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Author Archives: painsmith

Phones back up and running

We are pleased to announce that our phones are working again. Please call the usual number 01420 565310 and press 1 for helpline, or 2 to speak to reception as usual. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Temporary fault with phone lines

Unfortunately our phones are down this morning ( 22nd March 2017). Helpline subscribers are asked to phone the following number: 07854 433 340 or alternatively email us at: or We apologise for the inconvenience. We are working hard to get this fixed.

The Housing and Planning Act – Commencement Order 5

Two key provisions of the Housing and Planning Act will come into effect in England on 6 April The widening of Rent Repayment Orders; and New fixed penalty notices. Rent Repayment Orders Many readers will be familiar with Rent Repayment Orders in relation to HMOs and the Housing Act 2004. However, the new regime will […]

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

A minimum energy performance rating of E will be required to rent a residential property as from 1st April 2018. This requirement will apply to all tenancies that begin or are renewed on or after 1st April 2018, for existing tenancies the regulations will not apply until 1st April 2020. Landlords that breach these regulations […]

Private water supplies

A private water supply is usually found in a rural location, sourcing from wells, boreholes, springs or streams rather than a mains supply. In June 2016, new Regulations came into force in England and Wales to regulate public and private water supplies. These are: The Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2016; The Private Water Supplies […]

HMO and residential property licensing reforms – update

In 2015, the government published a technical discussion paper on extending the mandatory licensing of houses in multiple occupation (HMO). Following the technical discussion paper the government then held a consultation in October 2016 and ended in December 2016. Our previous post on this can be read here. In summary, the government’s proposals are designed […]

Energy Efficiency Improvement works

Properties that are on the market for rent or sale must have an EPC. The EPC advises potential tenants and purchasers how much it will cost to heat and light the building for a year and summarises this in a rating from A to G, with A being the most efficient. The EPC will also […]

Ban on agent’s fees – Briefing Paper.

On 16 February 2017, the House of Commons Library published a briefing paper on the regulation in England of letting and managing agents. The complete report can be read here. The growth of the rental market and lack of housing stock has prompted the government to focus, amongst other issues, on letting and management agents’ […]


In Savills v Blacker and Sidemanor ltd the Court of Appeal held that an individual in control of the company and the company itself were both liable for the commission due on the sale of a property. The property was an estate comprising of a golf course and cottage. The company, Sidemanor Ltd., owned most […]

Credit Card payments

When tenant’s sign their tenancy agreement they are also asked to pay the first month’s rent and deposit at the same time. Some tenants will elect to make this payment by credit card despite any handling charges. We are then usually contacted when the credit card company has clawed back the money leaving the agent […]

Gaining possession on the expiry of a notice.

This is the third blog in the series relating to the completion of notices and gaining possession on the expiry of them. The first blog post was on completing a Section 8 notice and the second on completing a Section 21. This post will look at issuing court proceedings where the tenant has failed to […]

“Fixing our broken housing market”

The government’s white paper on housing, called “Fixing our broken housing market,” was presented to the House of Commons and Lords on Tuesday. The white paper accepts that there is a shortage of homes on the market and further acknowledges, in a radical departure for the Conservative party, that home ownership is not the aim […]

Housing White Paper

The government is expected to release a White Paper tomorrow which will an increase in longer tenancies and a ‘Build to Rent’ scheme. Once the paper has been released we will update this blog but in the meantime, here is a summary. At present, there are no details on how the government expect these longer […]

The Homelessness Reduction Bill – Update

The Homelessness Reduction Bill has passed its third reading in the House of Commons after winning support from MPs on both sides of the house. The Bill has now started its passage through the House of Lords. Our previous blogs on the Bill can be read here. If the Bill is passed through the Lords […]

Using form 6A for pre-1 October 2015 tenancies

This post will focus on the use of section 21 form 6A for assured shorthold tenancies (AST) that started or were renewed for a new fixed term prior to 1 October 2015. For ASTs which commenced or were renewed post 1 October 2015, please see here. Following the introduction of the Deregulation Act 2015 there […]

Completing a Section 21 Notice

This is the second blog in the series relating to the completion of notices and gaining possession on the expiry of them. The first post was on completing a section 8 notice. This post will look at completing the new form 6A Section 21 notice introduced by the Deregulation Act 2015. The notice can be […]

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