Are Landlords Unprepared for the Deregulation Act?

by Emma Flood Curated Media on October 8, 2015

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landlord-deregulation-act-2015-law-ukThe Deregulation Act 2015, which has recently come into force, introduces a number of changes affecting private sector landlords. The act has been introduced as a response to the ever growing private rental sector, and concerns about ‘revenge evictions’ – where a landlord will attempt to evict when a tenant inquires about repairs. Shelter and British Gas conducted research into this issue in 2014 and predicted from the data that more than 200,000 private renters had been evicted in the year prior as a result of asking their landlord to make repairs. However, whilst the changes are designed to improve the situation for tenants, there is concern than many landlords may not be aware of how the changes affect them and that they may be disadvantaged by the new law.

What has changed under the Deregulation Act 2015?

The Deregulation Act includes changes that affect whether or not landlords are able to serve a Section 21 notice (the notice used to regain possession of a let property) on a short hold tenancy. A Section 21 notice can no longer be served in the first four months of a tenancy and will now also only remain valid for 6 months. In addition, the act also changes the form of the notice which now combines fixed term and periodic. The changes will affect new tenancies entered into on or after 01 October 2015.

However, there has been concern that not enough has been done at this stage to inform landlords of these changes and also that the Government may not have adequate resources to enforce measures that tackle retaliation eviction. Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action – a firm specialising in tenant eviction – outlined some of the concerns expressed in relation to the introduction of the act, he said:

‘There have been a lot of significant changes in a short amount of time and I would like to have seen the Government proportion a greater budget to educating landlords, particularly those that don’t use agents to manage their properties, to ensure they are up to speed with new legislation.’

Shamplina less than a year ago, told Parliament that enacting law on retaliation eviction may result in abuse of the legal framework by tenants allowing them to remain in properties rent free for a longer period of time. Tenants will now have four months to report a complaint to their landlord regarding issues of disrepair, whilst landlords should be able to deal with such complaints within 14 days, there is concern that the level of resources afforded to local authority environmental health officers will not be adequate to assist landlords in effectively ending tenancies. If a property is in disrepair, landlords are now unable to Serve a Section 21 notice for 6 months from the date an improvement notice is served by the local council. When circumstances of the landlords change and they need to end a tenancy quickly, they may be left waiting for inspections or to gain access from tenants.

It will be interesting to see how the changes work in action, the changes were designed to protect tenants from rogue landlords and revenge evictions however it may be that the deregulation Act has tipped the balance too far in the other direction and leaves landlords vulnerable to rogue tenants.


Image via Flickr (‘Landlord’s Return’; Vieira_da_Silva)

Emma Flood Curated Media

Emma Flood Curated Media

Legal Copywriter and Legal Marketing Assistant for Property Law Firms at Curated Media
Emma Flood is a first class law graduate in the UK. Legal Content Writer and Marketing Assistant at Curated Media, Emma and the team write bespoke legal content for law firms across the UK and can help you make the most out of the Internet through effective content marketing. Visit to find out more.
Emma Flood Curated Media
Emma Flood Curated Media

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