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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 […]

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 […]

MEES

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. […]

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