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Landlord and tenant – residential

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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Intentionally homeless – objective test

The SC considered the case of a T who occupied a property under an AST but fell into arrears and was evicted. T applied to the LA claiming homelessness and seeking assistance. 
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Section 21 notice – amended form introduced

Under Housing Act 1988 an s21 notice gives L an automatic right of possession without having to give any grounds once the fixed term has expired. The notice cannot be used to gain possession during the fixed term but it can be served during this time provided the date requiring possession is not before the end of the fixed term. Any deposit paid by T must be protected under the tenancy deposit scheme. We reported in our May 2019 edition (p26) that the government has proposed abolishing s21 notices to end no fault eviction of Ts, but as yet this has not been introduced.

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Prescribed information – serve again if in doubt

At the beginning of a residential tenancy and when in receipt of a tenancy deposit, L has 30 days to give T various information including: the amount of the deposit, how it is protected and the name and contact details of the tenancy deposit protection scheme (DPS) – this is known as the prescribed information.

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