Friday and the end of August. Let’s see what news items we have today.
Legal challenge to Local Authority new policy
There is an interesting story coming out of Hull today from Property Industry Eye.
It seems that the Local Authority is now moving directly to serving improvement notices on landlords when they discover an issue without notifying them informally first and allowing them time to get the work done on a voluntary basis.
The only exception is for members of the council’s own accreditation scheme.
The Council say that this is to protect tenants, as under the anti-retaliatory eviction rules brought in bt the Deregulation Act 2015, landlords cannot serve a valid section 21 notice within 6 months of receipt of an improvement notice.
Landlords, however, are outraged at this:
- They consider it wrong that only members of the Council’s own scheme are excepted and not members of other accreditation schemes
- They point out that some mortgage companies may respond to this by increasing interest rates or even calling loans in which would result in tenants losing their homes
- They say it is wrong that landlords who are providing decent homes are being treated in the same way as criminals
The Humber Landlords Association are challenging the policy by Judicial Review and this is being supported both by the RLA and the NLA.
Chris Norris, director of policy and practice at the NLA said:
The informal stage allows landlords to remedy problems swiftly, without recourse to law, undue disruption to tenants, or making any payments to the local authority.
Eliminating this stage, and moving directly to sanctions, demonstrates that the council is more interested in financial gain than positive outcomes. It conflicts with national guidance, creates additional animosity between landlords and tenants, and risks the prosecution of landlords who may not even be aware of issues with their properties.
It will be interesting to see whether the challenge succeeds.
Reasons for leaving London
A while ago the Guardian asked people to tell them why they left London as many people seem to be moving out in their 30’s (I did myself).
This article looks at several of those stories and shows how people are finding life much easier outside the capital. Most have been able to buy a house – something they could never have done in London, and have a better family life.
Their North of England editor has also written an interesting piece, again saying how many people, once they reach their 30’s choose to move away from London so they can have a better life:
The average Londoner quitting the capital pays £424,610 for their new property, which … buys a large detached house in a good Birmingham neighbourhood – or a two-bed flat above a shop in east London.
She ends by saying
Moving back north I swapped career progression for a nice view and the ability to park outside my own house. I’ve never regretted it.
Unregulated Eviction Companies
In this case, Mr and Mrs Gill had made use of an unregulated eviction company who had completed their eviction court forms and Mr and Mrs Gill had attended and just signed the paperwork.
The case is Kassam v Gill & Gill reported here. The company they used is called “Remove a Tenant” (RaT), a trading name of Fentham Group Limited.
As you may or may not be aware, under the Legal Services Act 2007 the conduct of litigation is a reserved activity which can only be done by firms who are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority – who will be properly trained and carry comprehensive insurance.
The value of this is shown by the fact that the notice served by Remove a Tenant was defective.
In this case, the appeal was allowed in part, possession order set aside and the claim was sent back to proceed under grounds 10 and 11, plus there was a disrepair and deposit protection counterclaim to be raised.
However, all unregulated eviction companies need to read this judgment very carefully, as do all letting agents who ‘assist’ their landlords in bringing eviction claims. If they go too far in acting like solicitors without the proper regulation, they could be prosecuted.
- Property Tribes piece claims that Shelters’ No DSS campaign is to hide the fact that Social Housing Landlords now have no DSS policies
- The company which used to manage the Wilson’s properties has gone out of business
Newsround will be back next week.