This is the third part of a series of posts looking at some of the housing related changes being brought in by the Deregulation Act 2015.
Part 3. On going cases
In part 1 and part 2 of this series we saw that the rules relating to the protection of deposits / service of prescribed information for old pre April 2007 deposits and relating to the re-service of prescribed information for tenancies continuing as periodic tenancies have changed.
The change was immediate upon the coming into effect of the Act on receiving the Royal Assent on 26 March and the act also says that the changes will be treated as having had effect since April 2007.
So how does that affect existing claims at that time?
These are the rules:
Section 214 claims
If a tenant has brought a claim for the penalty payment under s214 and this has settled – whether or not court proceedings were actually started – then the new rules will not affect that settlement. So the landlord cannot turn around and demand his payment back.
Likewise if the claim was dealt with by the court, for example with the landlord being ordered to make payment – and the proceedings have been ‘finally determined’, this cannot be changed.
What does ‘finally determined’ mean?
- there has been a court decisions and
- ‘there is no further right to appeal’ – which in turn means that
- either the time limits for making an appeal have passed or
- any appeal brought has been withdrawn.
So if you are out of time to appeal the decision you are stuck with it.
However, if on the other hand, proceedings were started before 26 March but have not been finally settled or determined – the landlord is in luck. The Court will apply the new rules.
However because the rules have changed and the tenants were originally in the right – the court will not make any order for costs against them.
Section 21 claims
The rules are very similar for section 21 claims.
So long as the proceedings have not been settled or ‘finally determined’, the court will apply the new rules. Meaning, in most cases, that the landlord will get his order for possession.
However, again, the landlord will not get his order for costs. (Although in most cases all he wants is his property back anyway).
So – basically good news for landlords. They can take advantage of the new rules except for old cases where the time for appeal has passed or where the case was settled.
The only downside is that tenants will not be ordered to pay costs – although in most cases landlords do not enforce this anyway.
Next time I will take a look at the changes regarding agents.