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The Court has recently introduced additional questions to be answered by a landlord who is making a claim to recover possession of property from a tenant following the service of a Notice pursuant to Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 to bring the claim form up to date to cover provisions made by the Housing Act 2004 and the Deregulation Act 2015.

The following are existing requirements:

  1. Identification of the property of which possession is being claimed; stating whether it is a dwelling house (which includes a flat) or part of a dwelling house and stating whether it is a demoted tenancy.
  2. Production of a copy of the first and latest tenancy agreements.
  3. If the first tenancy was made on or after 28 February 1997, confirmation that the tenancy is an assured shorthold tenancy.
  4. Alternatively, if the tenancy was made between 15 January 1989 and 28 February 1997 proof of service of Notice under Section 20 of the Housing Act 1988 on the tenant before the tenancy began.
  5. Production of a copy of the Notice under Section 21 Housing Act 1988 served by the landlord on the tenant and proof of service of that Notice.
  6. If the property is part of a house in multiple occupation production of the HMO licence.
  7. If a deposit was received for and on behalf of the tenant producing the tenancy deposit certificate.

The following are new requirements:

  1. If a deposit was paid by or on behalf of the tenant, producing not only details about the tenancy deposit scheme but. stating when the fixed term of the tenancy came to an end; and proving that the prescribed information in relation to the deposit and the scheme was given to the tenant; and, if appropriate, stating whether the deposit has been repaid to the tenant.
  2. The landlord must say whether he/she has been served with relevant notice about the condition of the property or common parts under Section 11 or 12 or Section 40(7) of the Housing Act 2004 in relation to the condition of the property/building.
  3. If the property is on the market for sale that the landlord intends to sell to an independent person who is not associated with the landlord.
  4. Whether the landlord is a private registered provider of social housing.
  5. If a mortgagee in possession is bringing the claim, they must state whether their mortgage predated the tenancy or whether they require vacant possession in order to sell the property under an existing power of sale.
  6. Whether the landlord has given a valid Energy Performance Certificate free of charge to the tenant and when.
  7. Whether there is any relevant gas fitting installed or serving the premises and if so, whether a copy of the gas safety record has been provided to the tenant, and when.
  8. If there is no relevant gas appliance in any room occupied by the tenant confirm that the landlord has displayed a copy of the gas safety record in a prominent place with details of the landlord’s address and the right of the tenant to a copy.
  9. If the landlord is not a private registered provider of social housing, the landlord must state whether the tenant has been given a copy of the “How to Rent; the Checklist for Renting in England” and when and how that document was provided.
  10. There is no longer one claim form for both England and Wales. If the property is in Wales, there is a different claim form.

In summary, landlords will need to demonstrate that they have either satisfied all of the requirements set out above or, where applicable, that certain requirements do not apply to them before embarking on a claim to recover possession from a tenant following the service of notice under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. The new requirements are applicable to all assured shorthold tenancies granted on or after 1st October 2015. It is expected that these provisions will apply to claims to recover possession on all assured shorthold tenancies from 1st October 2018.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.