Case Summary Minister v Hathaway  – Deregulation Act and Requirements to Serve a Valid Section 21 Notice for Tenancies Commencing Before and After 1 October 2015
Minister v Hathaway  Deregulation Act Caselaw
It is common knowledge that the law is constantly changing to suit the needs of society today. However, few could have predicted how drastically landlord and tenant law would change over the past decade in England and Wales. This is particularly relevant in Wales following the recent changes introduced on 1 December 2022. For this reason, it is refreshing for someone who works in law to review caselaw that simply clarifies legislation. Especially when it’s without introducing new requirements. Such an example includes that of Minister v Hathaway  which provided further clarity regarding the Deregulation Act 2015 and requirements to serve a valid section 21 notice.
Deregulation Act 2015
The introduction of the Deregulation Act 2015 is a more significant change to landlord and tenant law in England. This Act requires landlords to serve the energy performance certificate, gas safety certificate(s), and How to Rent Guide(s) on the tenant before a valid section 21 notice can be served. It was made clear that the above requirements are imposed on any new tenancy agreements. Including, renewals commencing on or after 1 October 2015. However, there remained uncertainty whether the requirements applied to tenancies that commenced prior to 1 October 2015. This uncertainty was because the Deregulation Act 2015 states the Act will apply to all tenancies from 1 October 2018. There is however, no legislation that states the Act applies to tenancies that commenced before October 2015.
Further Clarity on Section 21
Fortunately, the Court of Appeal in Minister v Hathaway  provided further clarity regarding the Deregulation Act 2015. Also, to tenancies commencing prior to 1 October 2015. We now know there are particular sections under the Deregulation Act 2015, such as retaliatory eviction provisions, that apply to all tenancies from 1 October 2018. Including tenancies commencing prior to 1 October 2015. But the Court of Appeal confirmed things further still. The requirement to serve the energy performance certificate, gas safety certificate(s) and How to Rent Guide(s) before a valid section 21 notice can be served do not apply to tenancies that commenced prior to Deregulation Act 2015. The Secretary of State has not exercised power to force all tenancies to comply with this requirement.
Relief for Landlords Who Entered Tenancies Prior to 2015
This is a relief for landlords who entered a tenancy prior to 1 October 2015 and no renewal tenancies have been entered into. However, notwithstanding the Deregulation Act 2015, there remains other requirements that all landlords must consider when serving a valid section 21 notice.
Help Preparing a Section 21 Notice
Please contact Woodstock Legal Services if you need any assistance in preparing a section 21 notice. We can help you to determine whether the necessary requirements to serve a valid possession notice have been met. We are more than happy to assist and advise on the next steps.