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					 Private Sector Tenancies,
Notices & Legal Obligations
       for Landlords



                   Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
South Barn, Cowix Farm, Capel Road, Rusper, West Sussex RH12 4PY
                         Tel: 01293 871107
                info@insidehousingsolutions.com



                                Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
Assured Shorthold Tenancies




             Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
         Assured Shorthold
• Governed by the Housing Act 1988,
  amended slightly by the Housing Act 1996
• ASTs – „default‟ type of tenancy
  – Can be for any term
  – Landlord can easily recover possession, as of
    right, provided any fixed term has expired




                         Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
     Common-Law Tenancies
• A tenancy where the rent is more than £25,000
  per year
• A tenancy which is rent free or for which the rent
  is £250 or less a year (£1,000 or less in Greater
  London)
• A letting to a company
• A tenancy granted to a student by an
  educational body such as a university or college
• A holiday let
• A letting by a Residential Landlord

                           Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
              Fixed Terms
• An AST may be a fixed term tenancy,
  which lasts for a fixed number of weeks,
  months or years (specified in the Tenancy
  Agreement)
• Once expired = contractual periodic
  tenancy or renew the fixed term
• Contractual periodic tenancy = runs
  indefinitely from one rent period to the next

                        Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
              Joint Tenancies
• Can be agreed with 2 or more people
• Each is responsible jointly & severally
  (individually) for meeting the terms of the
  tenancy in full, including paying the rent
• = „Joint & several liability‟
• Eg = if a property is let jointly to 4 Tenants A, B,
  C & D for a mthly rent of £400 (each agreeing to
  pay £100 each) & C decides to leave, they will
  all still remain liable under the contract for all the
  rent. C is still liable for rent even though s/he
  may not be living there

                             Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
               Unfair Terms
• Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts
  Regulations 1999 apply to Tenancy Agreements
• Enforced by OFT
• Applies to
  – Any clauses which limit or exclude rights which
    Tenants would otherwise have had
  – Clauses that impose penalties/charges should state
    that they be reasonable in amount & reasonably
    incurred
  – Where a clause states a Tenant may only do
    something with the Landlords‟ consent (should be
    followed with “consent not to be unreasonably
    withheld)
  – Any clauses difficult to understand
                            Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
              Unfair Terms
• Why is this relevant?
  – “The Tenant is prohibited from keeping any
    pets whatsoever” – would be void
  – The clause would be valid if it said the
    following: “The Tenant is prohibited from
    keeping pets, save with the Landlord‟s written
    permission which shall not be refused
    unreasonably”


                          Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
Ending a Tenancy




        Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
 Termination of the Tenancy by the
              Tenant
• Termination of a fixed term Tenancy before end
  of fixed term
  – Only with LL‟s agreement
  – If this is allowed for by a break clause in the Tenancy
    Agreement & the Tenant has followed any
    requirements for giving notice specified in the
    Tenancy Agreement
• If agreement does not allow Tenant to terminate
  early & LL does not agree, the Tenant will be
  contractually required to pay the rent for the
  entire length of the fixed term

                              Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
Termination of the Tenancy by the
             Tenant
• Termination of a periodic Tenancy
  – Notice in writing
  – Give at least one month‟s notice
  – Notice must expire at the end of a period of
    the tenancy i.e. Tenancy started on 20th of a
    month – end of a period of the tenancy = 19th
    of a month



                         Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
Termination of the Tenancy by the
             Tenant
• The only date in a Tenancy that a Tenant
  may leave without giving any notice is on
  the expiry date of the a fixed term tenancy
• I.e. Tenancy granted on 1st January 2007
  for a fixed term on 6 months. Fixed term
  expires 30th June 2007



                       Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
   Possession by the Landlord
• 1st stage – notice
  – Section 21 or
  – Section 8 or
  – Notice to Quit
• 2nd stage – possession proceedings
  – Accelerated
  – Fixed date
• 3rd stage - bailiffs
                         Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
             Section 21 Notice
• Must be in writing
• Must state that possession is required under S.21 of the
  Housing Act 1988
• Must have a notice period of at least 2 months
• If the fixed term has not expired, the notice must not
  expire before the end of the fixed term
• If the tenancy is periodic, the notice period must be at
  least two months and end on the last day of a period of
  the tenancy
• Remains valid until a new Tenancy Agreement is issued
• Example of a S.21 Notice:
  http://www.oyezformslink.co.uk/forms/templates/01055.p
  df

                              Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
          Section 21 Notice
• For example:
  – The fixed term ended on 11th June 2007 &
    rent is paid monthly. The new rental period
    (periodic tenancy) will run from 12th of the
    month to the 11th of the following month. Any
    S.21 notice must expire on the 11th of the
    month.
  – The LL decides on 20th July 2007 that s/he
    wishes to issue a S.21 notice. This notice
    should expire on 11th October 2007 to satisfy
    the two month notice requirement.
                         Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
            Section 21 Route
• Requirements for an order of possession under
  Section 21 are:
  – That the tenancy is an AST
  – That any fixed term of the Tenancy has expired
  – That a notice properly drafted has been served on the
    Tenant
  – That the proper notice period was given to the Tenant
    and has expired at the time proceedings are issued
  – Written Tenancy Agreement
• „Accelerated possession procedure‟
• Judge cannot refuse to make order
                            Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
           Section 8 Notice
• Used for all other grounds for possession
• Mostly used for rent arrears claims
• Notice must be in prescribed form or it will
  be invalid
• Notice has a life of one year
• Discretionary & mandatory grounds
• Will require a court hearing if Tenant
  remains after notice period expires
                        Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
Section 8 Grounds for Possession
• Mandatory
  – Ground 1 – LL requires property to live in as his/her
    main home
  – Ground 2 – Mortgage company requires possession
    of the property
  – Ground 3 – Holiday lets
  – Ground 4 – Educational establishment lets
  – Ground 5 – Property required for a minister of religion
  – Ground 6 – Property is to be redeveloped
  – Ground 7 – Tenant has died and no rights of
    succession

                             Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
Section 8 Grounds for Possession
• Ground 8 - Mandatory
  – The Tenant owed at least 2 months‟ rent if the
    Tenancy is on a monthly basis or 8 weeks‟
    rent if it is on a weekly basis, both when the
    Landlord gave notice seeking possession and
    at the date of the court hearing




                         Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
 Section 8 Grounds for Possession
• Discretionary (9 in total)
   – Ground 10 – the Tenant was behind with his rent both
     when the Landlord served notice seeking possession
     & when he began court proceedings
   – Ground 11 – even if the Tenant was not behind with
     his rent when the Landlord started possession
     proceedings, the Tenant has been persistently late in
     paying his rent
   – Ground 12 – Tenant has broken a term of the
     Tenancy Agreement (not rent)
   – Ground 13 – Condition of property has got worse
   – Ground 14 – Anti-social behaviour
   – Ground 15 – Condition of furniture

                               Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
     Section 8 Notice Periods
• For grounds 3,4,8,10,11,12,13,15 or 17 – at
  least 2 weeks
• For grounds 1,2,5,6,7,9 or 16 – at least 2
  months
• For ground 14 – possession proceedings can
  commence as soon as the Landlord has served
  the notice
• Periodic tenancies = notice period must end on
  the last day of a rent period
• Example of a S.8 Notice:
  http://www.oyezformslink.co.uk/forms/templates/
  01095.pdf
                         Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
          Possession Orders
• A possession order will specify a date when the
  Tenant must give up possession
• Suspended possession orders may be made &
  based on terms
• Fixed date claims may also include a money
  judgement for arrears
• Rent arrears claims will also include an
  “occupation rent”
• Orders for costs
• Date for payment of any money award

                         Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
       How Long Will It Take?
• Accelerated – about 8 – 12 weeks from sending
  the forms off, if all goes well
• Standard procedure – case will be listed for
  hearing between 4 & 8 weeks after issue
• Tenant will be given between 14 days & 6 weeks
  to vacate (assuming a mandatory ground used)
• If bailiffs are required, allow another 3 – 8 weeks
• Remember locksmith!


                           Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
Rent Increases




       Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
           Raising the Rent
• There are 3 basic ways to increase the
  rent in an AST
  – By way of a rent review clause in the Tenancy
    Agreement
  – By agreement with the Tenant
  – By notice under Section 13 of the Housing Act
    1988



                        Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
        Rent Review Clause
• Can be used in Fixed Term & after Fixed
  Term has ended
• Must comply with the provisions of the
  “Unfair Terms”
• Increase must be referable to someone or
  something independent, such as the retail
  price index
• Clauses allowing the Landlord to increase
  the rent as s/he sees fit will be void
                      Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
  Rent Increase by Agreement
• Issue of a new fixed term Tenancy
  Agreement giving the new rent
• L/L can also increase the rent by getting
  the Tenant to sign a document suggesting
  the new rent – if they fail to return the
  letter or to pay the increase the rent will
  not have been validly increased


                       Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
      Notice under Section 13
• Formal procedure to propose a rent increase
• Special form
• At least one months notice must be given
• If the Tenant does nothing in this period, the
  increase will be valid
• If the Tenant feels the increase is too high s/he
  can refer it to the Rent Assessment Committee
  for review (by last day of rent period)
• Rent Assessment Committee can substitute
  what they consider is a market rent for the rent
  proposed (not always in Tenant‟s favour)
                           Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
     Notice under Section 13
• S.13 can only be used after fixed term
  expiry & can only be used once every 12
  months
• Example S.13 Notice
http://www.oyezformslink.co.uk/forms/templa
  tes/01036.pdf



                      Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
Responsibilities & Liabilities of
       the Landlord




                 Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
             Responsibilities for
             Repair/Maintenance
• Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 – Landlord shall
  keep in repair
   – the structure & exterior of the dwelling
   – the installations for the supply of water, gas, electricity
     & sanitation
   – the installations for the supply of space heating &
     water heating
   – the communal areas & installations associated with
     the dwelling
• Standard of repair necessary will vary
  depending on the „age, character, and
  prospective life of the property and location‟
                                Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
         Access to Property
• Landlords (or people authorised by them)
  have the right to access the property for
  the purpose of viewing its condition and
  state of repair
• Access can only be at reasonable times of
  the day and after giving not less than 24
  hours written notice


                      Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
  Breach of Repair Obligations
• Landlord is not liable for works or repairs
  caused by the Tenant‟s breach of his/her
  obligations under the Tenancy
• Action can be taken by the Tenant in the
  County Court for breaches of the
  Landlord‟s repairing obligations
• Civil action and Tenants can claim
  compensation for damage &
  inconvenience resulting from the breach

                        Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
  Housing Health & Safety Rating
        System (HHSRS)
• Housing Act 2004 Part I
• “Any residential premises should provide a
  safe and healthy environment for any
  potential occupier or visitor”
• Local Authorities have a duty to take
  appropriate enforcement action in relation
  to Category 1 hazards, & discretion to act
  in relation to Category 2 hazards

                      Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
Health & Safety Matters

Legal Requirements of Private
      Sector Landlords



               Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
                  Gas Safety
• Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998 makes
  it mandatory that gas appliances must be maintained in
  a safe condition at all times
• Requirement = all gas appliances are maintained in
  good order & an annual safety check is carried out by a
  tradesperson registered with Gas Safe Register
• An annual safety check of each gas appliance / flue /
  pipework must be carried out
• Also applies to portable appliances such as LPG (Calor
  gas) heaters (but not those owned by the Tenant)
• Once check completed, certificate issued to Landlord


                             Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
               Gas Safety
• Record of each safety check must be kept for 2
  years
• Tenant must receive a copy of the certificate
  when first let the property
• Tenant must be shown how to isolate gas supply
• Tenant must receive copy of new safety check
  within 28 days of the check being completed
• Failure = CRIMINAL OFFENCE


                        Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
                 Gas Safety
• Landlords should arrange (and pay for) any
  necessary repair work to be carried out and
  should not seek to place responsibility for this
  onto the Tenants, although if the repairs are
  caused by the Tenants‟ improper use of the
  property, then the Tenants can be charged for
  the (reasonable) cost of the repair work
• www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk or phone
  08004085500


                           Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
            Electrical Safety
• Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations (1994)
• Any portable electrical appliances (i.e. TVs,
  fridges, freezers, lamps etc) which are provided
  as part of the Tenancy are to be safe to use & in
  proper working order
• As a minimum, appliances should be visually
  inspected for any faults, damages
• Periodical testing = PAT testing (not a legal
  requirement)
• Does not apply to appliances owned by the
  Tenant

                          Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
    Fire Safety & Furnishings
• Furniture & Furnishings (Fire Safety)
  Regulations 1988 (As amended in 1989 &
  1993)
• The regulations require:
  – Furniture to pass a cigarette resistance test
  – Cover fabric, whether for use in permanent or
    loose covers, to pass a match resistance test
  – Filling materials for all furniture to pass
    ignitability tests as specified in the regulations

                           Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
       Fire Safety & Furnishings
• These regulations apply to any of the following
  that contain upholstery:
  –   Beds, headboards, mattresses, sofa beds, futons
  –   Garden furniture that is suitable for use in a dwelling
  –   Scatter cushions, scat pads & pillows
  –   Loose & stretch covers for furniture
• All new furniture (except for mattresses, bed
  bases, loose & stretch covers) manufactured
  since 1988 has been required to carry a
  permanent label providing information about its
  fire retarding properties
                                Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
    Fire Safety & Furnishings
• These regulations do not apply to:
  – Sleeping bags
  – Loose covers for mattresses
  – Pillowcases
  – Curtains
  – Carpets
  – Furniture manufactured before 1950



                        Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
Energy Performance
    Certificates
   1st October 2008




           Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
            What is an EPC?
• Shows Energy Efficiency & Environmental
  Impact Ratings on a scale of A – G (like
  domestic white goods)
• A = most energy efficient with lowest CO2
  emissions, G = least
• Includes recommendations which lists cost
  effective measures to improve energy ratings
  (no obligation for the Landlord to carry out any
  measures)
• Theory = Potential Tenant can see just how
  much it is likely to cost to heat and run a house
  for a year
                           Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
             What is an EPC?
• By 1st October, residential property MUST have a valid
  EPC when it is let
• Must be carried out by an Accredited Domestic Energy
  Assessor – list of accredited assessors at
  http://www.hcrregister.com
• Registered EPCs are held on a central register – access
  to register via the above site so long as you have the
  registration number of the EPC
• Access to register also available to the accreditation
  scheme responsible for the particular EPC, the
  enforcement authorities and, on an anonymised basis,
  the DCLG
• Valid for 10 years
• Subsequent changes to property that affect energy
  efficiency, new EPC required prior to a new letting
                             Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
What does an EPC look like?




             Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
EPC Graph




    Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
         Legal Requirement
•   If a Tenant is in place on 1st October
    2008, the Landlord does NOT need an
    EPC
•   If the Landlord lets to a new Tenant after
    1st October 2008, the Landlord must
    have an EPC at the time s/he market the
    property to potential Tenants
•   When any Tenant moves in they must be
    given a copy (photocopy is ok). In an
    HMO, each Tenant will need a copy
                        Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
          Legal Requirement
•   An EPC must be provided (free of charge) to a
    potential Tenant or Buyer no later than:
     1) When any written information about the building
        is provided in response to a request for
        information, or
     2) When a viewing is conducted
     3) If neither of these occur, before entering into a
        contract to let
•   If a property contains “self-contained units”,
    then each unit requires a separate EPC + one
    for the property overall
                             Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
        „Self Contained Unit‟
• Self Contained Unit = does not share
  essential facilities such as a
  bathroom/shower room, wc or kitchen with
  any other unit, and that it has its own
  entrance, either from outside or through
  common parts, that is not through another
  dwelling


                      Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
   Houses in Multiple Occupation
             (HMOs)
• If Tenants are on individual tenancy
  agreements (i.e. their agreement is just for
  their bedroom), an EPC is not required
• If a group of Tenants are on one Tenancy
  Agreement (i.e. joint & severally liable)
  then an EPC is required for the property



                       Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
          Legal Requirement
•   An EPC does not have to be made
    available if:
     1) The Landlord believes that the prospective
        Tenant is unlikely to have sufficient funds to rent
        the property, or
     2) Is not genuinely interested in the renting that type
        of property, or
     3) The Landlord is unlikely to be prepared to rent
        out the property to the prospective Tenant
        although this does not authorise unlawful
        discrimination


                             Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
              Enforcement
• Action by Trading Standards & the Office
  of Fair Trading
• Penalty for not having an EPC when
  selling or letting a home = £200 (+ cost of
  getting an EPC)
• Repeat offenders may be charged more
  than once


                       Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
       Contact Details
    Inside Housing Solutions Ltd
      South Barn, Cowix Farm
             Capel Road
               Rusper
      West Sussex RH12 4PY
           (01293) 871107
george@insidehousingsolutions.com
 mike@insidehousingsolutions.com

                 Inside Housing Solutions Ltd

				
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