Q. I have served a section 21 notice on my tenants and want to bring proceedings. The reason I want the tenant to leave is because of rent arrears. However, if the tenant is able to prove to the court that this is the reason I want possession - will this invalidate my section 21 notice, as it is not designed for rent arrears claims?
A. No, you are fine. You do not have to give any reason for applying for possession under section 21. The legal reason you are asking for possession is that a valid section 21 notice has been served and that the tenant has not left.
It is very common for landlords to use this procedure to evict tenants in arrears of rent, as there is less to go wrong. However, before issuing proceedings do check to make sure that your notice is correctly drafted and you have complied with the tenancy deposit regulations (as if you have not, this will invalidate your notice). Moving forward, newer tenancies will have extra requirements which are looked at in the final question below.
Q. I have been told that the new smoke alarm regulations say that they need to be tested at the start of the tenancy. What exactly does this mean and what sort of tests do we need to carry out?