The government waited until a minute before midnight to publish its revised guidance on Section 21 evictions and its updated How To Rent guide, both of which now reflect the new realities of the tenant fees ban.
“Unfortunately the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government did not release Form 6a for issuing a S21 notice until 11.59 last night but if landlords and agents do not issue the correct versions, any Section 21 notice can be invalidated,” says an ARLA spokesperson.
Updates to the forms include changes to form 6a which stipulate that landlords and letting agents cannot use a Section 21 eviction procedure if they have taken a prohibited payment from a tenant and it has not been refunded in full.
How to Rent
A new version of the How to Rent guide has also been published that reflects the changes brought in by the tenant fees guide, including guidance on rental deposit alternative products. It says: “A landlord or agent cannot require you to use a deposit replacement product but may allow it as an option without contravening the Tenant Fees Act”.
ARLA Propertymark has warned agents that unless an up-to-date version of the official How to Rent guide has been provided to the tenant this ‘may frustrate a landlord’s claim to recover possession of a property’.
ARLA Chief Executive David Cox spent much of the weekend appearing on several radio and TV shows as news of the tenant fees ban spread throughout the media. This included appearances on BBC News, Radio 4’s Today show and its financial advice programme, MoneyBox.