As the year is coming to an end, here is a selection some of my favourite posts from each month on the Landlord Law Blog
My main story in January is the decision of TDS (the tenancy deposit scheme run by the Dispute Service) to withdraw membership from agents who are not regulated, for example by ARLA, RICS or NALS. This is followed by a statement from My Deposits saying that their service was open to all agents, regulated or not. I write a piece on drug factories in rented properties , a topic which I have noticed has been in the news on and off all year.
January is also the month I purchased my MacBook (which I am writing this on now) – I can’t believe it is nearly a year since I bought it.
The Charity of the month is Centrepoint.
In February I report on a case which raised the worrying possibility that Judges might consider an extra months rent paid in advance instead of a deposit as being a deposit in all but name and subject to the regulations.
The Charity of the month is Unlock Democracy.
March features a post on complaints about the DPS, in particular the problem that people aggrieved about inadequacies in arbitrations do not appear to have any recourse. In the comments, Francis Davy suggests people might consider the Arbitration Act, and there are some interesting comments following this.
I report on a campaign for tenants the forgotten victims of repossession, supported by the Citizens Advice Bureau, and give some advice for tenants in this context. I also attended the Landlord and Buy to Let Show in London.
The Charity of the month is Comic Relief.
In April I warn about the increased use of set off by banks, there was an new case about tenancy deposits paid before 7 April 2007, and a few posts on Foxtons of which my favourite is Foxtons on twitter.
I am informed by a client of a new interpretation of the tenancy deposit regulations, found on a consumer discussion forum, and Foxtons lose on a preliminary point in their case at the Court of Appeal.
The Charity of the month is the National Trust.
I also report on Richard Susskind querying the end of Lawyers, we learn of landlords being out of pocket in the insurance based tenancy deposit schemes, and everyone will remember Joanna Lumley’s victory over the government on behalf of the Ghurkas.
The Charity of the month is Starlight childrens foundation.
In June we learn of a fake tenancy deposit company, I discuss lettings to tenants with pets based on a report from the Dogs Trust, and write of my disgust at the governments treatment of North Norwich MP Dr Ian Gibson.
We also learned that the FSA are to regulate sale and rentbacks of properties, I do a review of five other housing/landlord and tenant law blogs, and the Night Jack blog falls silent.
The Charity of the month is the Woodland Trust.
In July the decision is published in the OFT v. Foxtons case which is in favour of the OFT. I then learn, via the 4Walls Tribes forum of the shocking behaviour of some agents in order to get more commission, and write a bit about the fiduciary duties of agents. I also give some general guidance for landlords on choosing tenancy agreements.
A report about the difficulties for people from non privileged backgrounds promots me to write an article on becoming a lawyer.
The Charity of the month is McMillan Cancer support.
In August I find an interesting article in the New Law Journal on a tenancy deposit case of Jacklin v Fraser Property Management Ltd and give my three top tips for landlords to protect themselves against their agents going bust.
A post about defences to possession proceedings (spurious or otherwise) brought forth some interesting comments from readers, and we have an excellent guest post, Twist stick or bust from solicitor Paul Hajek.
The charity of the month is the Dogs Trust.
In September I take a look at the TDS annual report, and write an article about fraudsters targetting student tenants. A reader writes to me about the DPS not returning her deposit after she had obtained a CCJ.
The Charity of the month is Liberty.
I report on a talk by Professor Martin Partington on the future of the private rented sector, give advice to tenants on how to protect themselves against rogue landlords, and give four tips for landlords on HMO and HHRS taken from a talk from David Smith of PainSmith solicitors.
The Charity of the month is Medicins Sans Frontieres.
In November I cover a DPS report that over 8,000 tenants fail to claim their deposits, and a report of an tenancy deposit decision of District Judge Burn in the case of Da Cosat v. Pinter. Surprisingly (or perhaps not, considering the economic conditions) the OFT v. Banks case is decided in favour of the banks.
This blog is launched in a new format (with all the old posts copied over), I develop a toolbar for my Landlord Law service, and we have a great guest blog from Roberta Ward on the tax man in pursuit of landlords.
The Charity of the month is the Sherbet Foundation set up by enforcement company Shergroup.
In December the DWP publish a report and consultation paper on housing benefit and local housing allowance (deadline for responses is 22 February). The TDS state that they will be increasing their charges next year, a private members bill is proposed to help tenants threatened with eviction by their landlords mortgage company, and I discuss an ancient law which could help landlords whose tenants fail to vacate after serving a notice to quit.
I report on my new referral service and the resources page on this blog. Finally, at the very end of the year, we learn that Foxtons are to appeal against the decision in the case brought againsg them by the OFT.
The Charity for the month is Habitat for Humanity
In conclusion – an interesting year with some interesting cases. Dominated, so far as my area of law is concerned, by the Foxtons case on unfair contract terms, and the increasing number of tenancy deposit decisions. Hopefully both of these areas of law should receive some guidance from the Court of Appeal next year which will make life a bit easier for those of us advising.
I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2010.