The Practical Lawyer

Landlord and tenant – residential

Agents – redress scheme

Letting agents have been required to join a ‘redress scheme’ since 2014.

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HMOs – new rules

The definition of house in multiple occupation (HMO) changes on 1 October 2018. The new definition covers properties occupied by five or more people, comprising two or more separate households.

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Assured shorthold – s21 notice

L can give T two months’ notice under s21 HA 1988. The key point about an s21 notice is that L does not have to give any reason for acquiring possession of the property. But, the rules on being able to serve a valid s21 notice are complex (in part due to changes resulting from Deregulation Act 2015).

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Airbnb – breach of lease

It now seems clear that an Airbnb short let will be in breach of a typical long lease.

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Section 21 pitfall – premature service

If T has an assured shorthold, then L cannot serve an s21 notice (to terminate the tenancy) unless T was provided with (i) the How to Rent booklet; (ii) gas safety certificate; and (iii) EPC.

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Lettings – under 18?

If a minor (under 18) enters into a contract, the general principle is that the contract will be voidable (ie it can be avoided by the minor) save in limited circumstances.

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Fire – residential properties

A summary of relevant fire safety legislation:

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Unlawful eviction – damages

How much damages should T get for unlawful eviction? An award of £40 per day was increased by the CA to £130 pd, with the court noting that awards would generally be in the range of £100-300 pd.

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Service charge – long-term agreement

Ls must consult with residential long lessees before (i) carrying out works above a certain value, or (ii) entering into a long-term agreement for services (‘an agreement… for a term of more than 12 months’).

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