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Landlord and tenant – residential

MEES – subletting

A T who sublets will then become an L for MEES purposes. It follows that if T occupies a sub-standard property then T will not be able to grant a sub-lease of the premises (unless T registers an exemption).

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HMOs – children included

The test for deciding whether a property is a house in multiple occupation depends on the number of ‘persons’ living there.

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L’s consent – assignment

 T had a long lease (999 years) of flats in a residential block. L’s consent was required to any assignment (not to be unreasonably withheld), but L refused to grant consent

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Energy efficiency – MEES

The MEES Regs are now in force (from 1 April 2018). Accordingly, it is now unlawful for an L in the private rented sector to grant a new domestic tenancy, or renew an existing one, if the property does not have an EPC of E (or better).

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MEES – buy-to-let

Buy-to-let investors should be aware that lenders may be unwilling to provide finance for the purchase of a non-compliant property (or may require that works be done to bring the property up to standard).

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MEES – assured shortholds

The MEES Regs will apply to the grant of any new assured shorthold. But, what about existing assured shortholds?

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MEES – long leases

Thre is no reason, in principle, why a long lease should not come within the scope of MEES.

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Surrender – by law

A ‘surrender by law’ occurs when L or T carries out actions that are only compatible with a surrender (ie the ending) of the tenancy. Thus, it is the actions of the parties that count – not their intentions. If there is an act which is inconsistent with the continuation of the tenancy, so there is an unequivocal acceptance that the tenancy has ended, then that will be a surrender by law (even if that was not the intention).

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Periodic tenancy – new tenancy?

Suppose you have a monthly oral tenancy. At the end of each month, that periodic tenancy automatically continues. But, what is happening from a legal point of view: is it (i) a new tenancy that is granted every month, or (ii) the original tenancy remains in place but with a series of extensions?

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Enforcement – trespassers

Possession orders are generally obtained in the county court and enforced by a county court bailiff. But it is a common cause of frustration that L may have waited several months from issuing a claim to obtaining a possession order, and then face delays of up to 12 weeks for a bailiff appointment. In those circumstances, Ls often seek advice about using a High Court enforcement officer (HCEO). They market themselves as being faster and more effective, although they are more expensive (between £400–£900, compared with £120 for a bailiff). But, there are different procedures for using HCEOs, depending whether the possession claim is against a (i) trespasser, or (i) non-trespasser. In this note, we look at the position as regards trespassers.

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