This week, Landlord Law held a conference at Homerton College in Cambridge, focusing on legal issues in the private rental sector.
The moderator of the event, Graeme Gee, greeted more than 100 attendees before his wife, Tessa Shepperson, gave a review of the market over the past year.
David Smith, of Anthony Gold Solicitors, followed Shepperson with a speech on the changes coming into effect through the Deregulation Act, which was one of the last pieces of legislation to receive Royal Assent before Parliament was dissolved ahead of the general election.
He explains how the Act will change section 21 notices and says that going forward, the situation is “immensely uncertain”.
A specialist in immigration law, Sue Lukes, went on to explain the Right to Rent scheme, which is covered by the Immigration Act 2014.
Lukes said that as the West Midlands pilot scheme will be ending in a few months, it should become clear soon after when the checks will roll out nationwide.
Simon Parrott, of Sharman Law, then explained the rules of old-fashioned tenancies governed by Rent Acts. Although these are rare, they do still exist. For this type of tenancy, there are certain guidelines regarding possession and rent increases.
Mike Morgan, of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme – the official sponsor of the event – talked about how adjudicators resolve disputes. He said that only factual information is considered and none of the parties involved are contacted over the matter. Also, adjudicators do not visit the property.
Morgan urges landlords and letting agents to compile a thorough and accurate inventory and follow strict procedures.
David Smith returned to discuss Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and the problems they can cause, as well as prosecutions.
Warren Spencer, a fire safety expert and solicitor of Firexact, spoke about complying with fire safety regulations, especially in HMOs.
Sam Madge-Wyld of Arden Chambers then talked about the requirements for landlords when supplying utilities in rental properties.
Landlord Action’s Paul Shamplina concluded the conference with a speech on the evictions process.