I am very excited to announce that the first part of our new course, Managing Your Rented Property within the Law, has now been made live. So if you are signed up for the course – what will you get in Part 1?
The purpose of Part 1 is to give people the legal background to allow them to properly understand and work with the rest of the course.
Basically its all about the law.
Under our system you are supposed to know the law, and in most cases ignorance of the law is no defence. But law is not normally taught in schools so unless you study law in further education, chances are that you are a bit vague about it all.
Most people tend to think that ‘the law’ is all about acts of Parliament. However much of our law is contained in the myriad of cases that have built up over hundreds of years.
So Part 1 explains how the ‘common law’ works, plus we have a specially recorded interview with Housing Barrister and Deputy District Judge Robert Brown where he looks at a selection of important housing law cases.
Thats not to say that statute law is not important! So we look at that too and discuss how it is made.
The statute section also features an interview with solicitor Giles Peaker who explains how he, along with Karen Buck MP and barrister Justin Bates, managed to get a private members bill, The Homes (Fitness for Habitation) Act, onto the statute book.
There is also a section on housing law in Wales where we explain why it is sometimes different and look at three important Welsh statutes.
We then have a fairly short section looking at the various people you will meet in solicitors offices and the courts.
This is followed by an important section where we look at the difference between the civil and criminal law, followed by a discussion of the various penalties (civil and criminal) that you can face as a landlord (and also if you are a letting agent).
Forewarned is forearmed!
Hopefully you will never have to go to court. However even so, it is a good idea to know about the different courts and what they do.
This is all explained by Robert Brown in the second of our recorded interviews with him where he discusses the different courts and the types of case they deal with.
In our preliminary survey, people seemed surprisingly keen to know about the different areas of law, so I have a section where all the areas of law landlords are likely to come across are listed with a brief description – and some comments on how these affect particular issues, such minors signing up to tenancies, shared properties and amending tenancies.
We finish Part 1 with an introductory look at tenancies.
I know that some of you like listening to audios and so all the text has been recorded to you can download the audios files and listen to each of the lessons, together with the audios of the various videos, in your car, or while out walking the dog. Or you can click an audio player when reading the lessons so you can listen while you read.
I also know that some of you prefer to read course material in a printed format rather than on screen. The course creation software allows us to export the content as a pdf so we have done this also for you.
The videos and interactive diagrams will just appear as pictures though so to view these and the exercises properly you will need to use the online versions.
Its always quite fun to have a test and this can also help consolidate your learning.
The course creation software provides several ‘knowledge check’ formats, such as sorting lists of items into the right categories, matching items, multiple choice questions and the ‘scenarios’.
Scenarios are where our ‘cyber characters’ – Larry the Council Officer and Christie the trainer – question you about the lesson and you can see their responses to the various answers (you can meet Larry the Council Officer in the free HMO 101 course).
People who have bought the CPD version of the course will also get access to a more formal CPD questionnaire where if you get 60% correct you can download a certificate – but this is not yet online.
Hopefully some of you will be inspired to take things further. If so, we have persuaded the Legal Action Group (LAG) to allow course students to buy five of their top legal text books at a 20% discount.
These can be found in the course bookshop linked from the main course dashboard page.
Part 1 is designed to give you the legal background to help you properly understand the rest of the course – and landlord and tenant law generally. So even though you may have zero knowledge of the English legal system – this will not matter. Part 1 should give you all you need.
But Part 1 is of course only the first part! There are four more parts of this course due to be released over the next couple of months, looking at the Property Condition, Tenancy Agreements, Setting up a Tenancy and Ending Tenancies.
Although the first part of the course is now live – it is not too late to sign up – at the moment. It is not a cheap course but you can pay in stages making it more affordable.