The Deregulation Act 2015 was enacted on 26 March 2015, clarifying the rules on deposit protection and the issuing of prescribed information.
The Act also includes measures to prevent retaliatory eviction, and stop landlords from issuing section 21 notices before the commencement of a tenancy.
A county court ruling on 14 June 2013, relating to the now infamous case Superstrike Ltd. Vs Rodrigues, implied that landlords would have to re-comply with deposit protection legislation at the commencement of a statutory periodic tenancy. The Deregulation Act 2015 addresses this confusion.
With immediate effect, the following changes to existing legislation apply:
- Landlords of a property subject to tenancies that commenced prior to 6 April 2007, and which became periodic on or after this date, have 90 days after the commencement of the 2015 Act (until 23 June 2015) to protect their tenant’s deposit in an approved custodial scheme and comply with the rules of that scheme.
- Landlords of a property subject to a tenancy that commenced on or after 6 April 2007, and which has since become periodic, do not need to re-comply with tenancy deposit requirements provided that they already did so at the commencement of the fixed term tenancy 2. They are, in effect, treated as having complied with the requirements in relation to both the fixed term and the periodic tenancies. This supersedes the Superstrike Ltd. Vs Rodrigues ruling.
- Where an agent is handling the tenancy deposit on behalf of the landlord, the agent’s details may now be included on the prescribed information instead of the landlord’s 3, 4.
Section 21 notices
The 2015 Act has also made the following changes to no-fault eviction legislation (which will come into force on 1 October 2015 5):
- A landlord will be unable to serve a section 21 notice to quit if their tenant has recently made a written complaint to the landlord about the condition of the property 6.
- For a period of six months after receiving a housing disrepair notice from their local authority, a landlord will be unable to serve a section 21 notice 7.
- A landlord will be unable to serve a section 21 notice within the first four months of an assured tenancy, and a section 21 notice will expire six months after being issued 8.
- Deregulation Act 2015, s. 32
- Deregulation Act 2015, s. 30
- Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007
- Deregulation Act 2015 (Commencement No. 1 and Transitional and Saving Provisions) Order 2015, s. 11
- Deregulation Act 2015, s. 33 (2)
- Deregulation Act 2015, s. 33 (1)
- Deregulation Act 2015, s. 36