7:00 AM, 25th August 2017, About 6 years ago 2
Summer is a time for holidays and relaxation. I think it is also a good time to stop and take stock and bring yourself up to date.
There have been a lot of legal changes for landlords and letting agents over the past year – with more to come. To help, I have got together with Property118 to provide this series of articles to bring you up to date. It is aimed at anyone who is a private sector landlord, letting agent, advisor or who works in the PRS in some other way.
Why keeping up to date is essential
For years things have chugged along in the private rented sector, not changing that much – maybe a new legal case from time to time, but no major changes.
However, over the past couple of years there have been a number of massive changes in the law affecting the private rented sector. It has been a bit of a roller coaster – leaving many landlords worried and confused.
For example, new rules have come in for deposits and section 21 notices, right to rent penalties now include criminal proceedings and Local Authorities have acquired draconian new powers of enforcement.
Local Authorities and others
The main reason why Local Authorities have in the past done little enforcement work is lack of funds. But this is about to change. New Local Authority enforcement powers which came into force in April this year include the right to impose penalty charges and make rent repayment orders and are almost certainly going to be used – as Local Authorities get to keep the money.
This will then allow them to step up their enforcement work, funded by this new income stream.
It’s not just fear of fines though which should make you worry. Tenants are becoming more aware of their legal rights, and Judges are becoming increasingly picky when deciding whether or not to grant possession orders.
So it behoves landlords to know and understand the law – and comply with it!
This Summer Legal Update Series
Over the next couple of weeks, I will be looking at the most important areas of law which landlords need to know about and giving a quick overview. I will also be giving you links to places where you can find more information.
The series will kick off on Monday, and my first post will be on deposits.
Tessa Shepperson is a specialist landlord & tenant lawyer and runs the popular Landlord Law online information service.
To see all the articles in my series please Click Here