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30 Legal Corner by Sarah Ready of SWLaw Solicitors O


ver recent years, there has been an increase in the legal requirements with which land- lords have to comply when entering in to


an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement (AST). Landlords are generally aware that since 2006, where a deposit is taken in connection with an AST, the landlord is obliged to protect the deposit in a Government approved scheme and provide certain prescribed information within a set timeframe to the tenant. Landlords are often less aware that if they fail to comply with these requirements, a tenant can claim compensation up to 3 times the deposit both for failing to protect the deposit and failing to provide the prescribed information. Additionally, any notice that is then served pursuant to Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 to terminate the AST will be in- valid until such time as the landlord has either returned the deposit held or complied with the legislation. On 1st


October 2015 further As from 1st Thinking about di


My name is Carolyn and I am a Chartered Legal Executive I have more than eight years of experience in helping peop and divorce. Together with my colleagues, we will guide a the challenges that you will face as a result of a relationsh


Landlords: Getting off to a Good Start with your Tenant


You can expect expert but sensitive advice, and a clear understanding of the costs involved at each stage. We can help you resolve your problems and support you to plan again for the future.


For a free private conversation please call us on 01752 205202 • swlaw.co.uk February 2016, landlords are under


a duty to check the immigration status of their prospective tenants by carrying out a right to rent check against each tenant. A failure to carry out those checks can result in a fine of up to £3,000 for renting a property to someone who is not permitted to rent a property in England. The Government has provided a webcheck area so that you can check your tenant’s right to rent online and very much places the burden to check on the landlord not just at the start of the tenancy but on an ongoing basis because the tenant’s right to stay in the UK may change after the start of the tenancy. The main issue on which I am often asked to


SW Law - family law ad 157x111.5.indd 1


Kingsley Close • East Way • Lee Mill Ivybridge • Devon • PL21 9GD


This fi rm is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Registered in England No. 75056


legislation came in to force which meant that for all AST’s, entered in to on or after that date, a landlord must provide the tenant with a gas safety certificate, an energy performance certificate and also a Department of Communities and Local Government booklet – ‘How to Rent, the Checklist for Renting in England’. Failure to provide these three key pieces information will mean that again a valid notice cannot be served pursuant to Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 to terminate the tenancy. The penalties for failing to comply with these three


requirements range from a potential monetary claim by a tenant against the landlord or alternatively the inability to serve a valid Section 21 Notice. This Notice needs to be valid in order to bring the tenancy to an end.


It is therefore vital that landlords make sure that they are complying with legal obligations


advise, is in relation to a situation where a land- lord wishing to serve a Section 21 Notice realises that they have failed to supply the relevant information to the tenant or a failure to deal with the deposit correctly. The requirements are strict and often unforgiving from a penalty perspective. It is therefore vital that landlords make sure that they are complying with legal obligations not just before the tenancy and at the start of the tenancy but on an ongoing basis during the term of that tenancy until it comes to an end and beyond when dealing with the release of the deposit. Landlords should not rest on


their laurels but take stock of their requirements on an ongoing basis during the term of the tenancy to remain compliant. If you are a landlord who would like to book an appointment for a Tenancy Health Check we would be delighted to hear from you and can provide a fixed quote on request. Sarah Ready, Property Lawyer, Ltd.


SWLaw Solicitors 01752 205202


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