The Practical Lawyer

Landlord and tenant – residential

Tenancy deposit - schemes

This table summarises the tenancy deposit schemes available. Needless to say, however, the CA has, in the last year, emasculated the tenancy deposit provisions by holding that:

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'Structure' - plaster?

Earlier this year, the CA reached an important decision on whether or not plaster comes within the scope of L's obligation to keep in repair the structure and exterior (s11 LTA 1985).

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Service charges - update

A round-up of three recent (but unrelated) service charge decisions:

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Service charges - the basics

There have been several important cases where Ls have fallen foul of the detailed service charge provisions in LTA 1985. Certainly, the rules can be complex, but in many instances all that is needed is:

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Bankruptcy - order for possession

Once a person is made bankrupt, no 'remedy' in respect of that debt can be made against the bankrupt's property other than under the provisions of IA 1986. Several residential Ts have argued that if L is seeking possession on the ground of rent arrears, then that will be in breach of IA 1986 (as being a 'remedy in respect of the debt'). However, the CA has dismissed such arguments, despite the fact that the rent arrears will be provable in the bankruptcy proceedings.

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Possession - rent

There are three grounds for possession in HA 1988 based on 'rent'. Two are discretionary, and one is mandatory:

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Service charges -lease provisions

It is well known that statutory provisions on residential service charges (LTA 1985) are a minefield. But, at the same time it is important for L to remember not to focus on those statutory provisions -L must also comply with all the service charge provisions in the lease. For instance:

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Houseboat -dwelling?

Can a houseboat be a 'dwelling' (and so have the protection of an assured tenancy)?

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Council tax -L's liability

L has the primary liability for council tax on rented property, if it is a House in Multiple Occupation. Note, however, that the definition of HMO for council tax purposes is different than that under the Housing Acts. For council tax it will be an HMO if either:

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Long lease -80 years

Many lenders are becoming more weary of taking mortgages on leases of less than 80 years. Because of this, conveyancers need to make sure that buyers are advised on the potential sell-on problems when purchasing a lease that is only slightly more than 80 years.

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