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Posted on April 15th 2015 by admin-movingin

It’s the law! And this is how changes will affect the private rented sector

Over 100 delegates attended the fact-filled Landlord Law conference held yesterday at Homerton College, Cambridge.

With a clear emphasis on legal matters affecting properties in the private rented sector, a very wide range of topics was on the agenda.

Conference moderator Graeme Gee welcomed attendees before handing over to his wife, Tessa Shepperson of Landlord Law who gave a review of the PRS in the last year.

David Smith from Anthony Gold Solicitors presented a comprehensive talk on the changes coming as a result of the recently passed Deregulation Act, one of the last pieces of legislation to receive Royal Assent before Parliament was dissolved ahead of the General Election.

The effect of the legislation on such matters as Section 21 notices is profound and David described the situation moving forward as being “immensely uncertain”.

Sue Lukes, a specialist in immigration law, described the forthcoming changes in ‘right to rent’ and the duties that will fall on landlords and managing agents to ensure that a tenant has the right to reside in the UK. The West Midlands trial of the scheme has another couple of months to run and then it should become clearer as to when the new rules will be rolled out to the rest of the country.

Although they are becoming fewer as time goes by, old-style tenancies governed by the Rent Acts do still exist and they are now a specialist field for lawyers.

Such an expert is Simon Parrott of Sharman Law who informed the conference on the unique rules that govern recovery of possession and rent increases for this type of tenure.

The TDS was official sponsor of the conference and, after lunch, Mike Morgan revealed how disputes are dealt with by adjudicators. He emphasised that they will only consider the factual information presented to them and will not speak with any of the involved parties, nor will they visit the property. It is therefore vital that landlords and managing agents ensure the comprehensive nature of any inventory and follow strict procedures to minimise the possibility of a case being lost for want of solid evidence.

David Smith returned to the podium to present a talk on Houses in Multiple Occupation with specific reference to the problems that can arise and the prosecutions that may result.

He was followed by Warren Spencer from Firexact, a solicitor and fire-safety expert, who gave a compelling talk on the need for compliance with the rules surrounding not only HMOs but also any property governed by the legislation. A failure to follow the rules can have very dire consequences for all concerned.

At short notice Sam Madge-Wyld, a barrister from Arden Chambers spoke on the obligations that landlords face in respect of the supply of utilities to their rental properties, and he was followed by Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action who gave a spirited talk on the eviction process.

Organiser Tessa Shepperson told Property Industry Eye that she was delighted with the level of interest in the conference and that filling the seats had been in no small part due to Eye being a media sponsor.

Delegates came away with the most comprehensive set of notes that your correspondent has ever seen being given out at a conference and it would probably be fair to say that the information within those notes was alone worth the price of entry.

It will take the delegates quite some time to read through the notes but at least they can sustain themselves with a refreshing tea or coffee drunk from the stylish Eye mug that they were given – a useful keepsake of this highly successful event.