Housing Associations need to be aware of changes to the N5B form for Accelerated claims for possession when seeking possession of an assured shorthold tenancy.
Two new forms have been produced, one for England and one for Wales, which reflect the different requirements in each jurisdiction.
In summary the changes for the form in use in England are as follows:
- Paragraph 5, the landlord is asked for more detail about service, i.e. to confirm how, when and by whom the Notice of Seeking Possession was served.
- Paragraph 7 – the part concerning the deposit asks for fuller particulars concerning the deposit as well as asking when the fixed terms came to an end and whether a deposit has been repaid to the tenant. This will not be applicable if a deposit is not taken.
- Paragraph 8 – this section requests information on whether a relevant notice in relation to the condition of the property or common parts under s.11 or 12 or 46(7) has been served.
- Paragraph 9 – this asks the Landlord to confirm that a valid Energy Performance Certificate (“EPC”) has been given to the tenant and the date that the EPC was provided.
- Paragraph 10 – asks the Landlord to confirm (a) whether there is any relevant gas fitting serving the premises. If yes, then the Landlord is asked to confirm that gas safety certificate has been provided to the tenant and the date this was provided. If there is no relevant gas appliance in any room occupied by the tenant, then the landlord is asked to confirm that they have displayed in a prominent position in the premises a copy of the gas safety record with a statement endorsed on it that the tenant is entitled to have their own copy of the gas safety record on request.
- Paragraph 11 asks private landlords to confirm that they have provided a copy of the current guidance “How to Rent; the checklist for renting in England”. This obligation does not apply to Registered Providers.
- Page 7 provides a checklist of documentation to be attached to the form. Note that the checklist does not require a copy of the EPC or Gas Safety Certificate to be attached.
- Note that paragraphs 8-11 are not presently relevant for assured shorthold tenancies which commenced before 1 October 2015, we propose that a way around this would be to cross out those paragraphs and add a further paragraph stating words to the effect: “Paragraphs 8, 9, 10 and 11 have been deleted as this tenancy is a pre-October 2015 tenancy and these paragraphs do not relate to these tenancies.”
This is the latest in a number of changes to the prescribed forms which is available on HM Court and Tribunal form finder located on the Government’s Justice website. For further information, please contact Anna Bennett in our Housing Management team.