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Landlord Law Blog looks back at 2013

Merry-Xmas-400-300Its here.  The big one.  The one where I look back at the whole year on the blog and give links.


I then get to have two weeks off when there will be NO posts at all.

Yay!  Its great writing the blog but it will be nice to have a bit of a break.

So – here goes.


It looks as if the very first post was a book review of Homelessness and Allocations done by Ben (he liked it).

However, we were soon looking at blog clinic questions from landlords not sure what to do with tenants possessions left behind, writing about the 2013 Conference, and reaching H is for Harassment in the landlords A-Z (which I have yet to finish.  I think about it from time to time).

Over in Ben Reeve Lewis land, he had been given a juicer to try to recapture his 32″ waist.  Hmm.

We had the case of the letting agent charging the £420 renewal fee and I did an information post on when a letting is a tenancy and when it is a license.  Not for the first time or the last time …

Something I don’t write about that often was this post on TV license issues, and I also introduced my e course for tenants (still very popular and going strong).

I reported on a great visit to the Conference venue, and Ben forgot to write his column. Heigh ho!


February starts with Ben saying ‘If I hear the Green Green Grass of home one more time …”,  having a go at mortgage companies (so whats new) and later doing a whole column on the Bedroom Tax.

Samir wonders if the concept of homelessness is compatible with human rights, the OFT do a report on complaints about letting agents, and I write one of my favourite posts of the year – this one on common law rules re rent. Followed by six tips on using s21 notices.

Blog clinic questions include the cost of clearing drains, a landlords four questions about rent arrears, and what to do when a tenant keeps cancelling viewings.

Conference 2013March

March starts with Ben taking a visit to Landlord Law Towers to talk training, followed by a nightmare week where he faces the prospect of having to wash his own pants later in the year.  Be afraid, be very afraid …

Samir starts what turns out to be a very interesting and popular series on Property Guardians, with me looking at legal issues here, followed by Ben looking at the reality.

However March was of course our Conference month!  With a monster liveblog from Samir, pictures from me and later on the wonderful Property Tribes videos eg here and here.

Blog clinic questions included questions about tenants rights on tenancy deposits, a landlord wondering how she can find out if her tenants have left or not, and what a landlord can do about an unwanted HMO.


Ben Reeve Lewis discovers why he bothers and discusses inspirational Judges.  A later post discusses Gavvers and features a protest song on the bedroom tax.

I take a look at UK landlords discussion forums, and announce a new guide for landlords on how to get rid of your letting agent (legally of course).

We start to feature a few clips from the conference talks recordings such as this one from David Smith on HMOs, and landlords sigh with relief at the outcome of the Johnson v. Old case on when a payment is a deposit and when it is rent (in this case it was rent).

Blog clinic questions include who pays the rent after a tenant dies, what landlords should do if a tenant goes into prison, and the landlady who returned the deposit in cash through the letter box (witnessed by the police) so she could serve a s21 notice after failing to protect the deposit (one of my favourites).

Section 21 noticeMay

Ben loses his voice completely at the start of the month,  considers the governments plans to turn landlords into immigration inspectors, and discusses property problems for posh people.

I launch a new little free site on how to evict your tenant, look at three misunderstandings about tenants rights when s21 notices are served on them, and am interviewed by Property Geek.

Blog clinic questions include having to pay benefit back to the council (its called clawback and is why direct payment of benefit is not always a good idea), and tenants insisting on using an unsafe boiler.  A question about whether a payment is a holding fee or rent gets a lot of questions.

The Law CourtsJune

The time has now come for Ben to wash his own pants as Frazzy suns hereself in the Caymens.   However he has the London Assembly report to cheer him up.

I introduce the Landlord Law Blog Fast Track blog clinic (its been used by a few) and do articles on what happens if you don’t have a tenancy agreement (“hiss through teeth”), regulations on furniture in rented properties and a new case on unfair terms in tenancy agreements.

This is the month when the Superstrike case burst upon us, which I wrote about here and here.

Blog clinic questions included whether a landlord can come in and out as he likes (no), whether a landlord is liable for electrical works done without his consent, whether a landlord can be charged for boarding up the property due to the tenants ASB and whether tenants HAVE to sign a new fixed term agreement.

bespoke tenancy agreementJuly

Ben talks about being threatened at work and the shadowy world of SARB (sale and rent back to you), daftness  and we publish some of his TRO Confidential posts as an ebook.

He also does a post about Councils and landlords working together and Samir writes about the CLG select committee report.

I talk about Credit Unions and preparing for Universal Credit,  landlords as immigration officers and four ironclad rights tenants have if their landlord wants to sell their property.

Blog clinic questions include a landlord claiming for re-decoration of a whole room if there is a scratch on the wall, whether tenants can be forced to rehome their dog, the most important rule re landlords right of entry and whether a landlord should provide more than one set of keys.


Ben considers retirement issues, gets VERY bored in the silly season and feels depressed about pointless prosecutions,

I warn landlords to beware fraudsters mortgaging their property, look at why a periodic tenancy arising at the end of a fixed term is really a new tenancy, and write about a prosecution of landlords over a damp and mouldy flat in Lambeth,

Meanwhile Samir considers the law regarding water meters and tenants rights.

Blog clinic questions include whether you should disclose to a lodger that you are not the property owner, pets clauses in tenancy agreements, the procedure for landlords wanting to reduce the rent, and what tenants should do if they suspect their landlord is illegally letting to them.


Ben talks about beds in sheds, posh sheds, and London housing being promoted in Malaysia.

Samir writes about utilities and tenants rights and housing and the local government information unit.

I announce my collaboration with Anthony Gold solicitors. and give three tips for landlords on Data Protection.

Blog clinic questions include tenants not able to use a room due to the landlords boxes, agents charges for frivolous calls and maintenance, sitting tenants rights, and whether tenants can refuse access to their landlord.

Oxford StudentsOctober

Ben gets angry about councils ditching affordable housing schemes, considers hugging a thug, and wonders if the sacking of real and shadow housing ministers at the same time is carelessness or just good luck?

We have a post from David Smith on HMO fees in Oxford and getting your money back,  and I write about Davids successful HMO Workshop in Norwich.  I also report on a visit to Essex Property Network and review David Lawrensons book.

Samir discusses racism in letting agents and then sets us off on another series, this time on the anniversary of the Housing Act, writing about rent control, while I look at section 21 and Ben wonders if its time for a change.

Blog clinic questions include ones on sky satellite dishes, unfair clauses in tenancy agreements (from David Smith), tenancy deposits being returned to the wrong tenant and whether a tenancy is binding if the tenant has never paid rent.


Ben discusses candidates for room 101, changes his job and talks about the day he lost his TV career via email.

I start a new series on tenancy agreements looking at bog standard ASTs,  rooms in shared houses, resident landlords and company lets and re-launch the evicting squatters kit.

Samir discusses housing law in Germany and Brazil.

Blog clinic questions include the rent needed to use the rent arrears repossession ground, landlords refusing to pay compensation for disrepair, claims for damp and charges to tenants for inventory frees.

Xmas TreeDecember

And so the year comes to its end.  Ben finally has a holiday  and does a Christmas column.

We have our first post from tax expert Steve Simms who will be writing more regularly next year.

I write about tenancy agreements for tenants with pets, do a workshop on Ending Tenancies, launch a new Legal Kits website, ask if landlord & tenant law should be taught in schools and write about a new case on s21 which changes all the rules.

We announce that the Landlord Law Conference 2014 is open for bookings (just go

Blog clinic questions include problems re drying clothes indoors, payment of deposit to lead tenants (who don’t pass it on), the rules when selling a property with protected tenants, and whether a landlords letting agent is doing enough to get the annual gas inspection done.

Did we really write all that?

Big thanks …

Go especially to Ben – Ben has NEVER let me down – even when he forgot to write his column that week, he just sat down and wrote it there and then.  He is always entertaining and relevant and the blog would not  be the same without him.

Thank you Ben!

Thanks also to Samir for your always interesting contributions, and to Steve who we hope to see more of next year.

Especial thanks go to all of you who write comments.  These contribute enormously to the value of the posts and keep me on my toes.  Please keep commenting (unless of course you are advertising viagra, slimming products or are spamming the site in some other way – you won’t get through as all comments are moderated).

But our ‘proper’ commentators are ALWAYS welcome.  Thank you.

And thank you also to all you readers.  I hope you have enjoyed the site and please come back next year when we start up again.

If you want anything else to read on tenancy stuff over the holidays I would recommend:

The Landlord Law Blog will be back on Monday 6 January 2014.

(See also the comments area below and >> click here to read our terms of use and comments policy)

Important note. If you are reading an old post, remember that the law may have changed since it was written.

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One Response to Landlord Law Blog looks back at 2013

  1. I only discovered your website via NL a few months ago and its always a great read especially the blog clinic. It is always good to see real life case studies.

    Good luck next year and look forward to reading some more great posts.



About the post author:

Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is a lawyer and specialises in creating products and services which help landlords and letting agents learn and understand landlord & tenant law. For example, she runs the Landlord Law website (now in its 14th year) and is a director of Easy Law Training Ltd and Your Law Store. Tessa also sits on the Property Redress Scheme Council. When not working she enjoys reading, cooking and messing around on the computer. You can also find her on Google

The Landlord Law Blog from Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is an English lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law.

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