Landlords in the County Court Webinar

February 14, 2020

Martyn Ashley-Taylor

Quite a few of  you attended Martyn Ashley-Taylor’s webinar on 11 February, which was (as usual with Martyn) excellent.

Martyn is the head of Ashley Taylor Legal which specilaises in providing advocates for possession hearings and the firm acts in some 30% + of all possession hearings in the country.

So when it comes to dealing with hearings for possession in the County Court Martyn knows what he is talking about!

I was also very interested in his webinar and as a result of what he said, have carried out a number of amendments on the site, including the following.

Updates and amendments to the site

  • Tenancy agreements – I have carried out a few amends to our tenancy agreements (including the changes done for the Welsh agreements discussed here).  Note that we have always had a forfeiture clause!
  • Proof of repair work – I have now added a new section to the Tenancy Management Checklist which includes a letter for you to send to tenants once repair work has been completed, as advised by Martyn
  • The paperwork to be given to advocates at hearings –  I have now added a new section to the Eviction Guide here where I set out Martyn’s guidance on the paperwork to be provided and the order it should be provided in.

Other issues

Martyn reminded us that

  • The MEES regulations requiring and EPC rating E will apply to all properties (unless you have registered an allowable exemption) from 1 April 2020, and
  • The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 will apply to all periodic tenancies (as well as new tenancies created on or after 20 March 2019), and
  • The Tenant Fees legislation (in England) will apply to all tenancies after 1 June 2020, regardless of when they started

So you should not rent out properties unless you are sure that the property is compliant with this legislation.

For example as regards hazards, Martyn mentioned staircases with no banisters and low windows which are just a foot above the floor.

  • Section 21 – Martyn reminded us that you must be really sure before  you issue proceedings based on s21 that none of the pre-requisites apply.  You can check this using the Section 21 Guide.
  • Tenancy Deposits – Martyn warned that Judges will expect the deposit certificate to be served on tenants so our New Tenancy Receipt Form has been amended to include reference to this.

So a very useful talk indeed.  If you are a (business level) member and were unable to attend the live webinar, the recording can now be found here.

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