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As of 1st October 2015, if a tenant reports a repair in writing and the landlord fails to respond with an action plan within 14 days then landlords can potentially lose their rights to serve Section 21s.

It is likely to become a common defence against Section 21s that the tenant has reported a repair to the landlord and they have subsequently served a Section 21 in retaliation. Landlords need to be prepared for this because judges can use their general case management powers to adjourn hearings, particularly where they think an improvement notice may be incoming.

To mitigate this, landlords may wish to provide tenants with a repairs template at the outset of the tenancy. This shows willingness to comply with the new legislation around retaliatory evictions and can show a history of managing repair requests from tenants. This evidence is useful where a tenant claims they sent a repair request in writing but never did. If the landlord also has written proof that a Section 21 was served before the repair was reported in writing then that is a defence against retaliatory evictions legislation.

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