On the Naughty Step: Incredible Landlords and the buzzy DCLG

It is hard for a civil servant, with a predisposition to reticence, obfuscation and paper, to know what to do in an age where ‘amazeballs’ and ‘bedroom tax’ have entered the Oxford English Dictionary, and even the dictionary is only available online. How, the poor bewildered apparatchiks wonder, can we get a message across in a time of kitten pictures, selfies and LOLZ.

Alas, their befuzzled, fustian earnestness leaves them prey to every peak-bearded, artisanally trousered, new media guru able to crank open a MacBook Air and seduce them with talk of clickthroughs, heat maps and the ecstasies of virality. Things Buzz, things that they do not understand, … Read the full post

Spencer v Taylor- Some Analysis

We have already reported briefly on the Supreme Court decision to refuse permission to appeal to the tenant in the case of a Spencer v Taylor on the grounds that no new points of law were raised.

As the solicitor acting for the landlord in the Supreme Court I have had the chance to see rather more of the papers and so a more detailed discussion of some of the points that came out of this would be interesting.

Some Background
The original section 21(4)(a) notice served by the landlord’s original solicitors contained a date that was incorrect. The notice also contained a saving provision of the type approved in … Read the full post

Article 8 and the Private Sector-the Court of Appeal Speaks

In McDonald v McDonald & Anor [2014] EWCA Civ 1049, the Defendant held an assured shorthold tenancy of a property in Witney, Oxfordshire. The tenancy was granted by Ms McD’s parents in breach of the terms and conditions of a mortgage agreement with Capital Homes Ltd (they had not sought the company’s permission to let the property to a family member and they were prohibited under the agreement from letting to a social security claimant). The landlords  fell behind with their mortgage instalments and receivers were appointed to manage the property. The receivers served a s.21 notice on Ms McD and accelerated possession proceedings were brought in the name … Read the full post

Missing tenants and missing sentences: Council tax and periodic tenancies

Further to my post here on council tax liability for statutory periodic tenancies, I have heard about another Valuation Tribunal case, this time involving a contractual periodic tenancy, and also oddly involving this blog.

The issue was council tax liability for a period where a tenant had left a property before the tenancy was ended and the tenancy was a contractual periodic. The tenancy agreement specified a 12 month fixed term followed by a monthly periodic.

The Council, Shropshire Council (to whom we will return below) considered that this meant that the landlord was liable for the Council tax for the relevant period, as per CT v Horsham District Read the full post

Spencer v Taylor – section 21 news

The Appellant tenant in Spencer v Taylor [2013] EWCA Civ 1600 (our note here) has had permission to appeal to the Supreme Court refused, on the grounds that it did not raise an arguable point of law.

This means that the Court of Appeal decision stands. Where an assured shorthold tenancy has had a fixed term and a statutory periodic tenancy has arisen, there is no requirement to use a s.21(4)(a) notice, or have a date of expiry at the end of a period of the tenancy. A section 21(1)(b) notice with two clear months notice is adequate.

Where a tenancy was periodic from the start, or where … Read the full post

The UT Repays Again

Fallon v Wilson & Ors [2014] UKUT 0300 (LC)

The Upper Tribunal has again found itself considering the issue of Rent Repayment Orders and has provided some further enlightenment on its position after the case of Parker v Waller (which we wrote about here).

Background
Mr Fallon had been convicted of operating a property without an HMO licence and fined a, very modest, £585 with assorted costs and a contribution to the victims fund. Three of his five occupiers then made separate applications to the FTT(PC) (or “futpuc” if you prefer NL’s pronunciation) for RROs and the FTT then made an award to each applicant for 100% of the … Read the full post

Make do and mend: Undoing Superstrike on deposits

The Govt has published the text of the Government amendment to the Deregulation Bill that is proposed to deal with tenancy deposits and specifically the Superstrike position of a new tenancy (and requirement to re-protect the deposit and re-serve the prescribed information) arising when a fixed term ends and a statutory period tenancy begins.

The text of the amendment – a new S.215A to S.215D to the Housing Act 2004 – is at page 10012 onwards in that link and below.

Briefly, the effects appear to be:

  • Where a deposit taken on a fixed term tenancy after April 2007, and protected and Prescribed Info served, this is treated as if
Read the full post

On the naughty step: The unacceptable face of London landlords

Some of you, those in London at least, might have noticed Boris Johnson announce a new, and completely voluntary, no compulsion here, landlord accreditation scheme. The idea being that tenants, desperate to find somewhere in the middle of the worst accommodation shortage in London for many, many years, will choose to avoid a ‘non-Boris’ landlord. This is of dubious worth, but no matter, what concerns us here is what followed that announcement. Bear with me, because it is worth it in the end.

At the next London Assembly Questions to Boris session, Andrew Dismore, Labour Assembly member for Barnet and Camden (oh yes, Barnet), wanted to ask Boris … Read the full post