Getting Guidance wrong and the perils of not updating legislation

MHCLG recently (April 2019) put out a guidance document called “Landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities in the private rented sector“. Under a heading “Guidance for tenants renting in the private sector: rights, responsibilities and advice”, on page 12 are the following on potential penalties for harassment by a landlord, and for illegal eviction by […]

Don’t go changing…

Wilcock v The Guinness Partnership Ltd (2019) UKUT 146 (LC). This is an Upper Tribunal appeal on the meaning of ‘variable service charge’. Mr W had an assured shorthold tenancy of a flat from Guinness. The tenancy agreement provided that the landlord would provide specified services and that the tenant would pay a service charge […]

Troubles with TLAs – HMOs and EPCs

Home Group Ltd v Henry. County Court at Newcastle. 21 May 2018 For post October 2015 assured shorthold tenancies section 21A means that no s.21 notice may be served when the landlord is in breach of a prescribed requirement. One of those prescribed requirements is – via s.2(1) The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed […]

Deposits – Better to give than to receive

Sebastiampillai v Parr. Central London County Court, 11 April 2019 (Our thanks to William Ford of Osbornes for note of this case) Does a change of landlord require provision of fresh prescribed information? How does this operate in view of section 215B Housing Act 2004 (as inserted by the Deregulation Act 2015) and the express […]

Sectoral Regulation Without Section 21

One of the interesting potential side effects of removing section 21 from the Private Rented Sector is the damage it might do to landlord regulation. Over time s21 has become a backdoor regulatory tool to help ensure landlord compliance. If the notice is removed altogether will this impact on regulation by removing a useful tool […]

When an ‘or’ is an ‘and’ in Wales

Evans v Fleri (2019) EW Misc 12 (CC) A lesson in drafting from Wales. The Housing (Wales) Act 2014 provides at Section 7(1) The landlord of a dwelling subject to a domestic tenancy must not do any of the things described in subsection (2) in respect of the dwelling unless – (a) the landlord is […]

Prohibition Orders and ending tenancies

T v W. County Court at Central London. 16 April 2019 (Unreported) T was the owner of a property. The property was subject to a prohibition order served by LB Croydon. Nonetheless, T let a dwelling in the property to W. (T denied knowledge of the prohibition order, in a somwhat unlikely manner, but nothing […]

The End of Section 21

I’d suggest sitting down before you read this. The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire, has announced/is to announce depending on when you read this, that the Government is to abolish section 21. Honest. Really. Truly. Feel free to take a moment. I found out on Friday, under embargo, and […]

I Hate Those MEESes to Pieces*

Introduction 1st April 2019 saw the introduction of the significantly amended Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) for private sector landlords. These provisions have been delayed several times and fudged around a fair bit along the way. These regulations are made pursuant to powers granted by Chapter 2, Energy Act 2011. The regulations were originally made […]