The Practical Lawyer

Landlord and tenant – residential

Tenant Fees Act – permitted payments

Just a reminder that from 1 June 2019, the only payments that landlords or letting agents can charge to tenants in relation to new contracts are:
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Tenant Fees Act 2019 – fully into force

We have reported in our March 2019 (p27) and May 2019 (p28) editions on the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act which came into force for new tenancies and licences to occupy on 1 June 2019. The Act outlaws letting fees paid by T to L (or their agent) in the private rented sector and imposes a cap on tenancy deposits in England. The Act aims to reduce the costs that Ts must pay at the beginning of a tenancy.
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Prescribed information form – defective

For any AST which started after 6 April 2007, L must put the deposit in a tenancy deposit scheme (TDS) and L must give T prescribed information about the TDS within 30 days of taking the deposit. It is the information which is prescribed not the form. If the prescribed information is not served, L is liable to T for a penalty of up to three times the deposit sum and, crucially, L cannot serve a valid s21 notice. So far, so familiar. 
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Pet rent – permissible

The excellent Pain Smith blog reminds us about the Tenant Fees Act 2019 (which we reported on in our previous editions – March 2019 (p27) and May 2019 (p28)). The Act outlaws letting fees paid by Ts to L (or their agents) in the private rented sector and imposes a cap on tenancy deposits in England. The Act aims to reduce the cost that Ts must pay at the beginning of a tenancy and came into force on 1 June 2019.
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Right to manage – proposals

The above article also summarises some of the key reforms suggested in relation to the right to manage (RTM): 
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Leasehold reform – proposals

We do not usually report on issues which are merely at the consultation stage. However, we will make an exception for a very helpful article which updates on residential tenure reform. There are a number of overlapping concerns regarding leasehold matters in the conveyancing market – these may impact directly on practitioners if client complaints in relation to poor leasehold advice gain traction.
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Letting agency - masquerading as membership club

A London trading standards team recently prosecuted a director of a company for setting up what was described as a member's club, but which in reality was a lettings agency. The purpose of such was to avoid tenancy legislation. The club pressured Ts into signing contracts without reading them and charged a non-refundable 'joining fee' and 'membership fee' worth a month's rent instead of a deposit.

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Form 6A - error

Form 6A is the prescribed form of notice seeking possession of a property let on an AST. The eagle-eyed solicitors at Pain Smith have noticed that the government made an unauthorised change to Form 6A which was not changes made by an SI and as such, the form could be rejected by a court.

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L&T – government guidance

The government has issued guidance for Ls and Ts on rights and responsibilities in the private rented sector. 
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‘Extra services’ – must mean extra!

T had lived in a self-contained bungalow in a sheltered housing scheme since 2008. L was a housing association and had not charged him for the cost incurred to maintain the grounds as the lease made no provision for its recovery through the service charge.
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