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Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 – Guidance

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has issued guidance for landlords and tenants on the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018. This post will concentrate on the guidance issued to landlords which can be read here.  The Act came into force 20 March 2019 and applies to all tenancies which commence on […]

Client Money Protection – Update

On 7 March the Client Money Protection Schemes for Property Agents (Requirement to Belong to a Scheme etc) Regulations 2018 were signed and come into force from 1 April 2019.  Under the new Regulations all private property letting agents will have to sign up to a government-backed scheme protecting tenants’ and landlords’ money or face […]

Agent rating scheme

Property agents in Teignbridge, Devon are being invited to participate in a voluntary rating scheme similar to the ‘food hygiene rating scheme.’ Teignbridge District Council has introduced a Property Agent Rating Scheme (PARS) similar to the ‘food hygiene rating scheme.’ Landlords and tenants will see participating agents display window stickers and certificates in their offices […]

Government response to Right to Rent court decision

The Minister of State for Immigration, Caroline Nokes has issued a written ministerial statement in response to the High Court decision in the case of the JCWI against the Secretary of State.  The High Court held that the Right to Rent scheme was unlawful as it inevitably led to unlawful discrimination on the part of […]

Right to Rent – case

On 1 March the High Court released its decision in the case of Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) against the Secretary of State for the Home Department. The High Court has held that the Right to Rent policy is unlawful. This is a summary of the judgement which can be read in […]

Right to Rent unlawful

On Friday the High Court held that the Right to Rent is in breach of the Human Rights Act and therefore unlawful. However, despite this decision landlords and agents will need to continue with their checks as they have done in the past. We have previously posted about the JCWI’s legal challenge of the Right to […]

Fraudulent documents

A landlord has been given a prison sentence for submitting forged documents to Barking and Dagenham Council who were investigating an HMO breach.  An Essex landlord was reported to Barking and Dagenham Council for converting a 3 bedroom house into a HMO. During their investigation the council enforcement officers discovered that the property had been […]

Overcrowding

Brent Council recently raided a property in Wembley and discovered 19 tenants in occupation.  Overcrowded properties have always been an issue in the private rental sector. However, the problem appears to be on the increase resulting in a number of prosecutions of unscrupulous landlords. Enforcement officers of Brent Council raided a property in Wembley and […]

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 […]

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