Yes, there is indeed a backlog of cases to write up, covering issues from who pays for cladding removal, through Tribunals and the Human Rights Act, to the proper venue for a claim for accommodation pending s.204 appeal where there was no review decision. But a) busy and b) today at least, ill (just a cold, no need to send flowers).
So instead, here is a potential issue with legislation on assured shorthold tenancies, due to hit in October.
Deregulation Act 2015 section 41(3) provides (in regard to sections 33-38 and 40)
At the end of the period of three years beginning with the coming into force of a provision of sections 33 to 38 or section 40, that provision also applies to any assured shorthold tenancy of a dwelling-house in England—
(a) which is in existence at that time, and
(b) to which that provision does not otherwise apply by virtue of subsection (1) or (2).
This includes the ‘compliance with prescribed legal requirements’ at section 38, or what is now s.21A Housing Act 1988 (though not the prescribed information requirements at s.39/s.21B).
So, the purpose of this section is that the prescribed legal requirements that have applied to all post 1 October 2015 assured shorthold tenancies will apply to all ASTs or statutory periodic tenancies in existence on 1 October 2018, regardless of when they started.
The prescribed legal requirements are set out in The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 at s.2 – gas safety certificates and EPCs. (There are issues around this, as noted here. No retrospective compliance?)
But. But, but, but. The 2015 regulations state, at s.1
(3) Subject to paragraph (4), these Regulations apply in relation to an assured shorthold tenancy of a dwelling-house in England granted on or after 1st October 2015.
(4) These Regulations do not apply to an assured shorthold tenancy that came into being under section 5(2) of the Housing Act 1988 on or after 1st October 2015 on the coming to an end of an assured shorthold tenancy that was granted before that date.
As far as I can see then, come 1 October 2018, section 21A Housing Act 1996 will apply to all existing ASTs/SPTs, but there will actually be no prescribed legal requirements for pre 1 October 2015 tenancies, (or any statutory periodic tenancies that started after 1 October 2015, but following an AST fixed term that commenced before 1 October 2015), because the requirements are set out in regulations that expressly exclude those earlier tenancies.
So some landlords will have to comply with prescribed legal requirements that don’t exist, at least for their tenancies.
Maybe there will be new regulations before October 2018? Maybe, even, those new regulations might address the gas safety certificate (and maybe EPC) issue – clarifying one way or another – because heaven knows that one needs sorting out quickly.
If there aren’t new regulations, lawyers are going to have a field day. And this is not necessarily a good thing.