Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Campaign wins in Liverpool

Hi Tom

Thank you. Back in April, you - and more than 2,000 other Shelter supporters - joined our campaign against Liverpool's rotten homes.

You visited our spoof lettings agents on Lord Street and signed our petition, demanding Liverpool's first-ever elected Mayor put rogue landlords at the top of the city's agenda.

Thanks to you, Mayor Joe Anderson has pledged to:

Create a Rogue Landlords Hit Squad to seek out and investigate poor landlords and take appropriate action.

Adopt a Liverpool Standard for private rented housing in the city, which will include minimum standards based on the Decent Homes Standard and tenancy management best practice.

Re-launch the Landlord Accreditation Scheme, with a 'scores on the doors' service to recognise good landlords.

Set up a confidential freephone line where people can report unregistered or poor quality landlords, to trigger an investigation from the enforcement team.

Read the Mayor's action plan 

This is a great result - it will help hundreds of families in Liverpool suffering at the hands of rogue landlords. And shows that together, we really can make a difference.

Thank you,

Lotte and the Shelter campaigns team

PS - Want to help stamp out rogue landlords everywhere? Join our national Evict Rogue Landlords campaign

Follow Shelter online:

  Facebook Twitter YouTube
Please remember to add to your email white list/address book so that Shelter emails are not placed in your junk mailbox.
Need help from Shelter or do you know someone who does? Get help and advice.
Your supporter number: 10798063
We hope you would like to continue receiving Shelter emails. However, if you'd like to remove yourself from our mailing list you can change your preferences.
Supporter helpdesk: 0300 330 1234 | 88 Old Street London EC1V 9HU |

Charity number 263710 (England & Wales); SC002327 (Scotland)

Saturday, 6 October 2012


Can my rent be increased?

a guide for landlords and tenants

Everything you wanted to know about your home repairs

Tenancy Deposits and the Housing Act 2004

All the information you will need concerning your tenancy deposit.
Small Claims Court

If you have a problem with your landlord and you talk to him without getting your problem solved, then take him before the Small Claims Court.  This is a very informal court and it is design for people who have never been before the courts system before and obviously they are wary of what they should say etc.

Your claim will be dealt with by a judge,  who will lead you into the case by asking you questions.

There is no pressure placed upon you and in a lot of cases the judge will assist you if you get stuck on an issue.  So you don't have to take any nonsense from a rogue landlord.

By the way .....If you appear in person before the court, there are no fees for you to pay if you are on a low income and the Court Office will assist you in this matter. If you file a Money Claim on line then all the fees apply.

Below is a link that may be of assistance to you.

Frequently asked questions;

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Information for those with Debt Problems who are having difficulty paying bills; 

If you haven't paid your Council Tax, the council will make an application for a 'liability order' in the Magistrates Court for arrears of Council Tax

If the court grants the liability order, it will mean the council can:
Use bailiffs to get the money from you (by taking things of value that you own); or
Take money from your wages or benefits.

Are you paying too much?At this stage, it is worth checking whether you could ask for lower Council Tax payments, or whether you should have to pay Council Tax at all (Council Tax exemption). There are different ways you might be able to reduce what you owe. Some examples include:

Claiming backdated Council Tax Benefit for a maximum of 52 weeks if you have been on a low income, and there's been a good reason such as a very serious illness;

Asking for Council Tax discount of 25% if you were the only adult in the house (other than students, full-time carers, severely mentally disabled people and anyone whose main home is elsewhere);

Asking to have your house or flat revalued (if it is revalued into a lower Council Tax band, you will pay less Council Tax);

Not having to pay Council Tax if the house or flat has only students living in it;
Not having to pay Council Tax if the people who live in the house or flat are 'severely mentally disabled'.

There are other circumstances where you may not have to pay or could get payments reduced. Contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau for more about this.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Stopping a Possession & Eviction Order

These are the events that stop any Landlord from claiming  his property back from a sitting tenant.

1.    The tenant must be more than 2 months in arrears with rent         payments or constantly late paying the rent.If not then the landlord cannot serve a Section 8 notice for possession of the premises.

2.    The landlord must have protected the tenants deposit within 30 days of payment by placing it with any one of the three government deposit protection schemes (DPS). The law states that it must be within 30 days and not a day longer. The Landlord cannot serve you with a Section 21 notice if he hasn't protected your deposit or provided you with the prescribed information package.

3.     The Landlord must serve the tenant with the prescribed documentation package relating to information concerning the deposit paid and the tenants rights pursuant to the requirements of the DPS.

4.      The Landlord must have acted within the law at all times when requesting that a Possession Order be made by the Court.

5.      The Landlord must serve the tenant with all required notices.

6.      All notices must be made by the Landlord and not by any third party, agent etc.

7.      The Landlord must serve all notices in the correct format and within the prescribed period of time.

If any of the above paragraphs are not adhered to by the Landlord then the Court may not grant an Order for Possession. So make sure that all of the above have or have not taken place. 

This deals with the requirements of the 

Deposit Protection Scheme

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Unlawful Harassment of Debtors

Unclean Hands Doctrine

The centuries-old foundation of Canadian (English) law is that a court cannot grant standing in a civil action to a claimant who has committed an unlawful act in respect of that action

Deposit or Bond

Within 30 days of receiving a deposit the Landlord or Agent 
must lodge the deposit in a scheme or insure it. This does not mean 31 days it means 30 days. Some landlords were holding on to the deposit until just before the tenant took them to Court and then paying it in to the protection fund.  That has all been stopped and now 30 days means 30 days.

They must also give the tenant and any other person/entity 
who provided the deposit, details about how their deposit 
is protected including:
The contact details of the tenancy deposit scheme selected. 
Provide the prescribed information and schemes' conditions 
to the tenant and other person(s) who may have paid the 
deposit (parent etc).
Details from the scheme of how to apply for the release of the deposit.
Information explaining the purpose of the deposit and 
definition of how such monies would be returned.
What to do if there is a dispute about the deposit.
Penalties for failing to comply

If a Landlord or Agent fails to comply with the deposit legislation 
they maybe ordered to pay the Tenant three times the amount 
of rent paid over the duration of the tenancy, with further 
penalties that may include being unable to serve a 
Section 21 Notice, until the deposit has been protected and 
the prescribed information has been supplied to the 
Tenant and any other relevant person.

Tenancy Deposit Protection is designed to ensure:

Tenants get all or part of their deposit back, when they are entitled to it.
Any disputes between Tenants and Landlords or Agents will be easier to resolve.
Landlords and Letting Agents who do not protect tenancy deposits 
may have to pay their Tenant back three times the deposit.


Rent Arrears Letters

It is only once the Tenant has failed to remedy the situation 
highlighted in your rent arrears letters that can you issue a 
valid legal Section 8 Notice. Should the situation not be remedied 
ONLY then can you proceed with court action.
Where a Tenant is in rent arrears you have a legal obligation to 
provide them and if applicable guarantors, with a statement of 
account. (Section 47 Landlord Tenant Act)
Sending rent arrears letters is a requirement of the civil procedure 
55 this is the Judicial system Judges MUST follow when dealing with 
Tenant eviction.
In Molyneax-Child-v-Coe 1996 at Guildford County Court, a landlord 
who faxed a letter to his tenant at work about rent arrears had to pay 
£750 damages.

Rent Arrears Letters

First rent payment this must comply with Section 47 of 
Landlord Tenant Act
Second letter 3 weeks after first missed payment, a week before 
second month due
Third letter 7 days after second missed payment
Issue a Section 8 Notice for rent arrears
Seven days after the Section 8 Notice has been issued you 
could send this letter Final demand before you make your 
application to the courts
If you apply for possession for rent  arrears civil procedure 
55 means you must send an up to date rent statement within 
seven days - it must be in this layout
Rent Arrears Benefits Tenant 

Rent Arrears - Landlord wants Direct Payment from Council 
Tenant permission to pay housing direct to the landlord
LHA Direct Payment to Landlord or permission discuss claim with council
Rent Arrears Guarantors  New guide

Guarantor Final Warning for Overdue Rent Second Letter
Guarantor Warning Tenant in rent arrears request for Overdue Rent
One would hope that phone calls and sending letters would 
solve the problem but....


Benefits Claimant Council Advice
Tenants who are claiming benefits are more likely to be 
advised to stay put, for they cannot be evicted until the 
Landlord obtains a court order and then appoints a Bailiff.

Nowadays there is a huge amount of resources and services 
that are readily available to tenants. Amongst these are Shelter, 
Legal Aid, Councils themselves, and Citizens Advice that are 
able and willing to assist the tenant’s “plight”. They have staff 
who are familiar with Tenant Landlord Law and will happily 
inform the tenants of their rights. In some cases, eviction is 
further delayed because innocent mistakes the Landlord has 
made are exploited for the tenants' benefit. Sometimes Tenants 
are incited to make accusations – such as the property is in disrepair, 
harassment, non-compliance with deposit protection process etc. 
In such circumstance, evictions may become a complicated court 
case and eviction can be delayed for months In this section we 
include possible steps that you can take to improve your situation 
to resolve rent arrears problems and to achieve a successful eviction.


Arrears Letters Protocol

Civil Procedure 55, These are the rules that a Judge must follow in 
determining if a tenant should be evicted on the grounds of Rent 
arrears. Whilst Ground 8  of the Housing Act is defined as mandatory 
in reality, this is not so as the Judge has discretionary powers to  
grant a suspended possession order

To strengthen our case we MUST provide the Judge with a 
statement of account so they may see firsthand the tenant’s 
conduct of repeated arrears and missed payments.
This must be in a predefined layout Print letter

A statement of account MUST be supplied to the tenant within 7 days 
of making an application for possession for rent arrears.
Claims which may be started using Possession Claims Online


A 'Section 21 Notice to Quit', so called because it operates under 
section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, is the notice a landlord can 
give to a tenant to regain possession of a property at the end 
of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST).  The landlord is able to 
issue the tenant with a section 21 notice without giving any reason 
for ending the tenancy agreement. It cannot be served until after the 
tenancy has commenced and it os good practice not to issue it the 
day the tenancy is created.

A landlord has the legal right to retain possession at the 
end of a tenancy but must follow the correct legal procedure, 
which includes serving a section 21 notice. The Housing Act 
1996 amended the section 21 of the 1988 Act by requiring 
this notice to be given in writing.

Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 is divided into subsections 
with different procedures to be followed depending on whether 
the Section 21 notice is served before the fixed term has come 
to an end or after, when the tenancy has become a periodic tenancy. 

Before the section 21 Notice can be issued the Landlord must 
ensure that the deposit has been administered. Changes brought 
in by the Localism Bill give the landlord 30 days to attend to the 
deposit and to issue the presribed information. Unless this is 
done a Section 21 Notice cannot be enforced.

Under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 as amended by the 
Housing Act 1996, a landlord has a legal right to get his property 
back at the end of an assured shorthold tenancy. 

In order to invoke this right, he is required to follow the correct 
legal procedure which involves serving a section 21 notice to quit 
on the tenant or tenants.  A section 21 notice can be issued at 
any time during the fixed tenancy or during the periodic tenancy 
although different notices will be required depending on whether 
the tenant is in a fixed or periodic tenancy.

If a landlord wishes to regain possession before the end of the 
agreed term, this may be possible if he can show certain conditions 
have been met.  In order to do this he must first issue the tenant 
with a valid section 8 notice to quit.

Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 as amended by the Housing Act 
1996 requires that the landlord provides tenants of an Assured 
Shorthold Tenancy (AST) with a minimum of two months' notice in 
writing, stating that possession of the property is sought.  The two 
months starts when the tenant receives the notice not when the 
notice was written/posted. Please contact us should you have any 
questions relating to the service of the notice.

A Section 21 notice must be served before possession order will be 
issued by a court.  Possession under this section of the Housing Act 
1988 cannot take place during the fixed term of the tenancy, but the 
notice can be served at any time during the fixed term provided the 
tenant is given a minimum of two months' notice.  The tenant is not 
required to give up possession of a property until a minimum of two 
months after the Section 21 notice to quit was served.  This includes 
Section 21 notices served up until the last day of the fixed term.

The provisions in section 21(1)(b) applying to fixed term tenancies state:

"Without prejudice to any right of the landlord under an assured 
shorthold tenancy to recover possession of the dwelling-house let 
on the tenancy in accordance with Chapter I above, on or after the 
coming to an end of an assured shorthold tenancy which was a 
fixed-term tenancy, a court shall make an order for possession of  
the dwelling-house if it is satisfied-

a)  that the assured shorthold tenancy has come to an end and no 
further assured tenancy (whether shorthold or not) is for the time 
being in existence, other than a statutory periodic tenancy: and

b)  the landlord, or in the case of joint landlords, at least one 
of them has given to the tenant not less than two months' 
notice stating that he requires possession of the dwelling-house."

A notice can be issued more than two months before the 
end of a tenancy but it should not be dated to expire on or 
before the last day of the tenancy. For example, if a Section 
21 notice was issued four months before the tenancy was 
due to end, the notice would have to be dated after the last 
day of the fixed term.

If a section 21 notice is issued during the initial fixed term of a 
tenancy to regain possession at the end of the fixed term tenancy, 
then should the landlord decide to grant another fixed term, 
a new section 21 notice would be required to regain possession.

Once the fixed term of the tenancy ends, unless a new fixed 
term is agreed upon a tenancy automatically becomes what 
is called a statutory periodic tenancy which rolls from week 
to week or month to month depending on how often rent is paid.

The procedure for serving notice under section 21 of the 
Housing Act 1988 is slightly different in the case of statutory 
periodic tenancies.

Section 21(4)(a) of the Housing Act 1988 applies to assured 
shorthold tenancies that have become periodic and states:

"Without prejudice to any such right as is referred to in 
subsection (1) above, a court shall make an order for 
possession of a dwelling house let on an assured shorthold 
tenancy which is a periodic tenancy if the court is satisfied-

(a)  that the landlord or, in the case of joint landlords, at least 
one of them has given to the tenant a notice stating that, 
after a date specified in the notice, being the last day of a 
period of the tenancy and not earlier than two months after 
the date the notice was given, possession of the dwelling-house 
is required by virtue of this section; and

(b)  that the date specified in the notice under paragraph 
(a) above is not earlier than the earliest day on which, ........, 
the tenancy could be brought to an end by a notice to quit 
given by the landlord on the same date  as the notice 
under paragraph (a) above "

A Section 21 notice complying with the above section 
should only be given to a tenant whose tenancy has 
become a periodic tenancy as a result of the fixed term 
ending.   In these cases, a minimum of two months' 
notice is required and the day on which the notice 
expires must be the last day of a period of the tenancy. 

The period of a tenancy depends on how often the rent is paid.  
If rent is paid monthly the period of the tenancy is one month, 
if the rent is paid weekly the period of tenancy is one week and 
so forth.  The periodic tenancy begins immediately after the 
fixed term expires, so if the fixed term expires on the 10th 
then the period of the tenancy begins on the 11th, so provided 
rent was paid monthly the last day of each period of tenancy 
would be the 10th of each month. Therefore the Section 21 
notice would have to expire on the 10th of a month and be 
served a minimum of two months before the tenth of that month. 

If the tenant does not leave by the expiry date on the notice 
the landlord will need to apply to the court for a possession order. 
Provided the correct procedure has been followed by the 
landlord issuing the Section 21 notice, the court will have 
no choice but to grant the possession order.

The Court system allows two types of claim to enforce a 
section 21 notice. These are a standard and an accelerated 
process. The accelerated process allows for the claim to 
proceed without the need for a court hearing whilst a 
standard section 21 claim  will require a hearing at the 
County Court in front of the District Judge.

After the court has issued the tenant with the notice to leave, 
if they have still not left within the required period, then a 
landlord can ask county court bailiffs to evict the tenant.

Landlord Assist suggest that you use a firm like ourselves 
for the preparation and service of notices. We are very 
experienced in this and will therefore ensure that the 
documents are correctly drafted, correctly served and 
therefore enforceable.

 A recent report stated that 71% of section 21 
claims were dismissed by the Courts as being defective. 

Deposit Return
Many people have a view on the return of Deposits and 
most are incorrect. 
The return of deposits is governed by Chapter 34 of 
Housing Act 2004. The law is very precise and the deposit 
schemes must comply with the following for that is part 
of the tender process when managing the schemes 
under the licence they operate. 

If you have a deposit as a member you may contact our 
helpline otherwise contact the scheme adminstrator for guidance.

The2004  Housing Act definition of return of deposits Chapter 34 being:  

669.  If at the end of a tenancy both the tenant and the 
landlord notify the scheme  administrator that they have 
agreed that either the whole deposit is to be returned  
to  one  party  or  part  of  the  deposit  returned  to  
both  parties  and  the  scheme  administrator is 
satisfied that such an agreement has been reached, 
the scheme  must  pay  out  the  deposit  monies  
due  to  each  party  in  accordance  with  the  
agreement within 10 days of receiving notification.

670.  Where there has been a dispute over a deposit 
and either the tenant or landlord  notify the scheme 
administrator that a court has reached a final decision 
on how  the deposit is to be returned to the parties, 
(and the scheme administrator is  satisfied that such 
a decision has been reached) the scheme must 
pay out the deposit monies due to each party in 
accordance with the decision within 10 days  
of receiving notification.

671.  Under insurance-based schemes, the landlord 
retains the deposit and repays it to  the tenant  
following agreement between them. Where there is  
a dispute the landlord must transfer the disputed 
amount of the deposit to a designated account.

672.  Where a tenant notifies the scheme administrator 
that they have requested the landlord pay them all or part 
of the deposit and this has not been paid to him within 
10 days of this request being made, the scheme administrator 
must direct  the landlord to pay the outstanding amount 
into a designated account within 10 days of being so directed.

673.  Where either a court decision is made as to how 
much should be returned to  either of  the parties or the 
landlord and tenant has reached a decision (perhaps  
through alternative dispute resolution), the scheme 
administrator must pay this  amount to the relevant party or 
parties.  This payment should be made within 10  days 
of receiving notification that a decision has been made.

674.  This  payment  should  be  made  out  of  the  amount  
held  by  the  scheme  administrator, which has been 
transferred by the landlord as directed. Where the  
amount to be paid out is less than the amount held, 
the scheme administrator  must return the balance 
to the landlord.  Where the amount to be paid out is 
more  than the amount held, the scheme administrator 
must direct the landlord to pay  him the difference within 
10 days.  However, the scheme administrator must still  
make the payment within 10 days of receiving notification 
that a decision has  been made, to prevent the tenant 
from being disadvantaged by the landlord's  failure to 
transfer the outstanding amount to the scheme administrator.

675.  Schemes must ensure that the scheme administrator 
establishes and maintains  adequate insurance coverage 
to allow for the scheme to make such payments  where  a  
landlord  fails  to  reimburse  the  scheme.  A  scheme  may  
require  participating  landlords  to  pay  contributions  towards  
this  or  charge  any  other  administrative fees.


Deposit Information to be supplied to the tenant

The Deposit Schemes clearly state in their T&C that they do 
NOT issue all the required Prescribed Information and 
reiterate it is the Landlords responsibility to comply see 
notes below. All the Tenant has to do to nullify a claim for 
possession and seek compensation is claim that they never 
received the deposit information (see Question 8 of the 
Tenant Defence Form this rebukes Question Section 7 
[compliance with Deposit Legislation] court form application 
for possession form )
The Landlord or person deemed to be holding the Deposit 
must now comply or be fined. Legislation revised 2012

Protect such deposit within 30 days.
Ensure the Tenant and any other person who provided 
such deposit is given the following and prescribed information 
within 30 days. This should be localised to the Tenancy 
Agreement, The deposit Schemes do not offer such
Failure to comply means an application for possession 
using the Section 21 Process, will be denied and you 
will be ordered to return the Deposit to the Tenant and 
pay the Tenant one to three times the deposit amount 
in compensation 

Prescribed Information & Tenancy Agreement

The easiest way to avoid a Tenant claiming compensation 
because they claim they never received their Deposit information 
is by asking them to sign for it when you issue the 
Tenancy Agreement - as below **

 Included with the Members Tenancy Agreement 
[automatically personalised]
 Included with Non Members Tenancy Agreement
 Included as part of the Tenancy Starter Pack
If not using PIMS Tenancy Agreement - Prescribed Information form
If merging your tenancy agreement in the members' area 
the prescribed information is produced along with your 
Tenancy Agreement
In addition to the Prescribed information the Landlord 
or Agent must also supply the following Leaflets for a legal requirement **

Additional Information
Insurance Based Scheme
Custodial Scheme
Leaflet Scheme Rules
A Guide to Deposit Disputes
Deposit Protection Certificate to the Tenant.
The Insurance scheme does not supply any information 
to the Tenant. The landlords/Agent responsible for printing 
and giving to the Tenant.
DPS post a copy of the Deposit Protection Certificate to the Tenant
What the Deposit Schemes say about supplying Prescribed Information

The Landlord MUST issue the prescribed Information otherwise 
invalidate their right to claim possession of their property using the Section 21 Notice 
Section C Note 2 : The Scheme is NOT responsible for providing 
the Prescribed Information to the Tenant. Please see the reverse 
side of the DPC included as Appendix 4 to these Scheme 
Rules where we explain which areas of the Prescribed Information are
covered by Scheme documentation and, most importantly, 
which information the Member must provide to the Tenant.
Clause 2D The DPS cannot provide the Prescribed Information 
on behalf of Landlords.
**Obligatory as required by law

The leaflets are to be supplied for a requirement of the prescribed 
information legislation that states "instrument prescribes the 
information that a Landlord must give to such a Tenant" ; 
information contained in a leaflet supplied by the scheme 
administrator to the Landlord which explains the operation 
of the provisions contained in sections 212 to 215 of, and 
Schedule 10 to the Act.


Penalties for failing to protect a deposit and issue 
deposit information

At present, where a Landlord (or their Agent) fails to comply with 
the Deposit Legislation there are distinct penalties.


 Relevant Person

This is somebody or a party that pays or contributes to 
the deposit that is provided in respect of the property. 
Example being A Parent, Council Deposit, a Charity

Such persons MUST be provided with information 
pertaining to where the deposit is protected and their 
contact details specified on the prescribed information.

The deposit MUST be returned to such persons NOT to the Tenant.

Rent in Advance 1 month only

Whilst definitions contained with the Deposit Legislation 
do not give consideration to a Landlords accepting 
rent in advance, contained within the legislation are 
references to Monies/ Deposits and performance obligations.

Some Courts are now questioning whether the rent in 
advance is indeed a performance obligation.

Such as "the rent must always be paid two months in advance
" [this is a performance requirement hence by definition could 
be deemed a deposit]. Whilst one could probably successfully 
argue it is not a Deposit the fact remains, such argument or scrutiny 
may result in a delayed eviction. This is because the Judge requires 
time to decide if there was an expectation of performance then such 
money would be considered a deposit. In this case, a Judge may 
fine the Landlord three times the amount of the deposit for failing 
to protect such monies and invalidate any section 21 Notice relied 
upon. If the case was for rent arrears, then the tenant may try a 
set off claim for compensation. Again, this would result in a 
lengthy delay in the eviction process. 

As always, where there is any doubt it often favours the Tenant 
and serves no value for the Landlord. The surest way of 
proceeding is do not draw reference to rent in advance on 
any tenancy agreement and simply say Rent is Y. Payable 
in advance (which should be no more than the term), so the 
rent monthly payable in advance for the months as agreed, 
or if weekly should be no more than 4 weeks and the deposit 
defined as the amount £X.XXX or nil.



Why issue Prescribed Information / Failed to comply?
The law changed 5th April 2012, where you fail to provide the 
required information within 30 days you MUST return the 
Deposit and should the matter proceed to court pay the 
Tenant a penalty of no more than three times the Deposit 
Value. The Tenant is entitled to seek compensation for 
up to 6 years after the Tenancy has ended.


defines exactly the information that the Landlord is required 
to supply their Tenant with regards to any monies that have 
been given in respect of a deposit.

Many people perceive that the prescribed information is 
provided by the Deposit Protection Schemes, this is not 
the case. The DPS clearly state in their T&Cs clause 2D 
that "The DPS cannot provide the Prescribed Information 
on behalf of Landlords"

Mydeposits states mydeposits cannot assist here with 
reference to "(vi) the circumstances when all or part of 
the deposit may be retained by the landlord, by reference 
to the terms of the tenancy;"

The terms and conditions under which the Deposit will 
not be returned are referenced to the Tenancy agreement 
in the prescribed information. Defining such terms means 
disputes have a better chance of being resolved in the 
Landlords' favour.

Provided the Prescribed information is issued within 30 days: 
The Tenant cannot block nor the courts deny a Landlords 
claim for guaranteed possession of their property.
The Tenant cannot demand the Landlord pay 3 times the 
value of the Deposit as tax free compensation. The former 
legal defence Draycott v Hannells ceases to apply
If you do not issue the prescribed information, the Tenant 
can sue you, you cannot claim possession of your property 
and you reduce your chances of making a claim against the 
deposit for losses you may suffer.


The Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) 
Order 2007

Prescribed information relating to tenancy deposits
2.—(1) The following is prescribed information for the 
purposes of section 213(5) of the Housing Act 2004 
(“the Act”)— (a)the name, address, telephone number, 
e-mail address and any fax number of the scheme 
(1) of the authorised tenancy deposit 
(2) applying to the deposit;
(b)any information contained in a leaflet supplied by 
the scheme administrator to the landlord which explains 
the operation of the provisions contained in sections 
212 to 215 of, and Schedule 10 to, the Act
(c)the procedures that apply under the scheme by 
which an amount in respect of a deposit may be paid 
or repaid to the tenant at the end of the shorthold 
(4) (“the tenancy”);
(d)the procedures that apply under the scheme 
where either the landlord or the tenant is not contactable 
at the end of the tenancy;
(e)the procedures that apply under the scheme where 
the landlord and the tenant dispute the amount to be 
paid or repaid to the tenant in respect of the deposit;
(f)the facilities available under the scheme for enabling 
a dispute relating to the deposit to be resolved without 
recourse to litigation; and
(g)the following information in connection with the 
tenancy in respect of which the deposit has been paid—
(i)the amount of the deposit paid;
(ii)the address of the property to which the tenancy relates;
(iii)the name, address, telephone number, and any 
e-mail address or fax number of the landlord;
(iv)the name, address, telephone number, and any 
e-mail address or fax number of the tenant, including 
such details that should be used by the landlord or 
scheme administrator for the purpose of contacting 
the tenant at the end of the tenancy;
(v)the name, address, telephone number and any 
e-mail address or fax number of any relevant person;
(vi)the circumstances when all or part of the deposit 
may be retained by the landlord, by reference to the 
terms of the tenancy; and
(vii)confirmation (in the form of a certificate signed 
by the landlord) that—
(aa)the information he provides under this sub-paragraph 
is accurate to the best of his knowledge and belief; and
(bb)he has given the tenant the opportunity to sign any 
document containing the information provided by the 
landlord under this article by way of confirmation that 
the information is accurate to the best of his knowledge 
and belief.
(2) For the purposes of paragraph 
(1)(d), the reference 
to a landlord or a tenant who is not contactable includes 
a landlord or tenant whose whereabouts are known, but 
who is failing to respond to communications in respect 
of the deposit. 
(1)For the meaning of “the scheme administrator” 
see section 212(3) of the Act. 
(2)For the meaning of 
“tenancy deposit scheme” see section 212(2) of the Act. 
(3)For amendments to Schedule 10 to the Act, see the 
Housing (Tenancy Deposit Schemes) Order 2007 (S.I. No. 2007/796). 
(4)By section 212(8) of the Act “shorthold tenancy” 
means an assured shorthold tenancy within the meaning 
of Chapter 2 of Part 1 of the Housing Act 1988 (c. 50).


The landlord must ensure that the Prescribed Information 
form is correctly completed and served on the tenant(s) 
within thirty calendar days of the landlord receiving the 
deposit. The tenant(s) must be given an opportunity to 
check and sign the Prescribed Information. This is a 
requirement of Tenancy Deposit Protection legislation 
under the Housing Act 2004.


Debt Information

Information for those with Debt Problems who are having difficulty paying Gas, Electric, Telephone of other household bills.

If you haven't paid your Council Tax, the council will make an application for a 'liability order' in the Magistrates Court for arrears of Council Tax

If the court grants the liability order, it will mean the council can:
Use bailiffs to get the money from you (by taking things of value that you own); or 
Take money from your wages or benefits. 

Are you paying too much?At this stage, it is worth checking whether you could ask for lower Council Tax payments, or whether you should have to pay Council Tax at all (Council Tax exemption). There are different ways you might be able to reduce what you owe. Some examples include:

Claiming backdated Council Tax Benefit for a maximum of 52 weeks if you have been on a low income, and there's been a good reason such as a very serious illness;

asking for Council Tax discount of 25% if you were the only adult in the house (other than students, full-time carers, severely mentally disabled people and anyone whose main home is elsewhere); 
asking to have your house or flat revalued (if it is revalued into a lower Council Tax band, you will pay less Council Tax); 
not having to pay Council Tax if the house or flat has only students living in it; 
or not having to pay Council Tax if the people who live in the house or flat are 'severely mentally disabled'. 

There are other circumstances where you may not have to pay or could get payments reduced. Contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau for more about this.

Stopping those telephone calls

Harassment by telephone - response letter 
Your Street

Company Name
City / County 

Re: Harassment by telephone 


Dear Sirs

I am writing in relation to the quantity and frequency of telephone calls that I have received from your company, which I deem to be personally harassing.

I have verbally requested that these stop, but I am still receiving calls. (Delete if necessary)

I now require all further correspondence from your company to be made in writing only.

I am of the view that your continued harassment of me by telephone puts you in breach of Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970, and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

If you continue to harass me by telephone, you will also be in breach of the Communications Act (2003) s.127 and I will report you to OFCOM, Trading Standards and The Office of Fair Trading, meaning that you will be liable to a substantial fine.

Be advised that any further telephone calls from your company will be recorded. (**Even if you don‘t yet have recording equipment!!**)

Yours faithfully, 


Wednesday, 19 September 2012


If you have been unlawfully evicted don't bother going to the police and telling them your story.....they simply are not interested.  They will insist that it is a civil matter and you should go and consult with a solicitor or the CAB.  I see it mentioned in numerous writings telling you that the first thing you must do is inform the police that you have been unlawfully evicted from your home....Rubbish.  

Even if the police did act on the matter it would not be because you have been evicted in all probability it would be because you have been harassed.....which is also a criminal offence. Even though unlawful eviction is a criminal offence it will be a rare occasion that the police will bother to act. 

Even if they do act and the matter is brought before the criminal courts the fines awarded for the crime are very low in value and often it will suit the landlords needs and not hurt his pocket in the least.  
So remember if you are unlawfully evicted from your home don't waste your time going to the police. Go to a reputable law firm and state your case there. The courts award heavy penalties against landlords who do not abide by the law.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Professional Tenancy Agreement

This is a straight forward Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST) for letting a property in England and Wales, suitable for houses, flats and apartments.

A Tenancy Agreement is a very important legal contract, which you should keep safe. It outlines your rights and responsablitiles as a landlord and a tenant. 

 - Straight foward and professional standard -
 - Comprehensive ten page up to date document -

- A blank section to include your own specific terms and conditions -

 - Two ready-to-complete assured shorthold tenancy agreements, one for the landlord and one for the tenant -

The document can also be sent electronically if requested, saving time and allowing you to use the document again and again...

Your tenancy agreement will cover all the important issues, including: Rental amount, frequency of rental payments, tenant(s) deposit, tenant(s) obligation to keep the property in a satisfactory manner and state of repair, landlord's obligation to insure the property, what happens at the end of the tenancy.

Please note -  whilst these documents are regularly updated to comply with statutory regulations, we accept no liability for any losses incurred due to their purchase and use, If you are unsure of your obligations under this agreement, then you are advised to take independent legal advice before signing

Cost of the complete document is £6.50 in paper form 
and £4.50 if sent by email to your computer.

 We accept payment only by PayPal and ship to you within 24 hours on receipt of payment.


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Time is running out to get your properties insulated free of charge

The Green Deal is due to be launched in October this year, along with a new funding regime to provide energy efficiency works for those on a very low income and also for premises where the cost of improving the energy efficiency will be very high, such as solid wall properties.  
The new funding regime will see the end of the current round of subsidies for cavity wall and loft insulation, which have been available for many years although generally not as generous as they are now.  There are currently some incredible offers for insulation as the energy companies become more desperate to meet the targets set by the government before the end of this year.
Many energy companies will provide free insulation for anyone, not just their own customers, whilst some are even giving cash bonuses  of up to £100 and even a finder’s fee of up to £50, along with the free  insulation.   The offers are available for owner occupiers, tenants and landlords and so if you don’t have adequate loft or cavity wall insulation act now before the offers end. 
Too good to be true?  Phone the Energy Saving Trust on 0300 123 1234 to find the latest offers and find the best deal for you and your tenants.
Get your properties insulated now whilst it’s free and before the enforcement of energy efficiency standards are introduced.  You will also avoid the paperwork which will be associated with any Green Deal funding.

Section 48, Landlord & Tenant Act 1987 

Under a different provision Section 48 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 every
landlord must give his/her tenant an address for service which must be within
England or Wales. This applies to all landlords renting out residential properties
and includes lettings under assured shorthold tenancies. It is still applicable even
though the rent is payable without a demand being necessary as it is fixed.
Failure to comply means that rent is irrecoverable until the address for service is
given. It is a one-off requirement and the address given stands until a new
address is notified by the landlord. The case does not affect this.

Section 47, Landlord & Tenant Act 1987 

Section 47 is differently worded as it requires a demand to include the landlord's
name and address. This applies every time a demand is issued and it is not a
one-off obligation.
The Upper Chamber decided that the landlord in that situation could not use an
agent's address. The demand has to show the landlord's place of residence or
place of business (if the landlord has one) such as an office-owned or rented by
the landlord where the landlord carries on business. For a company it is its
registered office or a place where the company itself actually caries on business.
However the sanction for non-compliance is non-recoverability of any service
charge payable until the landlord has complied. It does not make any rent as
opposed to service charge payable irrecoverable.

Arrears and evictions on the rise 

The number of private tenants in severe arrears climbed by 7,000 (eight per cent) in the second quarter of this year, putting pressure on landlords’ finances.
And the number of court orders to evict tenants was six per cent up on the previous quarter.
The figures come from Templeton LPA, the specialist practice of LPA Receivers and part of the LSL Property Services Group. 
Templeton says that in the second quarter, 100,400 tenants in England and Wales were in severe arrears – an increase of 24 per cent compared to a year ago. This is the highest number on Templeton’s records, which go back four years.
The increase also represented a proportional rise. In the second quarter of 2012, tenancies in severe arrears represented 2.6 per cent of all tenancies in the private rented sector in England and Wales – an increase from 2.4 per cent in the previous quarter.
Paul Jardine, director and receiver at Templeton LPA, said: “As the private rented sector grows, the number of tenants in dire financial straits is steadily climbing. “Falling wages in real terms have been compounded by rising rents, pushing a greater number of rented households over the edge financially. With the instability in the labour market and wider economy, and public sector cuts still to come, the section of renters in multiple months of arrears is likely to continue its expansion.
"But Jardine said that although the number of severe arrears cases (tenants with arrears of more than two months) continues to climb, the general level of tenant arrears across the entire market has improved, with 8.9 per cent of all rent in the private rented sector late or unpaid by the end of May, a decrease from 9.9 per cent at the end of April.
Jardine said: “The wider rental market currently includes a much higher proportion of financially comfortable tenants who would have been buyers before the initial credit crunch, reining in general arrears across the market as a whole.
“However, this will be no comfort to the growing minority of tenants several months behind with their monthly rent cheques. As mortgage finance remains difficult to secure, the contrast between better-off frustrated buyers stuck in rented accommodation and renters in severe arrears will grow starker yet, and the number of tenant evictions is likely to increase.”
The increased number of tenants in severe arrears has driven a rise in the number of tenants being evicted through court orders. In the first quarter of the year, 26,060 tenants faced eviction notices – six per cent more than in the previous quarter, and five per cent more than in the same period of 2011.
The growing number of severe tenant arrears cases and evictions has yet to filter through into increasing buy-to-let mortgage arrears.
In Q1 2012, the number of buy-to-let mortgages more than three months in arrears fell by four per cent compared to the previous quarter, representing an annual decline of 19 per cent.
However, at 23,700, there are still almost double the buy-to-let mortgages in severe arrears as four years ago.
Jardine said: “The rising level of severe tenant arrears has yet to filter through into buy-to-let arrears. In fact, buy-to-let mortgage arrears have been steadily falling since the Bank of England reduced interest rates in 2009.
“Landlords have been enjoying historically low mortgage payments, which has cushioned the blow of late rent payments, and many have met the lower mortgage costs with money set aside from slush funds, or rental guarantee schemes. However by necessity an increased number of landlords have had to resort to court orders to remove tenants in long-term arrears, and this has increased.
“While landlords’ mortgage arrears are unlikely to rocket up until the interest rates are hiked, rising tenant arrears and an unsteady labour market will provide upwards pressure.”
David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said: “The average landlord hasn’t seen anywhere near the level of capital gains they did a couple of years ago, and the onus is firmly on rental income as the main driver for annual returns.
“In this environment, late or non payment of rent is even more of an issue for investors, and it’s not uncommon to see landlords be flexible on the rent at the outset of a tenancy to secure renter with the strongest evidence of sound finances and affordability.”
Kay Boycott, director of campaigns, policy and communications at Shelter, said: “This is yet more evidence of the crushing impact that rising rents and stagnating wages are having on family finances. Shelter research found that average private rents are now unaffordable for working families in over half of England, with many paying up to half of their income each month.”
David Whittaker, managing director of specialist BTL lender Mortgages For Business, said: “Arrears are a serious issue for landlords, and so anyone investing in the private rental sector must balance the size of yield with the likelihood of arrears.
"Ensuring you invest in areas where tenants are less likely to fall behind in their payments may mean sacrificing a percentage point on the monthly returns, but it could be the difference between receiving a full 12 months of rent and not.”