On 8 August 2019, MHCLG published an amended Form 6A section 21 notice on the gov.uk site. According to the history note, changes were:
Notes to Form 6a (form for a no fault possession notice on an assured shorthold tenancy) has been updated.
What has actually been added are new notes at (e) in the initial notes
The previous version said at (e)
There is just one problem with this, one rather big problem. Huge, even.
Form 6A is prescribed by statute. The wording of Form 6A is set out in regulations, most recently The Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2019. I say most recently, because there has been no statutory instrument to bring into effect the changes that MHCLG have made. None has even been laid.
What this means is that the Form 6A on the gov.uk site under ‘assured tenancy forms’ is currently not actually valid as the prescribed form and should not be used. Which, as problems go, is a corker. The form 6A in the Forms Regulations remains the prescribed form for use.
MHCLG have been told. Coming on the back of the silent ‘How to rent’ updates, this is not going well…
PS – before anyone starts going on about the “substantively the same effect” wording in the SI, what that means is that a landlord might get away with using this tweaked Form 6A in possession proceedings – if the court agreed it was to “substantively the same effect” as the form in the Forms Regulations. What that wording certainly doesn’t mean is that MHCLG can make amendments to the prescribed form (however small) without an accompanying statutory instrument. The published form is supposed to be the prescribed form, not something ‘similar’.