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Landlord and tenant – residential

Safety – gas

On a residential let, all gas fittings must be maintained in a safe condition; each appliance and flue must have a safety check within 12 months of being installed (and every 12 months thereafter); that check must be by an HSE-approved person, with the records being kept for two years.

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Service charges – estoppel?

Suppose service charges have been raised for many years in a way that does not properly accord with the wording of the lease; if T subsequently questions those service charges, can L argue that there is an ‘estoppel by convention’ (ie a shared assumption that now prevents T from reneging on that assumption)?

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‘No DSS’ – discrimination?

Many Ls have an informal ‘no DSS’ policy when selecting Ts. However, there are press reports of a case that was settled when L was accused of discriminatory behaviour (note: this was merely an out-of-court settlement, but it does illustrate the point at issue).

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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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