Legal Cases Round-up – March 2021

March 25, 2021

LegalAs a landlord or letting agent, you may not be aware of the legal cases which impact on your business.

But it is important to know about them.  They perform two important roles:

1. They set precedents on the regulations that govern landlord law

The regulations dictate the law, but the cases show how the regulations will be interpreted by the courts in real life situations.

However, case precedents are not set in stone.  The precise interpretation of the regulations can change depending on each cases’ individual circumstance.

That being said, precedents can often have a persuasive effect and so should be considered as the court’s ‘plan of thinking’

2. Cases can also show current trends in the interpretation of the law

For example, if numerous cases which have similar facts are all held in a similar way, this will show a trend and indicate how a court will likely adjudicate.

Even though many of those cases may not, strictly speaking, set a legal precedent as they will be County Court or Tribunal decisions.

This can be useful for landlords, as if they find themselves in a similar situation to these cases, they can understand what the current legal train of thought is, and what the likely outcome would be if they took legal action.

The Landlord Law Service and the list

While there is a Legal Cases section on Landlord Law where you can find case reports, this post is to bring to your attention several important cases over the past six months.

To find out more about each case, click the link which (if you are a logged in Landlord Law member) will take you to the case report.

  • Plymouth Community Homes Ltd v Christopher Palmer – This case considers whether refusing to allow a tenant to have an ’emotional support animal’ can count as discrimination under the 2010 Equality Act.
  • Ficarra & ORS v James – This case relates to Rent Repayment Order’s and how much a landlord can be charged as a maximum penalty.
  • Rakusen v Jepsen — This case is about who is liable to pay a rent repayment order imposed in respect of an HMO property which was sublet to tenants – should it be the head landlord or the immediate landlord?
  • IR Management Services ltd v Salford City Council This case looks at Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO) and considers whether ignorance of the law and the requirement for landlords to obtain an HMO license can provide a valid defence to the Local Authority’s penalty charge.
  • R v Hackney LBC Agudas Israel Housing association — This case relates to obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and the idea of ‘positive discrimination’ in supporting a group of people with a protected characteristic.
  • Vadamalayan v Stewart & others — This case was an appeal decision relating to a rent repayment order and whether money spent on the property can reduce the fine.
  • Tyler v Paul Carr Estate Agents — This case considers the legality of blanket prohibitions by landlords and letting agents against ‘DSS’ applicants.
  • Awad v. Hooley – this case shows that tenants cannot claim large sums under Rent Repayment Orders where they are themselves in arrears of rent 

No doubt there will be more cases coming from the courts over the coming months.  You can keep up with the new case reports via our New Content page.

Recent Legal Cases on #landlordlaw

Not a Landlord Law member?  Find out more here.
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