Renting Homes: The Final Report / Draft Bill

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    Renting Homes: The Final Report / Draft Bill

    Originally Posted by Tenantzone
    It looks like the law may be changing on this:

    http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/docs/lc297_summary.pdf

    See page 6, section 1.34

    (This link is thanks to posters on MoneySavingExpert.com. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to link to the thread, but it's on the renting board and the thread is called "Section 21").



    Dear Tenantzone & all other interested parties!

    I spoke with Phil Woolas yesterday (my local MP & also Minister for Local Government) and enquired about the draft bill that the above report summary refers to (Renting Homes: The Final Report Volume 2: Draft Bill). He has today informed me of the following:

    "The Bill has not been taken up - its with the DCA and they have not
    proposed as yet any legislation."


    So any Landlords out there holding their breath waiting for the laws to change into a more level playing field might want to exhale and take a deeper breath!!!

    Phil has said he will speak to the Housing Minister and I'm sure will we all be awaiting the response with baited breath!


    Whilst I have the attention of the MP on this matter I again urge any landlords out there who wish to share their bad luck stories (re landlording) to mail me in order that I pass them on to Phil along with my own!

    Kind Regards

    J



    #2
    Thanks for the link Joanne

    The proposals for "use it or lose it" giving a six month shelf life for a Notice Requiring Possession seem fair

    Great to read that the procedures to deal with abandonment are to be brought in line with Scotland,
    Vic - wicked landlord
    Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
    Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

    Comment


      #3
      Don't get your hopes up!

      Originally posted by Worldlife View Post
      Thanks for the link Joanne

      The proposals for "use it or lose it" giving a six month shelf life for a Notice Requiring Possession seem fair

      Great to read that the procedures to deal with abandonment are to be brought in line with Scotland,
      Don't be getting your hopes up too quickly Worldlife! Like I said - the draft bill going nowhere at the moment! Chances are it's just sitting on a shelf collecting dust!!!

      Though I do agree that not having to go through the court process in the case of abandonement would certainly be a welcome improvement (should it ever get through legislation....).

      Another improvement would be in the arena of the serving of a notice seeking possession being reduced to just one month from the date of notice! That would remove a lot of confusion re the dating of notices don't you think? In fact, I would go so far as to say it would rid the need for half the enquiries put to the forum!!!

      J

      PS. Don't think RuthLess is going to be too happy at only getting one month's notice! No offence intended RuthLess - just my attempt at a bit of humour....

      Comment


        #4
        In fact, I don't think too many tenants will be happy at the prospect of not having the security of at least a six month tenancy either....

        If I am reading the information correctly then the proposed replacement of all tenancy types with just the 'secure contract' and the 'standard contract' would actually mean that a tenant could move in one day and be given a month's notice the next day.... (see 1.4 (2) on page 1) though I'm sure I must be missing something somewhere.... I mean that would be so much more in the favour of Landlords it can't possibly be right.....

        J
        Last edited by Joannepowell; 12-02-2007, 15:23 PM. Reason: typo

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Joannepowell View Post
          In fact, I don't think too many tenants will be happy at the prospect of not having the security of at least a six month tenancy either....

          If I am reading the information correctly then the proposed replacement of all tenancy types with just the 'secure contract' and the 'standard contract' would actually mean that a tenant could move in one day and be given a month's notice the next day.... (see 1.4 (2) on page 1) though I'm sure I must be missing something somewhere.... I mean that would be so much more in the favour of Landlords it can't possibly be right.....

          J
          The way I'm reading it (and I'm usually completely befuddled by anything remotely legalese) is that a fixed (let's say six month) term still stands, but the s21 can expire sooner where the fixed term is shorter than 6 months or where there is no fixed term.

          But could be totally wrong.
          Last edited by lorenzo; 12-02-2007, 15:54 PM. Reason: grammar
          Now signature free.

          Comment


            #6
            In principle, why shouldn't a tenant who takes up a one-month let have to leave when it expires? That should be true of any letting for any length.
            If only everyone did what he or she is required to do, whether by contract or law or both, most of this legislation - and most of all legislation, in fact - would be superfluous.
            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

            Comment


              #7
              Jeffrey - I agree with you. If a tenant takes up a one-month let then they should morally (& contractually) leave when it's expires. However, at present they would not be ordered to leave by the court until after 6mths had lapsed. The standard cotract would certainly be a bonus to landlords who deal in short-term lets because the duration of the occupation will be detemined by the contract (as it should be).

              What the report states is (and I quote)

              "A key difference between the contract and existing assured shortolds is is that the standard contract is not subject to the 'moratorium' - that is, the rule that stops a court ordering possession before the end of the first six months of an assured shorthold."

              That has got to be good news for landlords.

              J

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Joannepowell View Post
                Jeffrey - I agree with you. If a tenant takes up a one-month let then they should morally (& contractually) leave when it's expires. However, at present they would not be ordered to leave by the court until after 6mths had lapsed. The standard cotract would certainly be a bonus to landlords who deal in short-term lets because the duration of the occupation will be detemined by the contract (as it should be).

                What the report states is (and I quote)

                "A key difference between the contract and existing assured shortolds is is that the standard contract is not subject to the 'moratorium' - that is, the rule that stops a court ordering possession before the end of the first six months of an assured shorthold."

                That has got to be good news for landlords.

                J
                Great minds thinking alike, obviously.
                Not too happy with simplistic terminology in Bill, though.
                JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Why would that be Jeffrey? I'm all for 'plain English'....

                  J

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Joannepowell View Post
                    Why would that be Jeffrey? I'm all for 'plain English'....

                    J
                    Because (a) it's misleading and (b) it's inconsistent with existing word usages.

                    Take "overriding" for example. It has specific meaning in land law, esp. Land Registration Act/Rules. Yet, when Parliament enacted sections 19 and 20 of the Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995, it misused the word to mean "reversionary" in giving an original lessee the right to a mesne lease (slotted-in between freeholder and that lessee's defaulting successor) if the original lessee had to pay to the freeholder amounts properly payable by that successor.

                    The new Bill aims at simple statutory text (good) but without regard to the prior provisions (bad).
                    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Don't forget that is just a draft bill at this stage Jeffrey and that no legislation has been proposed as yet. One would expect proposed legislation relating to the bill to have regard for the prior provisions. Or am I being naive on that presumption?

                      Have you had time to look at the draft bill yet? Not managed to read it all yet (140+ pages) because it is sending me dizzy! It might be easier to print it off I suppose but what a waste of ink if the bill isn't going to go anywhere.....

                      But if it does go somewhere - just as we all get accustomed to the section 8 and 21's we could be thrown into disarray with the new sections!!!

                      J

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Now isn't this interesting- several different interpretations from a "simplified" law ?

                        Just from reading the proposals, I certainly took it to mean that the minimum 6 months is proposed for the chop. However, the "no fault" notice still seemed to require 2 months notice. (Though not the current garbage of having to expire on a rent day?) Does the actual draft reduce that 2 month no fault notice to 1 month?

                        Sensible to bring in the time limit on enforcing notices. Sadly no speeding up of rent arrears cases to balance this, although the proposal did say that "discretionary" might become less random with more guidance to the court. Do you think in practice it would improve rent arrears situations?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Miffy - I knew I was missing something. You are right about the two months notice in the instance of 'no fault' notices! It's one month's notice for possession on the ground of breached contract; and possession proceedings can be instigated immediately upon serving notice in the case of 'prohibited behaviour' breach.

                          It's also worth noting the proposal that "the inability of a private landlord to obtain a possession order from the court on this notice-only ground for the first six months of an assured shorthold teanancy is removed."

                          I guess there's a few landlords out there who will also welcome the new power (if ever realised) of the court to grant an injunction to prohibit breaches or threatened breaches of the 'prohibited behaviour' clause.

                          Regards

                          J

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Latest Update

                            Dear all

                            The draft bill is sat on a shelf in the Department of Constitutional Affairs. Collecting dust apparently!

                            Might I suggest that members contact their local MP's and request that the document be dusted down and looked at properly with a view to changing current legislation! Phil Woolas says it's with Charlie Falconer.

                            The consultation for this document started in 2003 and yet we are no further forward regards getting new legislation to level the playing field between tenant and landlord.

                            This will be a wasted opportunity if we don't do something about it. Phil has told me not to hold my breath but the more members who give their MP's grief the more likely they are to dust the document down and have another look at it!!!

                            Kind Regards

                            J

                            Comment

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