Simon Williams

Registered with
Monday 11th July 2016

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 96

Simon Williams

11:36 AM, 16th January 2020
About 4 days ago

New electrical checks and safety standards for Landlords

My experience of getting a full EICR for a property last year is that this is going to be very costly for most landlords. This 3 bedroom Edwardian flat cost me £3500 to sort out despite having, in lay-man's terms, normal modern-looking wiring and fuse boards etc. I am sure this experience will be common for 100's of thousands of rental properties.
Therefore, in my view, the implementation period is totally unrealistic and will lead to a real shortage of electricians qualified to do the job. Excessive demand for electricians will merely push their prices up.
Serving the full report on every new tenant will be a major headache. They usually run into 20 pages. I will have to do it electronically and hope the courts accept that as good service or it permits for copies in the legislation.
The RLA as usual, let landlords down, by failing to be more robust about the huge challenges landlords will have to face on top of everything else. And if these changes are so vital to protect life and limb, why oh why are they not required in other types of tenure?... Read More

Simon Williams

10:16 AM, 14th January 2020
About 6 days ago

Rental sector looks set for a resilient 2020

Interesting that Wales tops the league of rent rises. Could it be that their "nationwide" licensing regime ("Rent Smart Wales") is finally proving itself to be a little less smart so far as tenants' pockets are concerned.... Read More

Simon Williams

11:59 AM, 6th January 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Jenrick overhauls tenancy agreement to help end pet bans

The point about leasehold properties is well made. In a recent High Court case called Victory Place Management v Kuehn, the court upheld the demand from a block management company that the occupant of one flat, Mr Kuehn, should remove his pet dog because a blanket "no pets" policy was in operation for all flats in this block. Interestingly, the lease said you could actually have a pet, but only with permission. But because the management company had adopted a blanket policy of no permissions save in exceptional circumstances eg blind dogs, Mr Kuehn's dog had to go despite no evidence it was causing a nuisance.

Thus, the courts have very clearly affirmed that no pets clauses in head leases are valid and any landlord with a tenant in violation will be in trouble, with the prospect of a costly breach of covenant claim. Flat owning landlords need to be very alert to this.

A sensible government would join up the dots so-to-speak and make sure that any announcement about pets for tenants was coordinated with an announcement about no pets clauses in head leases. But as per usual, the government fails to demonstrate it has the basic ability to join the dots.... Read More

Simon Williams

11:29 AM, 24th December 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Lodger claiming that I am harassing?

If A is living with you and and it is your only home and you are sharing all the facilities in the property with her, then A is a lodger and not a tenant. A lodger is sometimes known as an "excluded occupier" which is possibly why the agreement given to you has been labelled "excluded tenancy" although the word tenancy is not strictly appropriate. But whatever the agreement says or does not say, it does not make a lodger into a tenant if the reality is that they are actually living with you as a lodger - in other words, sharing the facilities in your own home.
You can evict a lodger WITHOUT the need for a court order. You normally give 28 days notice but it depends what is stated on the agreement. If the person refuses to leave, you can in theory use reasonable force to remove them at the end of the notice, but you ought to get the police involved if that became necessary and you can tell them you have a young child to worry about. Some lawyers advice you should get a court order even if the person is a lodger, but it is not legally necessary. You should take careful notes of any conversations and avoid threatening language and use gentle persuasion to make her realise that in the end, all this has to come to an end eventually, so may as well make it end as amicably as possible.
If your agreement allows the person a long period in your property before their agreement expires and doesn't allow you to serve 28 days notice without reason, then you may have to try to bring the agreement to end by arguing that there has been a breach of contract by A. The obvious argument to make is that A, by her anti-social behaviour, has fundamentally caused a break down in the trust and confidence between the parties and you can argue that you are therefore entitled to evict her for good reason. Check the terms of the agreement. Even if the agreement gives no written right to terminate for anti-social behaviour, such a clause could be reasonably implied under normal contract principles.
Note: This is just opinion honestly given. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. You must take your own legal advice. No liability is accepted.... Read More

Simon Williams

11:16 AM, 13th December 2019
About a month ago

Tory Landslide - Landlord Reactions

In Scotland, following the abolition of section 21, the right of a landlord to gain possession to sell a property, is a mandatory (not discretionary) ground of possession. We must ensure that this is the case in England and Wales too. This is not a foregone conclusion. In plenty of other countries, the landlord cannot evict to sell. And we must also have tight rules to prevent tenants gaming the system to thwart eviction for arrears of rent. Expect Shelter etc to mount a relentless campaign amongst MPs to reduce the mandatory grounds under a future section 8. Is RLA/NLA up to the task? I wouldn't bet on it.... Read More