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Landlord Law Update August 2014

We are in the sleepy depths of the summer when nothing much happens – or does it? Here are a couple of news items for you:


In my last update I said I did not think that the government would be doing anything about the problems raised by the case of Superstrike v. Rodrigues. This is the case which said that landlords must re-serve the prescribed information every time a fixed term tenancy changes to a periodic tenancy or another fixed term tenancy.

I was wrong! The government are bringing in an amendment in the Deregulation Bill which hopefully will become law either in October or next April.

When this new law comes into force, landlords won’t have to keep re-serving the prescribed information. Which is good news. However the amendment will require ALL deposits which come within the regulations to be protected – including those taken before April 2007.

Until this amendment comes into force however, the law remains the same, and you will have to keep re-serving those prescribed information notices.

Spencer v. Taylor

This Court of Appeal decision which has just been confirmed by the Supreme Court, has brought in a new interpretation of section 21 – some 25 years after the act was passed!

The Courts are now saying that the less complex s21(1) notices can be used not just for notices served during the fixed term, but also for most notices served during the subsequent periodic tenancy.

However, it looks as if this will not apply to tenancies which were periodic from the start (ie where there never was a fixed term) or where the periodic tenancy was created by a term in the tenancy agreement.

Generally this is very good news for landlords and will prevent a lot of eviction cases being thrown out of court just because the expiry date on the notice is a couple of days wrong.

You can read more about this decision in my blog post here


The Property Redress Scheme

As I mentioned in my last update, as of October of this year (or maybe April of next) all letting agents and property managers will be required to be a member of one of three government authorised property redress schemes. These are:

• The Property Ombudsman http://www.tpos.co.uk/

• The Ombudsman Services, property http://www.ombudsman-services.org/property.html

• The Property Redress Scheme http://www.theprs.co.uk

The Property Redress Scheme is the ‘new boy on the block’ and will be looking to offer cost effective solutions to smaller agents and property managers. Incidentally I am on their Council and will be writing about my experiences on my Landlord Law Blog from time to time. You can read the first post here: http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2014/07/02/the-property-redress-scheme-for-the-other-40/

That’s all for this update. If you want more on the news or general information for landlords, then check out my Landlord Law Blog at www.landlordlawblog.co.uk . Best wishes and enjoy the summer!

Tessa Shepperson


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