A rather shorter Newsround than normal today
Extra funding for Councils to enforce EPC compliance
Following on from new standards on 1 June 2020 Councils have been experiencing difficulties in enforcing the rules or are just not bothering.
A recent Freedom of Information request from inews.co.uk had responses from 268 authorities but, only 17 had taken any enforcement action.
However, councils are now able to claim up to £100,000 from central government to help them enforce the rules, and s total of £2m is to be invested in this drive, with councils to be prioritised according to financial need.
Good. About time.
Advice for tenants
This is Generation Rent telling tenants to check eviction paperwork carefully. This is really important as many landlords do make mistakes.
Judges when making possession orders expect landlords to get their paperwork right. It is a very serious thing to evict a tenant (indeed, lifechanging – many tenants who end up on the streets are there for life) and Judges feel that the least landlords can do is present correct paperwork to the court. So if there are errors – the claim will normally be dismissed (and the landlord may have to pay the tenants costs).
Common errors include:
- Failing to deal with tenancy deposits properly
- Failing to serve a Gas Safety Certificate or EPC
- Failing to serve the How to Rent Booklet on tenants
- Using an out of date form (most forms in England were amended with effect from 2 June 2021)
So if you are a landlord the solution is clear – don’t make mistakes! Or better still, get an experienced solicitors firm to act for you who know what they are doing.
Or, even better – don’t issue proceedings at all! Try to resolve the matter in some other way. For example by using mediation or helping the tenant to source additional funding (e.g. by the service provided by Julie Ford).
Mind you, Eddie Hooker in this article made the point that tenants ‘not remembering’ receipt of critical documents does not mean that they did not get them! It may just mean tenants not bothering to read their paperwork properly.
Labour is calling for new laws on sex for rent
This is a proposal for a specific offence of using a landlord and tenant relationship to solicit prostitution. Apparently, although an estimated 30,000 women have been propositioned via online ads on social media and classified listing platforms and even property portals to provide sex in lieu of rent, it took until January of this year for a court case to be brought.
Hopefully, something can be done to stop this repulsive practice.