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

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

10:19 AM, 2nd October 2015, About 7 years ago 29

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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

wanda wang

21:43 PM, 2nd October 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Franklin" at "02/10/2015 - 12:21":

So they get 6 months rent free?

Seething Landlord

23:20 PM, 2nd October 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "wanda wang" at "02/10/2015 - 21:43":

No,as has already been stated, they could still be evicted for non payment of rent.

Chris Best

0:30 AM, 3rd October 2015, About 7 years ago

Interesting point made about the fact that the landlord has to give the booklet to the tenant, so who is liable and what are the consequences if the information therein is incorrect? In reality, I don't think it matters. The landlord is governed by the law, not what the booklet happens to say, and the contract between the landlord and tenant cannot change the law no matter what it says (as an example, you cannot put in the contract that the tenant must leave within 14 days if the rent is late, because the law says otherwise). Being misinformed about the law is not a defence in court for anyone. Which means that the government is misinforming tenants and it is the tenants that will suffer if they rely on the information provided - because the courts will apply the law, not the government's interpretation of it in the booklet.

Teg's Dad

15:45 PM, 3rd October 2015, About 7 years ago

Surely a simple solution is to have a clause at the end of the AST which all tenants sign stating that a) they are happy to accept notices etc by email and b) acknowledge the link to the booklet that can be updated by the Government at any time?

Saves paper too since the booklet is currently eight pages long!

Lynne Davis

12:59 PM, 4th October 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Teg's Dad" at "03/10/2015 - 15:45":

That's more or less what we're doing. We give out a handout at viewings that points them in the direction of the How to Rent booklet and the EPC Register (though we do also get them to sign a copy of EPC) and tells them we can provide a hard copy on request, then on the application form they sign a declaration that they have seen both documents.

Adding a question about serving docs by email is a good idea too - might do that. Would that allow us to serve the Prescribed Info re deposits by email instead of wasting all that paper?

Romain Garcin

13:34 PM, 4th October 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Lynne Davis" at "04/10/2015 - 12:59":

IMHO, that's quite a risky way of doing things, Lynn.

The law states that you must give copies of both documents, and that the version of the guide must be the one in effect on the first day of the tenancy.

The way you do it you haven't given the guide (it does not matter that the tenant has seen the documents, I would think).
Even if you had given it, you should be careful that the guide might change by the start of the tenancy, in which case you would have to give it again.

If you make then sign a copy of the EPC but don't let them keep a copy, you haven't complied with that requirement either.

Lynne Davis

15:01 PM, 4th October 2015, About 7 years ago

You're right Romain, it would be risky if it were all we were doing. The RLA article on the How to Rent booklet said that it's acceptable to serve it by email if the tenant agrees. We can do that too, and probably will until it becomes clear what's acceptable and what isn't... But if they're getting it electronically anyway then why not just direct them to the definitive source, where they'll always find the latest version?What I've said above is more of a backup in case there's anything we forget to do.

We do provide the tenants with a copy of the EPC when they move in anyway, but the new legislation, as I understand it, says that they have to be SHOWN (not given) the EPC AT THE VIEWING, so that they can make an informed decision. That's the bit that we're covering there -though the ruling is no help to tenants who rent without physically viewing the property first, so imo this way is better, as it gives them access to the EPC before they apply for the tenancy, regardless whether they have viewed the place.

(Apologies for any nonsense in this post - there's an annoying pink ad that I can't get rid of taking up half the window that I'm trying to type in.)

Romain Garcin

16:29 PM, 4th October 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Lynne Davis" at "04/10/2015 - 15:01":

"the new legislation, as I understand it, says that they have to be SHOWN (not given) the EPC AT THE VIEWING, so that they can make an informed decision"

Actually, that's the existing legislation.
There is no new legislation in relation to EPCs. It is just that now if you haven't complied part of it (actually giving a copy to the tenant) you may not give a valid s.21 notice until you do.

The caveat is for HMOs, as they seem included in the obligation to give an EPC in order to be able to give a valid s.21 notice.

wanda wang

17:26 PM, 4th October 2015, About 7 years ago

All these legislation changes just to makes the landlord’s life harder and harder to get rid of bad tenants, the government trying to put social responsibility on private landlords, then equally is there any legislation change for landlords to cover rent arears? No, they aren’t!

Robert M View Profile

19:45 PM, 4th October 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "wanda wang" at "04/10/2015 - 17:26":

I wouldn't mind having social responsibility so much if the government also gave us the tools (legal power) to deal with anti-social tenants, e.g. eviction without a court order. I have some anti-social residents in a HMO at the moment and I cannot get rid of them without a court order, and the police do nothing (I've even given the police a set of keys to the house, but still they do nothing), so the neighbours have to put up with the anti-social behaviour for months and months because the law says the tenants cannot be evicted without a court order, but the legal system takes months and months. We're now at the bailiff stage, but again that is another 6 weeks after the date the court order said the tenants had to have moved out by. Surely, if a court makes an order and they person does not comply with that order, then that is contempt of court and the person should be imprisoned (not left in the property, not paying rent, and causing anti-social behaviour, while the landlord gets all the blame and the cost of applying for bailiffs). The law is an ass, and a very slow one at that!!!!

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