Here we are at the end of another year – and the pandemic is still with us. Last year we sort of hoped it would be gone by now.
Still, we are still here, the Landlord Law Blog is still here, and this is our Christmas roundup of some of the best posts of the year.
Something for you to read during our annual break!
We firstly looked at scams that landlords may come into contact with and tips on how to deal with them.
Since it was the start of the new year, we discussed how landlords should carry out EICR and gas inspections, while under lockdown rules.
Finally, in this month we had a post from Robin Stewart, who is a senior associate at Anthony Gold, where he discussed the tenants fees act in and whether landlords could charge payment for a change of tenant.
February was the month in which we started our free webinars for landlords. We published 10 webinars, all of which can be found on a playlist on our YouTube site here.
I made it absolutely clear that the law has NOT been changed to allow tenants to keep pets, and there was a blog post on how to correctly format prescribed information form signatures.
Finally, we also looked at what rights a landlord has if there is no tenancy agreement.
We had a post on energy efficiency and property condition in a blog article where we discussed changes to the regulation which would help landlords.
Finally, we had a blog clinic post questioning if a deposit is a legal requirement.
In April we held our last lockdown learning webinar with David Cox of Rightmove, where we discuss the lasting impact of the covid pandemic on letting agents.
We had two important blog clinic posts: One concerned redress from a letting agent who made a mistake in a tenancy agreement while the other was a legality question on whether it was legal for a landlord to rely on ’24 hour’ inspection notices if they don’t actually give any date or time?
In addition, we wrote about the Government’s proposal into energy efficiency and how it will affect landlords. Which we look at again later in the year.
In May we discussed the different assistance and support that the Welsh Government was offering landlords and tenants in the wake of the pandemic and had a post on why it is always a good idea to explain your tenancy agreements to your tenants.
I explained why I was totally fed up with the new section 8 notice. Could this be why the notices were dramatically simplified later in the year??
We also had a blog clinic post on whether a tenant could move back in after already moving out
June was the month of the Rakusen v Jepsen Case. This set a precedent that tenants can claim an RRO against their superior landlord although the decision has since been overturned on appeal. We previewed the case before the court of appeal here.
I took a look at ethical issues on the end of the eviction ban and whether landlords or tenants were the losers.
In the blog clinic, we had a question on an anti-social lodger and what counts as a tenancy or a license.
We recorded and started our vlog series where my assistant Mark and I discuss various issues within the PRS. We look first at Deposit Replacement Schemes.
We review a report from Julie Rugg and Alison Wallace on why landlords either avoid or target the lower end of the lettings market? and I answer a commonly asked question on whether tenants get special rights if they live in their rented property a long time. I also discuss a new case on disorganised comings and goings by tenants.
You can read about our a tenants in arrears kit on how landlords can source grant aid for tenants in arrears.
Finally, in a blog clinic post, we discussed a case regarding disorganised comings and goings and what happens to deposits in these situations.
In August, we had the update of the right to rent checks concerning EU/EEA/Swiss nationals with EU settlement scheme closing.
We ran a webinar where solicitor David Smith discusses the breathing space regulations and a significant case here.
The Government released their report on housing conditions within the PRS which we report on here
Finally, we discussed when tenancy guarantees end as well as a blog clinic post on if a landlord can claim losses against an incompetent letting agent.
I set out a plan for landlords needing to improve the carbon footprint of their properties, discuss various green issues and also ‘green clauses’ within tenancy agreements from the Chancery Lane Project.
Barrister Justin Bates discussed the Rakusen v. Jepson case with me and you can watch the recording here.
We also had a Vlog post about what tenants should do if they move into a dirty or unclean property.
In October, we started our Green Improvement Support posts where we go through each local authority and identify grants, funding or advice available for landlords looking to make their properties more energy-efficient.
A blog clinic post looked at whether if a landlord need to re-protect his deposit if a renewal agreement is now in place which is different to the previous agreement.
In November, all the English extension of notice periods had ended the previous month, but Wales had extended theirs to the end of the year.
We had a blog clinic question from a landlord who had used the wrong tenancy agreement and considered whether it is better when taking on a new tenant to ask for six months rent in advance or a guarantor?
In December, we published our two-part series on rent control (part one here). Robin Stewart and Nikki Basin considered the case of Global 100 Ltd v Laleva and we reviewed the National Audit Office report on the reforms of the PRS.
I gave some advice to landlords and tenants caught up in the Purple Bricks scandal (they had it seemed failed to protect deposits) and looked at ground 2 notices for mortgages that postdate the tenancy.
Finally, we looked at the rules for residential landlords when it comes to tenancy deposit protection
So there you are. In a year dominated by changing covid notice periods and eviction bans, there was also much to debate and some interesting reports published regarding the future of the private rented sector.
This blog will close down now until early January.
So have a great holiday (or as good as you can) and we will see you in the New Year.
Tessa and Mark