If you have a serious complaint your Landlord cannot evict you for 6 months!

by Property 118

10:19 AM, 2nd October 2015
About 3 years ago

If you have a serious complaint your Landlord cannot evict you for 6 months!

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If you have a serious complaint your Landlord cannot evict you for 6 months!

As a follow up on the recent articles on the new regulations that came into force as of the 1st of October the following statement on the booklet to be given to all tenants: “How to rent- the checklist for renting in England” is causing a great deal of concern.

It says, “If you have a serious complaint that has been checked by your Local Authority, your landlord cannot evict you for 6 months and must repair the fault”

Please see Paul Shamplina’s article on Property118:

New regulations and retaliation eviction – can the councils cope?

A snapshot of this part of the booklet is below and the whole booklet can be found by clicking here

If things go wrong

Is this is an ill thought out reaction to protect tenants from retaliatory evictions and what does it mean in practice?

The legislation emphasis is for tenants to raise repair issues first with the landlord or agent, who must then give a timely response.

However, the guidance indicates that if a local authority has served an enforcement notice or emergency remedial action notice then a tenant will be provided with protection from eviction for six months from the date of notice irrespective of whether they have first raised the issue with their landlord.



Comments

Paul Franklin

12:18 PM, 2nd October 2015
About 3 years ago

Yes that bullet point is simply wrong. As an improvement notice etc doesn't affect a landlords ability to serve a s.8 notice for a start.

And yes, it's nothing to do with whether the LA have 'checked' a serious complaint or not, it's whether they've served a relevant notice.

And, if the landlord has already served a s.21, the relevent notice from the LA would have not affect on ability of the landlord to act on that s21 notice (in most circumstances).

So in conclusion there's a number of reasons why that bullet poitn is wrong.

Paul Franklin

12:21 PM, 2nd October 2015
About 3 years ago

By the way your point "the guidance indicates that if a local authority has served an enforcement notice or emergency remedial action notice then a tenant will be provided with protection from eviction for six months from the date of notice irrespective of whether they have first raised the issue with their landlord." ...Is correct. That is the law, it doesn't matter whether the tenant has raised it with the landlrod first or not. If a relevant notice is served by the LA, a landlord can't use a s21 for 6 months, it's pretty much as simple as that.

James Fraser

12:56 PM, 2nd October 2015
About 3 years ago

I hear the govt are aware of certain issues with the new guide and are re-writing it as we speak...

Robert Mellors

13:51 PM, 2nd October 2015
About 3 years ago

Lets hope they can get the advice right this time!!!

Romain Garcin

13:57 PM, 2nd October 2015
About 3 years ago

A couple of incorrect advice in a guide that tenants may or may not read is not that important.

But if they start issuing new versions every couple of weeks it will be a nightmare for landlords (and courts) to keep track of which version applies by law to each of their tenancies.

Chris Best

16:54 PM, 2nd October 2015
About 3 years ago

As far as I am aware this is advice issued to tenants by local authorities - it does not have the force of law, so if the booklet is wrong, that's a problem for the local authority and the tenants they advise. We as landlords have to abide by law - if guidance from LAs is incorrect, this does not affect our legal rights and obligations. So the courts won't even look at the booklet, they will (as always) be looking at the legislation.

Paul Franklin

16:59 PM, 2nd October 2015
About 3 years ago

Sorry Chris this is the advice issued by landlords, not local authorities. It is the landlord that must issue this booklet to the tenant if they wish to serve a s.21.

If it's wrong, it effects everyone, landlord, tenant and local authority - becasue incorrect or misleading information is being published by a supposedly trustworthy source. But no, it does not change the law.

Robert Mellors

17:09 PM, 2nd October 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Franklin" at "02/10/2015 - 16:59":

I agree Paul, it can affect us all.

In consumer law, I believe that providing false or misleading information can invalidate contracts, or if it is relied upon to the purchaser's detriment then the principle of estoppel could apply. I think the courts have already ruled that tenancy agreements are a form of consumer contract, so if the landlord is providing false information to tenants then there could be very serious legal implications. This is all supposition and the chance of any tenant bringing a case/defence based on this is perhaps slim, but nevertheless we are being forced to hand out false/misleading information which could potentially undermine our ability to evict tenants.

Romain Garcin

20:26 PM, 2nd October 2015
About 3 years ago

Hold on a sec! The landlord is not providing any advice whatsoever.

This is a guide published by the government that the landlord must now by law provide to tenants.
Landlords have no say as to its contents and no liability if it is a load of tosh.

Also, since the law is drafted in such a way that the landlord should provide the guide AFTER the contract has been formed and the tenancy created there cannot be any claim that the landlord has misled the prospective tenant to get him to sign.

Robert Mellors

20:40 PM, 2nd October 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Romain Garcin" at "02/10/2015 - 20:26":

Fair point, but I suspect tenants won't see it that way, but assuming you are right and there are no legal consequences for the landlord then I guess it does not matter if the tenant thinks the information was given out by the landlord and they should thus be allowed to rely upon it.

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