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Club or agent?

Islington Borough Council has successfully prosecuted a director of a company for trying to  pass a letting agency off as a membership club to avoid the relevant legislation. The London based company is said to have pressured tenants to sign a contract without inspecting the terms or the accommodation, charged them a non-refundable ‘joining fee’ […]

Reminder – How to Rent Guide

Last week we posted on the changes made to the How to Rent Guide by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). The Guide was substantially updated on 31 May 2019 to reflect the changes introduced by the Tenant Fees Act. However, since then there have been a further 2 minor changes which […]

Tenant Fees – Wales update

The Welsh government has announced new guidance for tenants, landlords and letting agents in respect of tenants’ fees. The guidance for tenants and the guidance for landlords and lettings agents are 2 separate documents with the latter being a lot more detailed. In summary the guidance documents set out: If the tenancy agreement is signed […]

How to Rent Guide

The How to Rent Guide has been changed again. The How to Rent Guide was substantially updated on 31 May 2019 to reflect the changes introduced by the Tenant Fees Act. Since that date there has been 2 further minor changes. The 2 minor changes are noted on the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local […]

Form 6A – amended

There was an unexpected and, possibly unlawful, amendment to Form 6A on 8 August 2019. As readers of this blog should be aware, Form 6A is the prescribed form that must be used when landlords or their agents wish to serve a section 21 notice on a tenant with an assured shorthold tenancy. Form 6A […]

Data Breach

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined a London estate agency £80,000 for leaving 18,610 customers’ personal data exposed. The breach appears to have occurred when the agency transferred data from its server to a partner organisation and failed to switch off an ‘Anonymous Authentication’ function. This error meant that access was not restricted and […]

Right to Rent guidance amended

This month the short guidance to Right to Rent (RtR) guidance has been amended by the Home Office, mainly to deal with B5JSSK nationals. People who are allowed to reside in the UK are allowed to rent a property during their stay. This includes most people from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and […]

Government consultation on section 21

The government has commenced a consultation on abolishing s.21 notices and improving the implementation of section 8 notices. In April this year the government announced that it would end s.21 evictions. This would see landlords unable to end tenancies without giving a reason and require them to follow the s.8 process where evidence and reasons […]

Rogue landlord database reform

The government has commenced a consultation on the database of rogue landlords and property agents. The consultation will seek views on who has access to the database and whether the scope of offences included on the database should be expanded. The database of rogue landlords and property agents was introduced as part of the Housing […]

HHSRS – to be updated

In October last year the government launched a scoping review of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) to consider whether it needed updating. The review of the HHSRS has now reported and it has been announced that there will be a comprehensive overhaul later this year. The overhaul will include: Reviewing and updating […]

PainSmith Seminars

We have two upcoming seminars scheduled in September.   Our Brentwood Seminar will take place on Thursday 12th September 2019 at The Holiday Inn, Brentwood M25, Jct 28, Brook Street, Essex CM14 5NF. The event will start with registration and lunch at 1:00pm to 1:30pm, and the event will finish at 5pm.   Our Cobham […]

Regulation of Property Agents

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has published a report by the property agents working group containing recommendations for government on a new regulatory framework. Membership of the working group includes RICS, ARLA Propertymark, National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and NLA amongst others. The government has proposed that property agents are […]

Right to Rent appeal to be heard early 2020

The Home Office has been granted permission to appeal the High Court decision of March this year which held that the Right to Rent policy was unlawful. In March the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) were successful in their claim that the Right to Rent scheme is incompatible with the European Convention […]

Extending notice period for Section 21 notices – Wales

The Welsh Government has announced that it will consult on extending the notice period for the equivalent to the s.21 notice in the renting Homes (Wales) Act from 2 months to 6. The plan to extend the notice period was announced by housing minister Julie James and will see an amendment to s.173 of Renting […]

Expelled from The Property Ombudsman

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) has just announced that seven estate and lettings agents have been expelled. TPO is an independent and impartial dispute resolution service. Disputes which have not been settled between a customer and registered agent can be referred to TPO for a resolution. TPO has the power to put a customer back into […]

Review of the use and effectiveness of Selective Licensing

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has issued the final report from its independent review of the use and effectiveness of selective licensing (SL). The purpose of the review was to assess how SL has been used as a policy tool and whether it has delivered the intended outcomes. In summary, the […]

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