Landlord licensing want to force a change in existing tenancy agreement?

by Readers Question

12:30 PM, 10th July 2017
About A year ago

Landlord licensing want to force a change in existing tenancy agreement?

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Landlord licensing want to force a change in existing tenancy agreement?

I registered for Liverpool’s landlord licensing scheme with a tenant already in place and a contract already signed. They did a compliance inspection and tell me that I contravene the inspection conditions, because the contract does not contain a specific clause. While I am happy that all future contracts include this new clause, surely I have no legal right to force the tenant to agree to a change in the current contract?

i.e. Failure to include the “Nuisance and Anti-social Behaviour” clause within the tenant’s obligations of the tenancy agreement as follows:

Not to cause, or allow household members, or visitors to engage in anti-social behaviour, which means any conduct causing or capable of causing a nuisance or annoyance to the landlord, other occupiers, neighbours or people engaging in lawful activity within the locality. (Examples of anti-social behaviour include failure to control dogs or children, leaving gardens untidy, not properly disposing of rubbish, inconsiderate use of the property, as well as more serious problems such as noise, violent and criminal behaviour, domestic abuse, the supply and use of controlled drugs, and intimidation, harassment or victimisation on the grounds of a persons’ race, sex (gender), sexual orientation, disability, age, religion or belief, pregnancy or maternity status, socio-economic status)

Ian



Comments

Neil Patterson

12:31 PM, 10th July 2017
About A year ago

Hi Ian,

Unless there is something I am missing you need both parties consent to change a contract.

terry sullivan

14:07 PM, 10th July 2017
About A year ago

i would NOT sign up to that clause ever--you are assuming an absolute liability for acts that you cannot control--throw it back and state that the terminogy breaches unfair contract terms legislation

ps from what i have read liverpool is clueless

contact nla rla etc etc

Ian Sweeney

14:22 PM, 10th July 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by "terry sullivan" at "10/07/2017 - 14:07":

Actually, I'm quite happy to include the clause, which is one that the tenants must adhere to. I think that tenants should be aware that anti-social behaviour will not be condoned. In fact, the current contract has a similar clause but the wording is slightly different. My concern is that Liverpool council is insisting on using the exact wording as specified above and is trying to get me to force the current tenant to agree to an amendment to their already signed contract. I don't believe that I have the power to lawfully enforce that change.

David Price

16:41 PM, 10th July 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Sweeney" at "10/07/2017 - 14:22":

I am sure that you do not have the power to force the tenant to agree to a new clause once the agreement is signed and I am even more sure that Liverpool Council do not have the authority to insist on a retrospective change. If anyone had the power to make unilateral changes then any contract is meaningless.

terry sullivan

19:09 PM, 10th July 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Sweeney" at "10/07/2017 - 14:22":

you are clueless?

Larry Sweeney

13:04 PM, 11th July 2017
About A year ago

Ian,
The Council has no authority to force you to change an existing tenancy. The ASB must be included in tenancies granted after your licence was granted.
Existing tenancies are not affected. END OF STORY.

David Price

13:38 PM, 11th July 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by "Larry Sweeney" at "11/07/2017 - 13:04":

STORY?
It is a tale
Told by an idiot,
full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
(Macbeth, Act 5, scene 5)

Steve Hards

15:02 PM, 11th July 2017
About A year ago

I'm a member of Tessa Shepperson's excellent Landlord Law site (Google it and join up!) and asked an almost identical question there. The answer was that councils have very limited powers to alter terms of a tenancy by way of their licencing conditions and cannot insist on exact wording of a clause.

"Housing Act 2004 Section 67 imposes limitations on licence conditions:
(5) A licence may not include conditions imposing restrictions or obligations on a particular person other than the licence holder unless that person has consented to the imposition of the restrictions or obligations.
(6) A licence may not include conditions requiring (or intended to secure) any alteration in the terms of any tenancy or licence under which any person occupies the house.

Regard should also be had to the decision of the Welsh RPT in Matheson v Cardiff CC (Case
Ref: RPT/WAL/HMO/1). The RPT held that Councils should not adopt a standard set of
licence conditions and take a 'one size fits all' approach. "

I hope that points you (and Liverpool) in the right direction but, of course, you will need to take your own legal advice to challenge the council on this.

Michael Holmes

8:44 AM, 13th July 2017
About A year ago

Obviously Liverpool Council are somewhat over-staffed if they have people delving into the wording of contracts to the extent that this case suggests!

terry sullivan

9:01 AM, 13th July 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by "Michael Holmes" at "13/07/2017 - 08:44":

all local councils are overstaffed--usually by persons who have no real knowledge of the non-job

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