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Joint and Several

Where a landlord has a number of individuals on a single tenancy agreement any variation of the tenancy will impact all the tenants collectively. This is the essence of joint and several liability. Where a property is let by a number of tenants on a single tenancy agreement any request to vary a tenancy term […]

Formalising a rent variation

We have been asked on the PainSmith helpline about temporary rent variations during the current pandemic. Whilst formalities are not totally necessary for such an agreement they are certainly in the best interest of both landlord and tenant. Rent Reduction Some tenants are unable or struggling to pay rent due to the current pandemic. People […]

Reminder – MEES

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has issued guidance on obtaining EPCs during the current coronavirus outbreak. On 1 April 2020 Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) came fully into force. This means that MEES now applies to all existing, new and renewed tenancies despite the current pandemic. Our previous posts on MEES can […]

Gas safety during the pandemic

Despite the pandemic, landlords are still obliged to ensure that they comply with their gas safety responsibilities. A Landlord’s gas safety responsibilities are: Repair and maintain gas pipework, flues and appliances in a safe condition; Ensure an annual gas safety check is carried out in the rental property; and Keep a record of that check. […]

Guidance for moving home

The government has issued guidance for people who are buying, selling or renting their homes. The guidance appears to be oriented towards house purchases and sales but it clearly applies to rentals too. The advice is that where possible, buyers and renters should delay moving to a new house while measures are in place to […]

Guidance on health and safety obligations

The government has issued guidance for landlords and tenants and their health and safety obligations during the coronavirus pandemic. The guidance has three sections, the first and second of which we have addressed in previous posts. The third section addresses the health and safety obligations of both landlords and tenants. The guidance has been drafted […]

Who pays the bills?

We have had an interesting enquiry in the office today so thought a post on the subject would be helpful. Unpaid bills are no doubt an issue that will crop up a lot at the moment given the difficulties everyone faces with the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, previous tenants who no longer live in the UK […]

Coronavirus Bill

The Bill has been laid before Parliament to enact a whole host of amendments to legislation proposed by the government in response to the world-wide pandemic. The bill is currently before the House of Lords and in that version schedule 29 makes some changes to Section 21 and 8 notices. The Housing Act 1988 has […]

A message

The current situation is not only difficult for those that have been personally affected by Coronavirus but also by those who are trying to work, run a business or look after their children at home. Whatever your situation we wish you all well and hope you are keeping safe. At the moment the government is […]

Eviction Moratorium

Yesterday evening the government announced a package of measures to protect tenants and landlords. Emergency legislation will be passed to prevent private sector landlords from issuing possession proceedings for at least a 3-month period. The government has also announced that the mortgage ‘holiday’ offered to homeowners will also apply to landlords with a buy to […]

Coronavirus and Rent ‘Holidays’

Home-owners facing financial difficulties due to the consequences of the spread of the coronavirus will be offered a three month mortgage ‘holiday’. The Chancellor’s announcement during the coronavirus briefing yesterday came as part of a large financial package to keep the economy running. This mortgage ‘holiday’ is designed to help those who cannot work because […]

Bournemouth extending licensing

Bournemouth council has launched a consultation on introducing selective and additional licensing in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. The council proposes introducing Selective licensing schemes across areas including: Bournemouth Town Centre Poole Town Southbourne The consultation closes on 6 April 2020 after which the council are required by the Department for Communities and Local Government to […]


The spread of novel coronavirus around the world has been taking over the media. While your views on the seriousness of the issue may vary it is an issue which is coming to the attention of an increasing number of landlords and agents. We look here at some of the key issues.  Discrimination First, it […]

Updated guidance

The Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) has updated its guide for landlords on Universal Credit. Our previous post on the guide can be read here. Fundamentally nothing appears to have changed with the guide. It does however, appear to be more detailed in certain respects and certainly in respect of alternative payment arrangements (APA). […]

Electrical safety checks and HMO properties

We have previously written about the new electrical safety regulations which will apply to new tenancies from July 2020 and existing tenancies from April 2021. Now the RLA is suggesting that there may be a flaw in the legislation which will leave HMO properties not needing electrical testing for approximately 12 months. HMOs, licensable and […]

“Obvious error” in Section 8

A section 8 notice is not necessarily invalid due to an obvious error held the Court of Appeal in Pease v Carter. Mr Pease served a section 8 notice with cover letter on 7 November 2018 on his tenants for rent arrears. The cover letter stated correctly that proceedings would not be issued before 26 […]