that a valid energy performance certificate has been given free of charge to the person who ultimately becomes the buyer or the tenant.

          In my case, they are already my tenants. And the property was also not even marketed.

        • Sam Singh

          I also cannot find any legislation that links section 21 and EPCs.

        • Giles Peaker

          Then I am afraid you really aren’t trying, or aren’t actually reading. That is not ‘only’ what they refer to.

          It is explained in the original post above. Section 21A Housing Act 1988 says no s.21 notice unless landlord has complied with prescribed requirements. The prescribed requirements include an EPC, as set out in the 2015 Regs 2(1)(a) that I pointed you to.

          Now I am afraid that is your lot. I am not here to explain the ABCs of relevant statute when it was already done in the original post.

        • Sam Songh

          Thanks Giles and John for your much valued input. I am none the wiser.

        • Giles Peaker

          I am afraid, Sam, that that is your problem, not mine. I have pointed you at the three pieces of legislation that need to be read together. I have explained the effect of these. I can do no more.

        • John F


          “I also cannot find any legislation that links section 21 and EPCs”

          “Thanks Giles and John for your much valued input. I am none the wiser.”

          Are you trying to wind people up or just DENSE?

          I already told you to look on legislation dot gov dot uk and how to search it for key words.

          That aside just read the Section 21 notes that are on the same .GOV page where you download the Form 6A from, it says:

          “There are certain circumstances in which the law says that you cannot seek possession against your tenant using section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, in which case you should NOT use this form.”

          “c) Where THE LANDLORD HAS NOT PROVIDED THE TENANT WITH AN ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE, gas safety certificate or the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s publication “How to rent: the checklist for renting in England” (see the ASSURED SHORTHOLD TENANCY NOTICES AND PRESCRIBED REQUIREMENTS (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS 2015);”

          The other prerequisites are in the 6A notes, go find it.

          You have already been told that proof of service is more important than what a law says; it is written on the notes, which part of that do you not understand?

          If you do not have evidence you served it (a signed copy is my preference) then start over or wait and see.

          Honestly if they owe you £15,000 then Section 8 is the route you should be focusing on, you will get a CCJ against them and can evict with bailiffs, if you get a good Solicitor with Housing Law experience you can seek permission to transfer proceedings be the High Court but you need to get that permission first. Otherwise you use the County Court bailiffs.

          If you stick with the County Court, when you have the CCJ for the debt, you can trace them through debt collection companies and you can escalate your debt only CCJ to High Court Enforcement for £90. Other remedies exist for debt collection, check Stepchange or other similar sites.

          Usually as long you have proof of service the only way they can stop your S8 is by reducing the debt to below 2 months’ rent, something you would probably welcome, then you could use S21 no fault route.

          There are ways to at least turn off the tap of this overflowing bath, if they are on benefits you can contact Job Centre Plus or your Council and get the housing benefit paid directly to you.

          Also if they try to get the Council to house them then the Council may not take them on until they clear or make contributions to your debt.

          The general advice to you here is that you are better off instructing a Solicitor.

        • Sam Singh


  90. JMOTT40

    Hi Giles
    I have read
    “The provisions in the Act and Regulations about a statutory periodic tenancy arising on or after 1 October 2015 in relation to a tenancy granted before that date. A statutory periodic tenancy that arises on or after 1 October 2015 (which is technically a new tenancy), is effectively ignored for the rules and is treated as though it was a tenancy granted before 1 October 2015.”
    I am going to court to evict my tenants, her tenancy started on 20th April 2015, does this above mean I do not have to serve Form 6a as her tenancy would be considered periodic.
    Could you point me to the section int Act as I am totally confused and need good advice.

  91. MG

    Thanks Giles.

    Sorry to reopen this old post but I have one clarification question. If the landlord did not provide the current version of the HTR guide before the current renewal tenancy (and the version of the HTR guide provided under the original tenancy was at that point in time out of date), but then did so after the renewal tenancy commenced (providing the then current version), and then a few years later during the same renewal tenancy issued a s21 (when the version of the HTR guide previously given during the current renewal tenancy was now several versions out of date), is the s21 notice valid? – i.e. does the landlord in that scenario have to give the tenant the latest version of the HTR guide immediately before the s21 is issued for that notice to be valid? Your s21 flow chart on page 8 seems to imply that it does but your comments above seem to me to possibly suggest that any HTR guide provided during the renewal tenancy (as long as it was the current version at the time of issue) would suffice. I would appreciate if you could clarify that specific point. Thanks.

    • Giles Peaker

      If a HTR guide has been served at any point, then a new HTR only has to be served on a renewal tenancy if the guide had been updated in the meantime. If the then current HTR was served at the start of the current tenancy (and remember, a renewal tenancy includes a statutory periodic tenancy arising), then a s.21 is valid.

      On your scenario, I very much doubt that a ‘renewal tenancy’ would go on a few years, unless it was itself a statutory periodic tenancy, so the odds are that the point where a fixed term renewal became a statutory periodic has been missed as a renewal tenancy, and the current HR should be served before a s.21, unless of course the HTR wasn’t updated in the meantime – but it has been through a few updates in the last few years.

      (The flowchart says just this. So I’m not seeing any contradiction.)

  92. Katie

    Most of my clients are Landlords but several of the tenants I have who have had invalid S21’s have gone to so called specialist eviction companies (with not a single solicitor employed) to do it “properly”. One recently gave every how to rent version from before they became a tenant 4 years ago right up to one before the current one served the day before the S21 by two scary gentlemen dressed like bailiffs with body cams who refused to identify themselves or their organisation..

    Another one had all the statutory paperwork “served” to the Landlord’s address which they later tried to say was a “clerical” error, again signed by 3rd parties who I guess did deliver it to the address stated, it was only when the Tenant was approached by the Landlord to settle a historic deposit protection issue and mentioned the S21 the Landlord emailed a copy and the error was discovered. The Court did not spot it either and tenant was effectively given 2 days notice of hearing.

    MG, To me it is quite simple, if you are supposed to provide the latest version with the original tenancy but there is no punishment for a failure then all you need to do is rectify any potential failure by giving the latest version with any S21. Don’t tie yourself in knots with all the history of it, Thankfully that this superb site seems to be the only place that has a version history, the documents themselves do not have a full date. The GOV has form on this, just look at the 6a forms, is it really that hard for them to use v1.001 and or an ISO naming convention such as 2020-12-06-17-20-MHCLG_How_to_Rent_v5.01a.pdf so files were automatically sorted and recognisable.

    • Giles Peaker

      I presume you mean the landlords had gone to ‘eviction specialists’?

  93. MG

    Thanks Giles. You are right, the scenario I am thinking about is where a fixed term tenancy slips into a stat periodic without people noticing (where the HTR guide previously provided at the start of the fixed term is out of date and so a new HTR guide should have been given on the renewal). But when you say the “current” version of the HTR guide must be issued before the s21, which version specifically do you mean? For instance if the landlord missed issuing the HTR guide at the start of the stat periodic in early 2019 but provided the 31 May 2019 or 7 August 2019 version of the HTR guide in late 2019 (which would have been the current versions at the time) and then issued a s21 in respect of the stat periodic tenancy in 2021 – is the s21 valid or is the s21 only valid if the 10 Dec 2020 version of the HTR guide was issued first?

    • Giles Peaker

      I said the current one. As at the time it is given.

  94. MG

    OK thanks. Giles and Katie. So no need to send the Dec 20 version then for the 2021 s21 notice to be valid. Thanks for clarifying.

    • Giles Peaker

      No, not on that scenario. Belt and braces would be to send the latest one anyway.

  95. John F

    Speaking generically on EPC Giles, I think it would be a brave person (Landlord or Tenant) who went to higher Courts on any EPC defect alone. I think the 10 year validity suggested the various Govs have not taken it that seriously over the years. There are some changes on their way on EPC efficiency, spectators suggest they are going way to far because of the difficulty in getting from D to C is massive and that Air.Source Heat Pumps are so inefficient that Inspectors are recommending homes move to Gas if they wish to get better efficiency. My thinking is that any new legislation or regulation in this area might reduce the validity period to 5 years or even 3 years, hopefully not annually, but an argument can be made that if legislators wanted change, this was their time to do it.

    • Giles Peaker

      This may or may not be the case, but it doesn’t change the current law.



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