1 June 2019 and the Private Rental Sector

1 June 2019 is quite a big day for the PRS.

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 is now in force. The MHCLG Guidance for tenants, landlord and agents is here.

Along with this, there is a new Form 6A, the mandatory form of section 21 notice, which must be used for all assured shorthold tenancies as of 1 June. The form is introduced by The Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2019.

And there is a new edition of the ‘How to Rent’ Guide from the MHCLG, published on 31 May 2019. This must be used for all new private AST tenancies, or for ‘replacement tenancies’ where the original tenancy predated 31 May 2019. If the incorrect edition is given to the tenant, no section 21 notice can be served until after the tenant has been provided with the current edition. (The ‘How to Rent’ archive has been updated.)

I need to update the Section 21 flowchart to incorporate the Tenant Fees Act changes, but as they will be of no practical effect for the next 4 months, this may take a little while.

About Giles Peaker

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, and still is Nearly Legal on Google +.
Posted in Assured Shorthold tenancy, Housing law - All, Possession, Private Tenancies.

11 Comments

  1. Somewhat understated Mr Peaker but your words of wisdom will be appreciated more now than ever before

  2. Pingback: Landlord Law Blog Roundup from 27th May

  3. Thank you for the timely update. We are aware of a further update to the prescribed section 21 form (form 6a) issued on the asset.publishing.service.gov.uk site on 31 May – although the latest version published on the government legislation website on 9 May is unchanged. ie – It appears that Government are publishing two different versions which is confusing. It appears that MHCLG have made several corrections to the prescribed form issued in early May and short-circuited the statutory publishing process …. As in 2015, we can perhaps expect an updated SI containing the new s.21 form shortly – to correct the errors and poor drafting.

    We have carried out a detailed document compare this morning and did find several small but probably insignificant differences between the government’s two ‘official’ versions

  4. Yes. The error in subnote 1 (… statutory periodic tenancy) is perhaps the most significant as the error could mislead a tenant as to his legal rights – especially given the increasing number of tenancies which extend automatically into contractual periodic. The version of this form issued as legislation on 7 May 2019 was a dog’s dinner – hence the covert clean-up subsequently. My dog would certainly have buried it in the garden waste heap or worse ! But this is the one we should legally use……

    • Ah, got it. That is a more significant change. However, as the MCHLG page version would encompass the legislative version in the SI, I still think ‘substantially the same effect’ would cover it – so using the MHCLG version should be fine.

      It really doesn’t help though….

  5. Yes, we saw this today too ! Thanks anyway fo posting. My more learned and now retired colleague tells me enshrined in some old legislation are regulations that require that Statutory Instruments should have a minimum lead-in time…. maybe its simply an old legal myth ? Are you aware of anything of this ilk?

  6. The edition of How to Rent published on 31/05/2019 was silently updated on 04/06/2019, changing the reference and link on page 5 from “NALS” to “Safeagent” .

    The revised version was silently updated again on 29/07/2019, changing the wording on page 4 from “If you don’t have a guarantor, you can ask Shelter for help.” to “…for advice.”

    Nothing in the visible text of the webpage or PDF indicates that there have been these minor revisions. But looking at copies archived elsewhere and their embedded metadata, the three PDFs can be distinguished:
    • modified 31/05/2019 14:30:13, original URL https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/805826/6.5707_MHCLG_How_to_Rent_v4.pdf archived as http://431bj62hscf91kqmgj258yg6-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/6.5707_MHCLG_How_to_Rent_v4.pdf via https://nearlylegal.co.uk/how-to-rent-archive/
    • modified 03/06/2019 16:37:53, original URL https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/806216/6.5707_MHCLG_How_to_Rent_v4.pdf archived at https://nearlylegal.co.uk/how-to-rent-archive/ archived as https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20190610032518/https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/806216/6.5707_MHCLG_How_to_Rent_v4.pdf via https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20190608052732/https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent
    • modified 29/07/2019 10:34:29, online as https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/821379/6.5707_MHCLG_How_to_Rent_v4.pdf via https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent

    Presumably MHCLG wants to avoid triggering the statutory requirement in the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 that only the version “that has effect for the time being” is valid for statutory purposes.

    A shame that – as with more substantive revisions – the government continues to be so cavalier with the promulgation of statutory publications, failing to provide reasonable notice for those needing to use the latest material and omitting accurate and comprehensive publishing information for the legal record and posterity.

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