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  1. J

    The 2017 Spring Budget

    ...will be on Wednesday 8 March. In future, the Budget will be every autumn- so there'll be another this year, replacing the Autumn Financial Statement. But the tax year will still begin on 6 April annually.
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    The Autumn Financial Statement 2016

    ...will be on Wednesday 23 November. It might be the last, given that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is considering reversion to having just the Budget Statement each Spring. But, for now at least, keep an eye on what might be announced- maybe simplified SDLT rules?
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    Types of lettings- some basic definitions

    Here's an aide-memoire re correct definitions re residential lettings and the Acts which create the varying types. RENT ACT 1977 s.1: Protected Tenancy= letting of house etc. as separate dwelling. s.2: Statutory Tenancy= what arises as a statutory continuation after Protected expires. NB: not...
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    Budget changes- SDLT etc.

    As usual, no journalists correctly report that the Budget changes relate to Stamp Duty Land Tax. Stamp Duty itself is virtually unchanged, and the SD rate of 0.5% is too. For SDLT itself, however, rely not on journalists but on HMRC. See the accurate details only at...
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    AST deposit protection rules to change (again!)

    The Deregulation Bill currently before Parliament will- if enacted change the rules. Aren't they sufficiently complex for you? Clearly they're not: hence yet more amendments to amendments. For the Bill's wording as it stands at present, see clauses 30-41...
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    HMLR 'Property Alert' scheme (free!)

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/property-alert-service-proves-popular-in-the-fight-against-property-fraud sets-out details of a relatively new method by which a registered proprietor can keep tabs on ownership. HMLR will notify the proprietor on receiving any application, e.g. for a...
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    Code of Practice- "Right To Rent" checks

    HMG has just published this guidance- see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-rent-landlords-code-of-practice It deals with "illegal immigrants and private rented accommodation", introducing a civil penalty scheme for landlords and their agents.
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    Take care when making online bank payments (CHAPS/BACS)

    The Court of Appeal case report concerns Tidal Energy Ltd. v. Bank of Scotland plc. It is at http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2014/1107.html&query=title+%28+tidal+%29+and+title+%28+energy+%29&method=Boolean. It shows that just one element of what the payer tells...
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    Questions 7a and 7b on application form N5B

    I've received this question from a landlord seeking possession. As I don't handle litigation, can you answer it for her? Just before I submit my n5b accelerated possession form please could you clarify what question 7b refers to in regards to whether I received a deposit in form of property...
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    Mobile homes and Park homes- new legislation

    These are now in force, giving such tenants and owners new/more rights: Mobile Homes Act 2013 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2013/14/contents The Mobile Homes (Selling and Gifting) (England) Regulations 2013 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/981/contents/made For a brief BBC...
  11. J

    Service charge on flats- s.21 of Landlord and Tenant Act 1985

    This section is A Mess. It's been amended seven times in 25yrs., amendments in 2002 and 2008 have not been implemented (I'm told that they never will be), and even http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/Home.as...v.uk/Home.aspx (the official UK Law Statute Database website) shows the wrong version! So...
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    Should letting agents have to be covered by an Ombudsman?

    Parliament is to debate this, in a couple of days: see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22095712
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    Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013

    1. See http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2013/3/enacted for this new Act, likely to come into force in the summer. 2. It creates a new criminal offence of unlawful sub-letting. 3. It can apply whether T has: a. a secure tenancy [Housing Act 1985]; or b. an AST/SAT [Housing Act 1988]...
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    Deed of Guarantee- the basics

    1. Assume that L is letting to T. 2. G agrees to be T's guarantor. 3. L should then make G execute a formal Deed of Guarantee. 4. This is: a. a separate document, made between L and G (no, not T); b. drawn as a Deed (= states expressly that it is a Deed, executed as such); c. signed by G (no...
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    What different types of residential lettings exist?

    There are various types, many of which can no longer be created, so this is an aide-memoire summarising them and the shorthand names used. It's always better to focus on the Act under which the letting arises. LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT 1954 Part I The lettings under this Part are seldom...
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    Using s.8 of Housing Act 1988- grounds 8/10/11 (Rent)

    When lodging any s.8 Notice, L needs to ensure that it meets all statutory requirements. For instance, it must: a. list the ground(s) on which L is to rely; b. set-out the text of the ground(s) IN FULL; and c. state explicitly what T has done (or omitted to do) that is in breach. So a...
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    Selling a property subject to an existing letting

    1. The owner (V) can sell it as normal. 2. But clearly any prospective P will have to be told that internal inspection is either not allowed or needs T's advance consent. 3. The sale contract will state that V does not sell with vacant possession but subject to T's tenancy. 4. So that's similar...
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    "Joint and several liability"- the basics

    Start with the fact that 'several' in this sense means 'separate'. If L lets to T1 and T2, and if they're jointly and severally liable, it means (in the context of rent, for example) that: a. T1 is solely liable for the WHOLE rent (not just part of it); b. T2 is solely liable for the WHOLE...
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    If you want to contact me direct

    1. Please telephone me (weekdays 1000-1300 or [not Fridays] 1400-1700hrs.) to discuss. 2. It might be that you decide to instruct me formally, i.e. you wish to become a private client of my firm. In that case, I'll send to you the usual 'new client' letter and initial documentation. 3...
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    County Court- how to regain possession of an AST property

    For reference, here's the official County Court website: https://www.gov.uk/gaining-possession-of-a-privately-rented-property-let-on-an-assured-shorthold-tenancy