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Septic tanks

On 1 January 2020 new legislation regarding septic tanks will come into force. The new rules which were introduced in 2015 are designed to stop the practice of septic tanks discharging directly into local watercourses such as streams or rivers. The rules apply to existing treatment systems (in use before 31 December 2014) and new […]

First banning order for a London landlord

A London landlord who let out properties in Euston and King’s Cross has been banned for 4 years and fined £29,000. A 45 year old London landlord who was subletting properties to young and foreign professionals has been banned from letting further properties for 4 years. The ban will commence in March 2020 and should […]

An unusual unlawful eviction

In Regency (UK) ltd v (1) Albu-Swalin and (2) Heartland Property Ltd, a Tenant that was unlawfully evicted was awarded damages of £19,000. The judge was entitled to decide how to calculate the damages which in some respects was in line with case law. Regency let flats to Heartland, who then sublet them to individuals. […]

Election manifestos – cont’d

This is the second post on the election manifestos. This post will look at the Labour policy for the Private Rental Sector. Fines and Rent Repayment orders A new ‘charter of renters’ rights’ is proposed in order to put power in the hands of tenants. The Labour party propose a new national ‘property MOT’. This […]

Election manifestos

Now that we are in the middle of an election private rented sector news appears to have quietened down save for the parties’ manifestos. PainSmith is not endorsing any one party however it is important that the sector is aware of what a party may plan if it forms the next government. As such this […]

Landlord fined

A landlord with a rental property in Redbridge has been fined £5,770. It is understood that council enforcement officers were ‘tipped off’ that the landlord in Redbridge was operating an HMO property without a licence in Romford, Essex. On inspection the officers also found that the property had virtually no fire safety measures such as […]

Renting your sold property

We have recently received a few helpline enquiries about ‘rent back agreements’ between buyers and sellers of a property. These relationships do not generally require FCA approval however, this does mean that in some cases approval may be needed. Common scenario The common scenario that we come across is not really referred to as a […]

Tenant’s relationship breakdown

On BBC money box live over the weekend there was a discussion about one type of “hidden household.” That is when tenants in a relationship move into a property together only to end up trapped together in that property when the relationship ends prior to the fixed term of the tenancy ending. This post will […]

More funding to help crack down on ‘criminal’ landlords.

Councils across the country are being invited to bid for £4 million to help them crackdown on what the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government call ‘criminal landlords. This is now the second time funding has been made available to crack down on what last year the MHCLG called ‘rogue’ landlords. Our previous post […]

Relief from forfeiture for Licensee

In the case of Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd v Vauxhall Motors Ltd the Supreme Court held that the licensee was entitled to relief from forfeiture. This case is relevant to residential licensees because many are likely to have some form of possessory title and therefore are likely to be able to avail themselves of […]

Financial Fraud

We regularly receive emails and calls about cybercrime and what some refer to as email payment fraud. Unfortunately, it is a growing form of crime so here is an updated post on what email payment fraud is and what readers should look out for. Our previous post on the topic can be read here. Email […]

Money laundering prosecution

Lettings agents who took rent for properties that were never in fact available have been given suspended sentences for money laundering. The agents at Oliver Knights, an online property lettings business, pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering, having knowingly allowed their bank accounts to be used to launder the proceeds of multiple letting frauds […]

Electrical safety

On 25 October sections 122 and 123 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 came into force. The Housing and Planning Act 2016 (Commencement No. 11) Regulations 2019 bring into force s.122 and s.123 of the 2016 Act. These provisions do not bring any electrical safety standards into force at present but do permit the […]

Marketing a Property

Many letting agents will be familiar with the Competition & Markets Authority’s (CMA) guidance for lettings professionals on consumer protection law. This post will concentrate on section 5 of the guide, Marketing property: advertising and providing information to tenants and the recent update on page 49. Although the guidance has been around since 2014 the […]

Learning Toolkit

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has published a set of interactive resources to help local authorities with enforcement action against rogue landlords and lettings agents. The 2 resources, an interactive learning module and knowledge bank of questions and answers are designed to complement the MHCLG guidance on tackling rogue landlords. Our […]

Guidance for Lettings Professionals – CORRECTION

In our earlier post this morning we incorrectly stated that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published guidance for lettings professionals on complying with consumer protection laws and laws about dealing with other businesses. We should have stated that in fact the CMA has updated its guidance despite it still being dated 2014 on the […]