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Tag Archives: Law Commission

Are the Law Commission just wasting their time?

The end of the lineThe end of the line for housing projects?

The Legal Action Magazine section on recent developments in housing law has some interesting notes on what is going on, and I was particularly interested to see the reference to a Ministry of Justice report on the implementation of past Law Commission projects.

Here are some extracts about those Law Commission projects which particularly affected housing and landlord and tenant law, with a few notes from me in brackets.  The numbers are the paragraph numbers in the report:

Proposals which have not yet been implemented

(But presumably will be sometime)

Unfair Terms in Contracts

18. The present law on unfair contract terms is covered by two pieces of UK legislation which are confusing and contain inconsistent and overlapping provisions.

19. This report, which was a joint Law Commission and Scottish Law Commission report, was accepted in principle by the previous Government in 2006. Implementation of the Commissions’ recommendations is on hold pending negotiation of the draft EU Consumer Rights Directive. Negotiations on the Directive are expected to conclude in late-2011.

(The unfair terms in consumer contracts regulations are very important for tenancy agreements and indeed, as the Foxton litigation showed, for agents’ terms and conditions.)

Termination of Tenancies

24. This report examined the means whereby a landlord can take back a property let to a tenant because the tenant has not complied with his or her obligations under the lease. This is an issue of great practical importance for many landlords and tenants of residential and commercial properties. The current law is difficult to use and littered with pitfalls for both the lay person and the unwary practitioner.

25. The Government is undertaking work to study and consider this report and aims to respond early this year.

(This will not affect assured shorthold tenancies where forfeiture is specifically prohibited by the legislation, but may be relevant for common law tenancies and protected tenancies under the Rent Act 1977).

Decisions taken not to implement

(Ie where the work of the Law Commission is effectively wasted, and they might just as well not have bothered)

Landlord and Tenant: Responsibility for State and Condition of Property

46. This report examined the law regulating the responsibilities of landlord and tenant for the repair and maintenance of leased premises. The law is unsatisfactory as there is no acceptable standard which has to be met by leased premise, there is no legal requirement that the responsibility for the repair of the property should be specifically allocated, and the remedies for the enforcement of repairing obligations were not always effective to ensure that the necessary repairs were carried out.

47. The Government does not consider that the problems with the law in this area are sufficient to require legislative intervention. There are no current plans, therefore, to implement the proposals contained within this report.

Housing: Encouraging Responsible Letting and Renting Homes: The Final Report.

The report made recommendations to strengthen self-regulation of landlords in the private rented sector, and introduce compulsory regulation for letting agents. The Law Commission recommended that a scheme of “enforced self-regulation” should be introduced if self-regulation failed to drive up housing standards in the sector.

56. Whilst some of the proposals contained within these reports were accepted in principle by the previous Government, given that reform of this area of the law is not in line with the current Government’s deregulatory priorities, the Government currently has no plans to implement the Law Commission’s recommendations by amending the regulations governing private landlords or letting agents or by further regulating the sector. The Government is, however, exploring with partners from the industry how best to counter poor practice by letting and managing agents and will keep the matter under consideration.

No doubt some faithful readers will have a few comments on all this. I feel particularly sad about the Renting Homes project as SUCH a lot of work went into that, and there was a massive consultation exercise. All for nothing.

You can see the MOJ report here.  The Renting Homes and other housing related projects can be see on the Law Commission website.  Incidentally they don’t seem to have mentioned the report on proportionate dispute resolution.

Photo by khrawlings

Landlords proposals for law reform

Justice and the law

Law Reform from landlords Reading the excellent Landlord & Buy to Let Magazine today, I came across an article about the Residential Landlords Association’s submission to government with their top law reforms.  I thought you might be interested. These are the proposals: 1. Self regulation It is proposed that landlords who are members of approvedContinue Reading

Insurance – how it can be invalidated by tenants trivial criminal convictions

If your house goes up in flames - are you sure you will collect your insurance?

I am delighted to introduce another insightful post from housing consultant and former TRO, Ben Reeve-Lewis, this time on worrying aspects of insurance (which I touched on also last year in a previous post on insurance for lodgers). Criminal convictions and insurance I have recently become aware of quite an alarming development in private renting.Continue Reading

Housing law reform and legal aid

Its always the tenants who suffer

There have been a lot of announcements recently from the government about housing law reform, and what they intend to do in the private rented sector.   Whether any of these proposals will actually come to pass is not certain.  However I (along with many others) am concerned about the approach taken by this government, bothContinue Reading

Government makes new announcements on the Private Rented Sector

Department of Communities and Local Government

There has been a positive flurry of tweets and emails crossing my computer screen today, preceding and then following, the announcement from the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Dept. about their plans for the Private Rented Sector. You can read the news item here, and the report itself can be downloaded from here. This followsContinue Reading

Where next for the Private Rented Sector?

Houses

At the recent CLT Conference I attended, there was an excellent talk by Professor Martin Partington OBE (former Law Commissioner) on possible future developments in the Private Rented Sector (PRS). I set out below a very condensed version of his notes (with his permission). He started by saying that the PRS is now a keyContinue Reading

The Rugg Report – the governments response

The government published a consultation paper yesterday in response to the recent Rugg Report and the other various reports that have been published over the past few years. Supporters of the Law Commissions long project and reports, will be pleased to see that this is acknowledged and referred to in the response which confirms thatContinue Reading



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


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