Author Archives: painsmithblog

Authority to Instruct

When taking instructions, it is always important to ensure that agents know who the landlord is and whether the person giving instructions (if different) has the legal power to do so.  This is one of those issues that we often discuss with clients on the PainSmith Helpline and it is usually not straightforward. We are […]

Tenant Fees Act

The Tenant Fees Bill received Royal Assent on 12 February 2019 meaning that it is now the Tenant Fees Act and will come into force on 1 June 2019.  In summary the Act bans letting fees paid by tenants to an agent or landlord in the private rented sector and caps tenancy deposits in England.  […]

To-Let signs ban

Residents in parts of Lincoln will no longer see ‘To Let’ signs after the council was granted permission by the government to ban them altogether. Lincoln city council applied to the government for the ban under Regulation 7 of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007. The ban is proposed to […]

Rogue Landlord Project

The Luton Rogue Landlord Project (RLP) has successfully prosecuted a landlord for multiple breaches of the House in Multiple Occupation Management Regulations.  The RLP is an initiative by Luton Borough Council, in partnership with the Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue service, Bedfordshire Police, Luton Law Centre and Luton Citizen’s Advice Bureau.  The project aims to tackle […]

Electrical Safety – update

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has published its formal response to the consultation held on electrical safety in Private rented properties.  The response reiterates what has been said previously in that subject to parliamentary time, regulations will be introduced requiring private landlords to undertake 5 yearly checks of electrical installations in […]

Letting agents convicted of Fraud

The three individuals involved in running the letting agency, Crestons, operating in Islington and the surrounding London boroughs have been sentenced to 28 months in prison for fraud.  They were convicted of carrying on a business for a fraudulent purpose in a trial in Blackfriars Crown Court last month.  Between 2014 and 2016 Crestons failed […]

Landlord Redress Schemes

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has announced this month that it will bring forward legislation to require landlords to join a mandatory redress scheme. This is part of a wider set of proposals to shake up redress across the entire residential sector and fill in gaps in existing redress. MHCLG is […]

Funding for Councils – continued

In November last year we wrote about the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) announcing a £2 million funding boost for local authorities to tackle ‘rogue’ landlords. In order to benefit from this additional funding local authorities were required to make a bid. The bidding process is now closed and the funds have […]

Tenant Fees Bill – update

The Tenant Fees Bill is now expected to come into force on 1 June 2019. Once the Bill receives Royal Assent it will apply to all tenancies that are agreed, whether new or renewed, after this date. Our previous posts on the Bill can be read here. The Bill had its third reading in the […]

E-Signatures and contracts

This is our second post this year on e-signatures. Our first post on e-signatures and deeds can be read here.  In our previous post we discussed deeds and whether it was appropriate to sign them by way of e-signature. We are aware that agents and landlords are using e-signatures on contractual versions of agreements that […]

E-Signatures & Deeds

E-signatures are on the rise in the rental market, but it is not always a good idea to have all documents signed this way especially where the document is a deed.  Many lettings agents and landlords will be familiar with Deeds and where and when it is appropriate to use them. Examples of such documents […]

Implications of Gaskin

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has issued a short note on what the Gaskin case means for local authorities. The full details of the Gaskincase can be read here. Summary of case The High Court held that the local authority’s fee for HMO licence renewals was unlawful under the Provision of Services […]

Public Funding

We are often asked about the costs associated with a potential rental property claim and a tenant’s right to legal aid, the common name for public funding. This post will address the tenant’s right to legal aid. Generally, there are 2 situations relevant to rental properties where tenants may be entitled to legal aid: Possession […]

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act Becomes Law

This Bill received Royal Assent on 20 December 2018 and will come into force on 20 March 2019.  It is hoped that the Act will help to boost standards in rental properties as well as give tenants powers to hold landlords to account where those standards are not met. Our previous post on the Act […]

Regulation of Property Agents

The government has launched the Regulation of Property Agents working group. The group will take forward the government’s commitment to implementing: Regulation of letting agents Minimum entry requirements for the sector A Code of Practice for the sector Fees limits and Right to Manage powers for long leases.   Our previous post can be read here The […]

Client Money Protection – Tenant Fees Bill

As stated previously the Tenant Fees Bill is before the House of Lords and during this process a number of amendments have been incorporated. This post will specifically deal with the Client Money Protection (CMP) amendments that have been proposed by the Lords. In February 2018 the government brought into force the Housing and Planning […]

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