New Section 21 Notice Deadline 1st October 2018

All Tenancies created where the rental property is located England are now subject to the Deregulation Bill.  Tenants are now afforded extra protection and are subject to restrictions of use of a Section 21 Notice and protected against retaliatory eviction. In addition to being obliged to issue the New Prescribed Section 21 Notice, no such notice may be given to the Tenant until after month 4 of commencement of tenancy.

Many landlords serve a Section 21 Notice, following which, two months later apply to court only to discover they are ineligible to evict their tenants – Don’t make the same mistake.  Firstly, look at the Court application for possession for Section 21 Notice. If a problem is identified then remedy pre-service of the Section 21 Notice to ensure that eviction thereafter is valid.

The new New Prescribed Section 21 Notice has combined the two previous types of Notices into one Notice that covers both fixed term and periodic tenancies.

However, there are further requirements that landlords and letting agents must comply with prior to issuing a Section 21 Notice under the Deregulation Act 2015.  They must have provided the tenants with the ‘How to rent: the checklist for renting in England’, and that the property has an up to date Gas Safety Certificate and valid EPC.

As with common practice, tenants should be made aware of which tenancy deposit scheme their deposit is protected in and the property’s Energy Performance Certificate, unless it is not required, must also be provided.

A spokesperson for an association of lettings agents, said: “When the changes come into effect, it’s important agents [and landlords] are executing effective Section 21 Notices when necessary.

Illegal Sublet

A high profile story has been running across the broadsheets about the sting’ of an unfortunate owner/’accidental’ landlord of a three-bedroom house in west London.

The ex-wife of Michelin star chef Albert Roux, Cheryl, has not received any rent in spite of rooms in her property being sub-let without her permission, as many as eight tenants are renting out the rooms at a cost of £835 a night.

Because of the stress of the whole situation that started when she decided to rent out the top two storeys of her mews house, Cheryl Roux has now moved out of her home.

The tenants that Roux rented out the rooms to turned out to be ‘rogues’ and she states they have been illegally sub-letting out rooms in the property which has been ongoing since June.

The police have been unable to take action and suggested that her best course of action would be to vacate her own property because of the risk of coming into contact with any form of confrontation; they stated that she can only take action in a civil court.

In statements made to the press Roux said: “I’m clearly a victim of crime but the police do nothing and these crooks are still renting out my home.

“They changed the locks so I couldn’t get in and nailed shut the garage doors. I’m at my wits’ end.”

In spite of Airbnb removing the property listing from its platform, Zoopla continues displaying the property with a spokesperson saying it is a “legitimate listing”, and added: “We have spoken to Hamptons, the agent who are instructed to rent it out, and they have confirmed this.”

Tenants Fined £23,000.00

Three tenants who were found to be guilty of sub-letting a three bedroomed house in Kingsbury and crammed 35 men into the property have been fined more than £23,000.

The 35 ‘sub-tenants’ had been crammed into all of the property’s rooms with the exception of the bathrooms and given mattresses. The kitchen also doubled up as a bedroom and there was even a mattress found under a canopy in the garden without any form of heating.

Two of the guilty party, appearing at the Willesden Magistrate’s Court, were each fined £9,000 as well as £1,470 in associated costs and victim charges, for not obtaining an HMO licence and ignoring Brent Council’s requests for information as part of its investigations.

The third guilty tenant was given a £1,000 fine for not giving information to the council’s officers as part of their investigation into the house along with a further fine of £1,350 in costs and victim surcharges.

Councillor Harbi Farah, cabinet member for housing and welfare reform, said: “No one should be forced to live in the overcrowded, unsafe and unhygienic conditions that the Council discovered these men living in. Poor living standards in the private rented sector are not the norm and Brent Council will track down those responsible, be they owners, agents or illegal sub-letters.

“We will not tolerate the exploitation of tenants by criminal landlords and subletters and we will continue to prosecute anyone we find breaking the law. It’s time that rogue landlords get their house in order or exit the rental market so that those professional landlords who operate in Brent can continue to provide quality, much-needed accommodation.”

Richard Merrick of PIMS, said:”Unfortunately this is a sign of the times, as we have reported over the last six months cases of illegal subletting are rapidly increasing and in some instances on an ‘industrial’ scale.”

Nearly Half Of Tenants Are Problematic

Recent research claims that 40% of tenants are causing problems for their agents or landlords when leaving at the end of their tenancy, causing an average £210’s worth of maintenance and repair costs.

An interior company surveyed 2,302 landlords who were 18 years old or more who let out at least one property for renting to tenants.  The first question they were asked was how they felt about renting out their property, with an overall majority of 62% replying it made good sense to them as the monthly rent fully covered their mortgage payments and in most cases more.
25% who took part did admit to feeling nervous about renting out their property as having little control over how the tenants would look after their home. However more than one in ten, (13%) adamantly stating that they wished they had never let out their property in the first place.
The respondents were also asked whether they had encountered any problems with their tenants and 40% said they had or were having issues.
The main issues were:

•    58% said tenants were constantly in contact with them about minor issues and when investigated, some were in fact found to be made up.

•    41% said that tenants had taken it upon themselves to make changes to the property without first seeking permission.

•    26% had complaints from their tenant’s neighbours about their anti social behaviour.

•    23% had their tenants damaging their property with the landlords expected to incur the repair costs themselves.

•    18% had experienced late rent payments.
Those landlords, who stated that their tenants had contacted them on minor or imaginary issues, were asked on average how many times a month had this occurred, and it turned out to be four times.

The last question involved the costs incurred by the landlords for repairs, cleaning and general maintenance upon a tenant leaving their property, and on average it was £210.

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