This has been the biggest year of legal changes in the world of landlord and tenant for a decade or more.
We have had:
• Changes to the tenancy deposit rules
• Changes to section 21 including:
• New prerequisites
• A new form
• New time limits, and
• New anti-retaliatory eviction rules
• New smoke and carbon monoxide alarm rules
• New fee transparency rules for letting agents
• An important new case (Edwards v. Kumarasamy) on landlords statutory repairing obligations, and
• New obligations on landlords to carry out ‘right to rent’ checks
Not to mention new legislation currently going through Parliament:
• A Housing & Planning Bill – which will bring in
• Banning orders for landlords and letting agents
• A ‘rogue landlord’ database, and
• Extend tenants’ rights to claim rent repayment orders, and
• An Immigration bill which promises to
• Change the eviction rules where tenants / occupiers do not have a right to rent in the UK and
• Impose custodial sentences on landlords in breach of the regulations
The Government has also said it wishes to widen the scope of mandatory HMO licensing to include two storey, and maybe even one storey, buildings.
These are all really important changes that impact in significant ways on landlords and agents and how they run their properties. It is essential that these new rules are followed as penalties include
• The right for tenants to claim compensation in the courts
• Loss of right to evict under section 21, and
• Magistrates courts fines coupled with a criminal record
• Some offences (e.g. under the proposed Immigration Act) may carry a custodial sentence
In view of all this, it is critical that you keep up to date with new rules and regulations.
There are a number of free sites on the internet that can help, for example my Landlord Law Blog. However if you want one event which will bring you up to date with what is happening, you can’t do better than the Landlord Law Conference - the only major landlord event which concentrates on legal issues.
The Landlord Law Conference (sponsored by TDS) is being held in Manchester this year and will have ten talks all on important legal issues from legal experts. For example:
• Solicitor David Smith(and RLA Director of Policy) will be giving two talks - one on section 21 and one on HMO law and practice
• Immigration expert Sue Lukes will be bringing us up to date with all the Right to Rent developments
• Housing barrister Peter Marcus will be talking about landlords repairing obligations and the Edwards v. Kumarasamy case
It is also a good day out and great for networking! It carried 5 hours CPD.
For more information about the Conference and also for videos of the speakers, please visit the conference website www.lllconf.co.uk