England & Wales

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Access to a property upon giving notice

In New Crane Wharf Freehold Ltd v Dovener, the Upper Tribunal held that a tenant’s failure to respond to a solicitor’s letter requesting access to a property was not a refusal of access. Tenancy agreements in the private rental market often include an access clause. That is a clause that permits a landlord to gain […]

MEES update

The new cost cap of £3,500 inc. VAT on properties that have an EPC rating below E will come into force today (April 1). Our previous detailed post can be read here. The minimum energy performance rating of E for private rental properties was introduced last year on 1 April 2018. This amendment to the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Banks’ discrimination

Buy-to Let Mortgage providers have been accused of discriminating against tenants who claim benefits. It is understood that landlords who apply for buy-to-let mortgages and in some cases landlord’s insurance are being refused products when they reveal that potential tenants are claiming benefits. The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has carried out research which found 66% […]

Right to Rent – again

The House of Commons Library has produced a briefing paper with an overview of the Right to Rent scheme. The briefing paper is some 35 pages but, below is a summary of some important points: The paper acknowledges that the RtR has proved controversial with concerns raised in a number of areas: The additional burden […]

HMO fees’

In Gaskin v LB Richmond Upon Thames the High Court held that the private letting of accommodation amounted to a service within the meaning of the Services Directive making the Council’s fee for an HMO license unlawful in part. Background Mr Gaskin rented out a number of rooms in a number of properties. One particular […]

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