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Author Archives: painsmith


Teresa May’s announcement of a general election on June 8th, will have an impact on the upcoming Housing legislation. Some of that legislation is likely to be either delayed and may even be lost if a new Housing Minister is appointed as they may have other ideas. Banning letting agents fees. The consultation is continuing. […]

Mortgage Interest Tax Relief

From April 6th, this year, tax relief on mortgage interest payments for landlords was restricted to the basic rate of (20%) income tax. Prior to April 6th, landlords could claim tax relief on their mortgage interest payments. This meant that landlords could offset their mortgage interest against their rental income for the purposes of self-assessment. […]

Leaks and Flooding – who is responsible?

If you live in a flat you may have issues with leaks and flooding from neighbouring flats, especially those above. Where such issues exist, tenants are likely to look to their landlord to make good, but it is not always that simple. Where a leak or flooding damages the structure such as walls, plasterwork or […]

Tobacco Tax evasion

In February, HM Revenue and Customs published a consultation paper on further measures to help tackle tobacco duty evasion and other excise duty evasion. Part 6 of the consultation paper discusses imposing a statutory duty of care on landlords where a tobacco offence has been committed. A tobacco offence includes the importation and sale of […]

Banning letting agent fees paid by tenants

The Government has published its consultation paper on banning letting agent fees paid by tenants. The consultation is expected to last for 8 weeks until the 2 June 2017. The Government is keen on banning letting agent fees in the hope that it will improve competition in the market and give tenants greater clarity and […]

Gatwick Seminar 24th May

Our next Seminar will take place on Wednesday 24th May 2017 at the Hilton Hotel, South Terminal, Gatwick Airport, RH6 0LL. The event will start with registration and lunch from 1:00pm and run from 2:00pm to 5:00pm. Topics to be covered include the following: Right to Rent and Immigration Act 2016 the latest issues; Deregulation […]

Insurance for rental properties– Do I really need it?

Paying for buildings and sometimes content insurance for a property you own is always recommended. Many landlords believe that paying for insurance for a property they do not occupy is a waste of money, particularly if it is rented unfurnished. In fact, the opposite is true. Where landlords have a mortgage, it is a standard […]

Another update on the Homelessness Reduction Bill

The Bill has now passed its third and final reading in the House of Lords and will get its Royal Assent shortly. It is likely to be in force in early 2018. Our previous blog explaining the Homelessness Reduction Bill can be read here. The Bill passed through its final stage in the House of […]

Electrical safety under the Housing and Planning Act 2016

The provisions in Part 5 of the Housing and Planning Act allowing for regulations to be made requiring Electrical Safety testing by landlords are now expected to come into force in October 2017. Under the provisions the Secretary of State may by secondary legislation impose an obligation on a residential landlord in England to ensure […]

Update – Abandonment

Part 3 of the Housing and Planning Act is expected to come into force in October 2017. However, we are not totally confident of that date and it could be April 2017, hence this post. Section 216 of the Act will permit private landlords in England of properties let under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy to […]

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 […]

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