Author Archives: painsmithblog

Charges under the Tenant Fees Bill

A few weeks ago, we posted an update on the Tenant Fees Bill. We have since received a number of phone calls asking for more details on what agents can and cannot charge tenants for. Note that the fee ban does not apply to landlords. Unfortunately, the Bill could still be amended and as such […]


The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has urged the Government to reconsider the £3,500 cost cap on Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards in the private rental sector. The cost cap of £3,500 will come into force once the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations have been amended. At present we are unclear […]

Challenging discrimination – Wales

A two-year lottery funded project called Open Doors has produced two free guides for tenants aimed at reducing discrimination and mistreatment in the private rented sector. The Open Doors guides are called ‘Common issues and how to overcome them’ and ‘Challenging Discrimination’. Whilst the guides are targeted towards tenants, they will also provide landlords with […]

Energy Supplier collapse

Spark Energy, a specialist supplier to tenants in the Private Rented sector became the seventh supplier to collapse this year. Fortunately for many tenants OVO Energy has been selected by Ofgem to take over the Spark Energy brand. Spark Energy acquired its largely private rental sector tenant customer base through letting agent referrals. Rental properties […]

Tenant Fees Bill update

The Bill is currently before the House of Lords and during this process the government has made a number of substantial amendments. It is possible that further amendments will be proposed and at this stage agents and landlords should expect them. The Bill proposes to ban landlords and their lettings agents from requiring private tenant’s […]

Protecting your rental property this winter

Winter can pose a problem for rental properties especially where tenants are planning to be away for the holiday period. Landlords are therefore advised to ensure that they consider some simple steps to ensure to avoid potentially costly repairs. Exterior of the property Checking the exterior of the property ideally in the Summer or Autumn […]

McDonald v McDonald – ECtHR

The European Court of Human Rights reiterates the UK Supreme Court’s decision that tenants facing a section 21 possession claim can not invoke Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights in F.J.M v UK. Background A tenant occupied a property under an assured shorthold tenancy. Initially the tenant’s landlords were her parents who […]

Working from Home

It is increasingly common for tenants to seek to work from home, whether by arrangement with their employer or to run their own business. This is a concern for some landlords who fear tenants will gain security of tenure over the rental property. With the rise of the internet and flexible working conditions more and […]

Housing Court Proposals

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has set out proposals for a specialist Housing Court which could provide a single path of redress for property disputes. Landlords and Tenants are to receive faster and effective justice in the event of a property dispute, under proposals announced by Communities Secretary James Brokenshire MP. […]


A Landlord in Southall has been fined £46,000 for illegally renting an outbuilding to a tenant. In 2010 Ealing council established that the landlord had illegally converted a garage into a residence and let out to a tenant. The council issued the landlord with an enforcement notice ordering him to undo the conversion. The landlord […]

Funding for councils to crack down on ‘rogue’ landlords

The Ministry of Housing, Communities, & Local Government (MHCLG) has announced a £2 million funding boost for local authorities to tackle ‘rogue’ landlords. Local authorities will be entitled to bid for funding to step up enforcement action against landlords who offer inadequate or unsafe properties.  The funding will assist local authorities develop and test innovative […]

Rent to Rent agent fined

The local authority of Waltham Forest has successfully prosecuted an agent who was unlawfully subletting a property in breach of the HMO regulations. The agent applied for a license for the property to be used as a single-family dwelling. However, the local authority carried out an inspection and discovered that the property was in fact […]

MEES Cap announcement

The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has announced that it will amend the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations to require landlords to carry out improvements with or without funding where the cost will be no more than £3,500 inc VAT. Background The minimum energy performance rating of E […]

Improving tenant safety

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has announced plans to tighten health and safety standards for rental accommodation in order to ensure that tenants have a safe place to call home. The Housing Minister, Heather Wheeler, has announced plans to overhaul health and safety standards for rental accommodation to help keep safe […]

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill has passed through the House of Commons and will now be scrutinised in the House of Lords, starting later in November. The Bill is likely to become law so below is a summary of the main provisions. At present there is no legal requirement for landlords to keep […]

Croydon Council

At a meeting on 8October Croydon Council passed a motion calling for the abolition of Section 21 notices in the private rented sector (PRS). Section 21 notices enable landlords to commence the process of ending a tenant’s tenancy without giving a reason. However, Croydon Council along with some lobby groups, argue that some landlords use […]

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