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Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Government will not help landlords with assured / assured shorthold tenancy 'mix-ups

Government confirms it will not address the Monty Shooltz ruling

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) will not act to help the thousands of landlords who may have inadvertently granted assured tenancies instead of the assured shorthold tenancies they meant to.

The Ministry has confirmed to the National Landlords Association (NLA) that it does not intend to legislate to address the ruling inCaridon Property Ltd v Monty Shooltz.

The judge in this case ruled that the requirements of the Deregulation Act 2015 mean failure to issue a gas safety certificate before a tenancy begins invalidates any subsequent Section 21 notice for repossession. According to the ruling, which applies a strict interpretation to the wording of the original Gas Safety Regulations, issuing a gas safety certificate after the tenancy has begun would not be sufficient for the landlord to meet the requirements of the Act, which applies in England only.

Instead, MHCLG say they will update the guidance available to landlords on the Gov.uk website, to ensure landlords are certain of their legal responsibilities.

NLA Chief Executive Officer Richard Lambert said:

“Having pressed the Government to respond to this judgement for nearly a year, their answer seems to be, ’We’re not that bothered’.

The Ministry clearly doesn’t understand the impact it is having. The NLA Advice Line is taking more and more calls from landlords who thought they had complied with the law and now find themselves facing a disproportionate penalty for an administrative error. We cannot believe this is what Parliament actually intended.

The NLA recognises the vital importance of ensuring landlords arrange an annual gas safety check with a Gas Safe engineer. But we do not support the de facto introduction of assured tenancies because landlords cannot rectify an unwitting error made before a tenancy begins.

We have no intention of letting this rest and will continue to lobby for change.”

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3 comments:

Andrew Hill said...

To be honest, I don't see why the NLA are pushing for the law to be changed. This ruling demonstrates the government are protecting tenants interests and for landlords who don't know how to form an Assured Shorthold Tenancy properly should be using a reputable managing agent. We always remind our landlord clients to make sure they serve prescribed information correctly before the start of the tenancy and document this.

It isn't much different to a person with no legal understanding representing themselves in a criminal court and then acting like the system is unfair if they're sent to prison.

People who don't understand their obligations under the legislation governing rented property in England shouldn't be undertaking legal work such as forming a legal tenancy; this should be left to experts as Mr Shooltz has now, unfortunately, been forced to learn the hard way.

Anonymous said...

Is Andrew Hill a letting agent by any chance?

Andrew Hill said...

Yes, I am. But I have no interest in touting my local business on a national blog. My points still stand. Landlords provide a service to tenants and the least their customers (tenants) deserve is legally compliant services (lettings).

Im also a tenant and understand the plight tenants face by rogue landlords and agents who either don't know their obligations and can't be bothered to learn their obligations.

We're certainly not the sort of company to massage the egos of landlords who make mistakes. Housing is a serious business, I'm afraid.