Simple steps landlords can take to protect their property from fraud

We are amazed how many landlords do little or nothing to protect their property from fraud when there are some simple and free steps landlords can take to prevent what is an increasing area of fraud:

1. Check your property is registered with HM Land Registry – your property should be registered if you bought it or mortgaged it since 1998.

2. Track changes to the register by signing up to get property alerts if someone applies to change the register of your property, for example if someone tries to use your property for a mortgage.

3. Put a restriction on your title to stop HM Land Registry registering a sale or mortgage on your property unless a conveyancer or solicitor certifies the application was made by you.

More information can be found here

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Can an agent charge a landlord a fee for terminating their contract?

Yes – however there are some things to consider….

Contract (Agency Agreement/Client Agreement)

The contract between the landlord and the agent should clearly define how the landlord can terminate the contract and any charges that would apply.

If the landlord terminates the client agreement with a letting agent, the agent has a right to protect themselves, but what the agent charges the landlord must take into account what the agent is actually losing as a result. If the charges are excessive they will be deemed unfair and unenforceable even if they are defined in the agreement.

In J Spurling Ltd v Bradshaw, Denning LJ made the famous red hand comment:

the more unreasonable a clause is, the greater the notice which must be given of it. Some clauses which I have seen would need to be printed in red ink on the face of the document with a red hand pointing to it before the notice could be held to be sufficient.

If an agent is going to impose a significant financial penalty on a landlord for terminating a contract they should make it clear what that penalty is. If there were to be a dispute, the burden of proof that the agent made it clear in pointing it out to the landlord may rest with the agent.

Consumer Rights Act

Effective 1st October 2015, part 1 of schedule 2 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 defines contract terms which may be regarded as unfair. Paragraph 5 states:

A term which has the object or effect of requiring that, where the consumer decides not to conclude or perform the contract, the consumer must pay the trader a disproportionately high sum in compensation or for services which have not been supplied.


From this, a letting agent charging a landlord for services which have not been supplied such as property management during a continuing tenancy may be regarded as unfair.

Under the same Act, an agent must display a list of fees at the agent’s premises and on their website.

Guidance on this point states:

All fees, charges or penalties (however expressed) which are payable to the agent by a landlord or tenant in respect of letting agency work and property management work carried out by the agent in connection with an assured tenancy. This includes fees, charges or penalties in connection with an assured tenancy of a property or a property that is, has been or is proposed to be let under an assured tenancy.

If charges and penalties are not displayed as required by law, aside from the fact that the agent has broken the law, it may throw into question that the charges are enforceable on the grounds that the agent was not making the charges clear – they are attempting to hide them.

Further Reading

Consumer Rights Act 2015 Schedule 2

Consumer Rights Act 2015 Section 83

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Is there a minimum size for a room that is to be used as a bedroom?

What is a bedroom?

A bedroom is a room that is available as sleeping accommodation if it is of a type normally used in the locality either as a living room or as a bedroom. {Housing Act 1985, Chapter 68, Part X}

The answer to the topic question is dependent on a number of factors including:

* Number of occupiers using the bedroom
* Age of occupiers using the bedroom
* Whether the property is a licensed HMO
* Type of occupant

Number and age of occupants
One of the criteria for assessing overcrowding under the Housing Act 1985 is the floor space based on the number and age of occupants.

For a child aged under 1 there is no minimum space standard.

For a child aged 1 or over but under 10 the floor are of the room must be at least 50 sq. ft. (4.65 sq. metres).

For two children aged 1 or over but under 10 sharing a bedroom or 1 person aged 10 or over the floor area of the room must be at least 70 sq. ft. (6.51 sq. metres).

For two adults living together as a couple the floor area of the room must be at least 110 sq. ft. (10.22 sq. metres).

{Housing Act 1985}

HMO

In 2018 the government announced that it will proceed with introducing a national minimum room size for bedrooms in licensed HMOs:

Rooms used for sleeping by 1 person over 10 will have to be no smaller than 6.51 square metres, and those slept in by 2 people over 10 will have to be no smaller than 10.22 square metres. Rooms slept in by children of 10 years and younger will have to be no smaller than 4.64 square metres


Type of occupant

The type of occupant has also been shown to be relevant in room size cases. This was illustrated in the case of Nottingham City Council v Dominic Parr and Trevor Parr Associates Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 188 which was heard last year in the Court of Appeal. The Council’s guidance suggested that 8 sq. metres was an acceptable bedroom size and the licences issued prohibited the use of two attic rooms until the usable floor space had been increased. The First-Tier Tribunal had deleted the condition and imposed an alternative condition that the rooms could be used by full-time student who resided in the room for a maximum of 10 months of the year. This was upheld by the Upper Tribunal and the Court of Appeal concluded that there was nothing unlawful about a HMO licence restricting occupation of a bedroom to students only. The Supreme Court has granted permission to Nottingham City Council to appeal the decision.

Further Reading

Shelter – Overcrowding
HMO National Minimum Room Size and Suitability {Anthony Gold blog}
Housing Act 1985, Chapter 68, Part X
When is a bedroom not a bedroom {Jungle Property blog}

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Can an agent refuse to provide tenant referencing reports to the landlord?

No – probably not…


Fiduciary relationship


The agent is contracted by the landlord to act on behalf of the landlord (the principal). Agents have what is known as a ‘fiduciary relationship’ with the landlord. Data collected, or artefacts created, by the agent in performance of the contractual obligations is collected or created on behalf of the landlord.


If the landlord signs a contract which specifically states that he will not have access to the tenant’s reference report, he will probably be bound by this but where the contract is silent, it is the property of the landlord as it was obtained by the agent for the purpose of the landlord’s property, in his capacity as agent for the landlord.


Data protection


Agents will sometimes argue that passing the reference report on will be in breach of the Data Protection Act. Guidance from the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) here states:


Can landlords see references which were provided to the letting agents?
The agent can pass this information to the landlord, as long as, when the reference is asked for, they make clear to the tenant and the referee that this will happen.


This ICO guidance is not entirely consistent with the opinion of many legal experts who see passing on the reference report as an automatic right as the agent is an extension of the landlord.


Duty of obedience


An agent has a duty of obedience – express instructions are paramount and this duty takes precedence over the duty to exercise all reasonable care and skill.


Tenant referencing reports belong to the landlord not the agent and the agent should not disobey the landlord’s instructions to provide them.


Why a landlord should see reference reports


There are two important reasons why the landlord should be entitled to see the reference reports if he wishes, before the tenancy is granted:


1. Landlords can suffer massive losses through bad tenants being allowed into their property, both through unpaid rent and through the tenant damaging the fabric of the property itself.


2. The landlord may want to check that the agent has carried out any referencing at all. Sadly, it is not unknown for agents to pocket the reference fees and not actually obtain references. There have been many cases where the referencing carried out was grossly inadequate for the type of property being let and as a result the landlord suffered great losses (see Saul Shevlin v. Sequence (UK) Limited below).


If the agent is able to say “sorry, we can’t tell you anything about the references we have because of the data protection”, how can the landlord be sure that this important part of the agent’s job has been done properly?


Saul Shevlin v. Sequence (UK) Limited


This case heard in June 2016 in Colchester County Court found Sequence to be negligent as they had referenced a (bad) tenant and granted a tenancy, refusing to pass on the reference report to the landlord (they had done so previously). The landlord approached the company commissioned to carry out the referencing directly and was emailed the report. The reported highlighted a number of ‘red flags’ which the agent should have investigated.


This case is interesting with regard to this topic question because a). the company who were commissioned to compile the reference report provided it to the landlord directly after the agent refused b). had the landlord been provided with a copy of the report when it was first compiled, the tenancy would almost certainly not have been granted.


Advice for landlords


Make it very clear, when you instruct an agent, that you will want to see the reference reports, before the tenant’s application is approved.


Make it clear to the agent that it is the agent’s responsibility to take such steps as are necessary (i.e. tell the tenants and the reference company) in order to prevent their being in breach of data protection legislation in passing reference reports to the landlord.


Further Reading


Landlord wins long-running case against agent after tenancy went wrong (Property Industry Eye article)


Can an agent withhold part payment of 6 months rent in advance?
(Jungle Property blog article)


Are landlords entitled to see tenants references obtained by their agents? (The Landlord Law Blog article)

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Do guarantor agreements need to be executed as a deed?

No but there are many reasons why deeds are used over a simple contracts:

1. Deeds do not need a consideration unlike a simple contract.

2. The obligations are enforceable for 12 rather than the usual 6 years years applicable under a simple contract.

3. The law may require it.

4. A deed is an instrument in solemn form and any party to it is estopped from denying the truth of any assertion he has made in it.

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Energy Efficiency Regulations – A Basic Guide For Landlords

Who is affected?

Private landlords.

What is affected?

Domestic and non-domestic property in England and Wales which is legally required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which has an EPC rating of band F or G.

When does it take effect?

New tenancies granted, or existing tenancies extended or renewed, on or after 1st April 2018. This affects ALL tenancies in existence on or after 1st April 2020. Tenancies are assured, assured shorthold, regulated and agricultural tenancies.

What needs to be done?

Either:

* If the property is exempt – register an exemption on the national PRS Exemptions Register.

* If the property is not exempt – make improvements to the property to raise the EPC rating band to a minimum of E.

How can a property be exempt?

There are six categories of exemption:

1. Where all the ‘relevant energy efficiency improvements’ for the property have been made (or there are none that can be made) and the property remains sub-standard.

2. Where a recommended measure is not a “relevant energy efficiency improvement” because the cost of purchasing and installing it cannot be wholly financed at no cost to the landlord.

3. Where the relevant energy efficiency improvement is wall insulation and expert advice indicates that the measure is not appropriate for the property due to its potential negative impact on the fabric or structure of the property.

4. Where the relevant energy efficiency improvements may require third party consent before they can be installed in a property and the landlord could not obtain one or more necessary consents.

5. Where the landlord has obtained a report advising that the installation of specific energy efficiency measures would reduce the market value of the property, or the building it forms part of, by more than five per cent.

6. Temporary exemption where a person may have become a landlord suddenly and as such it would be inappropriate or unreasonable for them to be required to comply with the Regulations immediately. This type of exemption will last for six months after the date the person became the landlord and will apply from that date.

The funding that a landlord may rely on for the recommended improvements can be from:

* Green Deal Plan

* Energy Company Obligation or similar scheme

* Funding provided by central government or local authority or third party at no cost to the landlord

* A combination of any of the above.

Exemptions register information requirements

The information required for all exemptions is:

* Address of the property;

* Which exemption is being registered;

* Copy of a valid EPC for the property;

Depending which exemption is being registered determines what additional information is required:

Category 1 as referred to above.

* Details of any energy efficiency improvement recommended for the property in a relevant recommendation report (if separate to the relevant EPC), including a report prepared by a surveyor, or a Green Deal Advice Report.

* Details, including date of installation, of all recommended energy efficiency improvements which have been made at the property in compliance with the Regulations.

* Where there are no improvements to be made, a copy of the relevant report to demonstrate this (if separate to the relevant EPC).

Category 2 as referred to above.

* A description of why the landlord has been unable to obtain adequate ‘no cost’ funding.

* Optionally, the landlord may also provide a copy of any evidence on which the landlord relies to demonstrate that they have been unable to access relevant ‘no cost’ funding to fully cover the cost of installing the recommended improvement or improvements.

Note: Evidence of a landlords inability to access relevant ‘no cost’ funding may include a notification from a Green Deal provider advising that no Green Deal finance is available for a recommended measure, or that funding is only available to partially cover the costs.

Category 3 as referred to above.

* A copy of the written opinion of a relevant expert stating that the property cannot be improved to an EPC E rating because a recommended wall insulation measure would have a negative impact on the property (or the building of which it is a part).

Category 4 as referred to above.

* A copy of any correspondence and/or relevant documentation demonstrating that consent for a relevant energy efficiency measure was required and sought, and that this consent was refused, or was granted subject to a condition that the landlord was not reasonably able to comply with.

Note: Where the party who withheld consent was a tenant, the exemption will only remain valid until that tenant’s tenancy ends. When that tenant leaves the property (or after five years, whichever is soonest) the landlord will need to try again to improve the EPC rating of the property, or register another exemption, if applicable.

Category 5 as referred to above.

* A copy of the report prepared by an independent RICS surveyor that provides evidence that the installation of relevant measures would devalue the property by more than 5%.

Category 6 as referred to above.

* The date on which they became the landlord for the property, and

* the circumstances under which they became the landlord (any of the circumstances set out at section 3.1.3 of this guidance).

Note: Where a person wishes to register an exemption upon recently becoming a landlord, the exemption will last for a period of six months.

What should landlords do now?

1. Check the current energy efficiency rating band on the most recent EPC for the property. If you do not have a copy of the most recent EPC, download a (free) copy from the EPC Register here www.epcregister.com. If you do not have have a copy of the most recent EPC and there is no valid copy in the EPC Register, commission an energy assessment (and EPC) with a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) found here https://www.epcregister.com/searchAssessor.html

2. If the property has the minimum EPC rating band of E or above, no further action is required. If the property has an EPC rating band of F or G, contact the Energy Savings Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 for advice and assistance on funding for the energy efficiency improvements recommended in the EPC.

3. If one of the exemptions listed above applies, register an exemption on the national PRS Exemptions Register by sending an e-mail to the BEIS minimum standards team at PRSregisteraccess@beis.gov.uk

If you do register an exemption on the national PRS Exemptions Register you will need to repeat this every 5 years for exemption categories 1-5 and 6 months for exemption category 6 so put a date in your diary.

Further Reading

THE DOMESTIC PRIVATE RENTED PROPERTY MINIMUM STANDARD

THE NON-DOMESTIC PRIVATE RENTED PROPERTY MINIMUM STANDARD

PainSmith Solicitors Energy Performance – funding in detail

PainSmith Solicitors Energy Performance – funding in detail continued

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Landlords guide to serving notices – Part 2 – deemed date and time of service

There are several elements that affect the validity of a notice – the form, the content, the method of service and the deemed date and time of service.


In my previous article (here) I considered the method of service and in this article I look at the deemed date and time of service. The deemed date and time of service is the point at which the recipient can be assumed to have received the notice regardless of whether or not they have actually received it. The deemed date and time of service is most important for time sensitive notices which have to be served by a particular date.


As with the previous article I consider contractual and statutory provisions for deemed date and time of service. If you don’t have time to read the full article skip to the Summary section.


Contractual Provisions


To make the notice provisions workable it is common to include provisions deeming the date and time a notice is received if it is sent by a particular method. However, it is important to ensure that provisions must be appropriate and realistic: for example, they should not deem receipt earlier than the notice could in reality be expected to arrive.


The parties will generally agree that notices cannot be deemed to be served on a non business day. This means that care needs to be taken where a notice is required to be given no later than a date which is a Saturday, Sunday or Bank Holiday: the notice must be served in time to ensure that it is deemed delivered no later than the last business day before this.


For notices sent via post care needs to be taken as to whether the notice being returned undelivered will prevent the operation of the deemed service(1). If the parties intend that a notice should be deemed served even where it is returned undelivered it is advisable to include wording such as “…deemed served on the third working day after posting whether it is received or not” should be used.


Example notice provisions deeming service


If a notice has been properly sent or delivered in accordance with this clause, it will be deemed to have been received as follows:

(i) if delivered personally, at the time of delivery; or

(iii) if sent by commercial courier, on the date and at the time of signature of the courier’s delivery receipt; or

(iii) if sent by pre-paid first-class post or Royal Mail Special Delivery or Signed For (registered letter or recorded delivery) [9.00 am] on the [second] Business Day after posting whether it is received or not, provided that it is not returned undelivered; or

(iv) if sent by email, at the time of sending whether it is received or not, provided that the confirmatory copy is not returned undelivered.


Statutory Provisions


Law of Property Act 1925, section 196


…notice …service shall be deemed to be made at the time at which the registered letter would in the ordinary course be delivered.


Deemed served at the time the letter would ordinarily be delivered means that service is deemed to take place on a presumed date, when the notice would have been delivered in the ordinary course of business. This is the first day on which the postman attempts to deliver the notice, regardless of whether anyone is available to receive it(2).


Even if the letter is never received service is still presumed to have taken place, provided that the notice is not returned undelivered(3).


Where a notice is sent by post it is sufficient that it is delivered during the last day on which the notice must be given, even though outside of business hours(4).


The Landlord and Tenant Act 1927, section 23 does not cover deemed date and time of service and as such, we have to rely on case law for guidance on this and the most recent case law takes a generous approach from the perspective of the giver of the notice. Where the notice is sent by Special or Recorded Delivery, the date of service is the date on which the notice is entrusted to postal service(5).. It doesn’t matter if the notice is not, in fact, received or even if it is returned undelivered; service will still be deemed to have occurred(6).


Notice is not the same as knowledge


In Blunden v. Frogmore Investments Ltd [2002] the tenant disputed the validity of the notice. The tenant gave evidence that he had been away from home at the time, and, on his return had found a communication from the post office that it held a recorded delivery item. However, by the time the tenant became aware of this the recorded delivery items had been returned to the landlord’s solicitor as undelivered. The tenant also stated that he had not seen the notice on the premises because he was forbidden to go near them due to the dangerous nature of the buildings. The judge dismissed the tenant’s claim on the ground that there had been good service of the notices. The tenant appealed.


The Court of Appeal unanimously agreed that the landlord had validly served the notices pursuant to section 23 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927. They held that section 23 of the 1927 Act permits service by recorded delivery to the tenant’s last-known place of abode, whether or not it is returned by the Post Office.


Robert Walker LJ, in a passage he said underscores the rationale behind this judgement “Notice is not the same as knowledge. But the evident purpose of requiring notice to be given to a particular person is that the contents of the notice should be communicated to, and become known by, that person. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that both statutory and contractual provisions may lead to the position that a valid notice has been given, even though the intended recipient does not know of the notice (and is not at fault in not knowing about it)…. the object of section 23 of the 1927 Act, as incorporated into the 1954 Act is not to protect the person upon whom the right to receive the notice is conferred by other statutory provisions. On the contrary, section 23 (1) is intended to assist the person who is obliged to serve the notice, by offering him choices of mode of service which will be deemed to be valid service, even if in the event the intended recipient does not in fact receive it”.


Interpretation Act 1978, section 7


Where an Act authorises or requires any document to be served by post … the service is deemed to be effected by properly addressing, pre-paying and posting a letter containing the document and, unless the contrary is proved, to have been effected at the time at which the letter would be delivered in the ordinary course of post.


Summary


* Statute has provision for notices sent by post to be deemed served at the time at which the letter would be delivered in the ordinary course of post.
* The most recent case law provides that where the notice is sent by Royal Mail Special Delivery or Signed For (registered letter or recorded delivery), the date of service is the date on which the notice is entrusted to postal service. It doesn’t matter if the notice is not, in fact, received or even if it is returned undelivered; service will still be deemed to have occurred.
* Make sure the Tenancy Agreement includes provisions deeming the date and time a notice is received if it is sent by a particular method.


References


1 Re Thundercrest Ltd [1995] 1 BCLC 117: here the company had an article which provided that where a notice was sent by post, service was deemed to have been effected by properly addressing, pre-paying and posting the notice. However, it was held that the purpose of the provision was to deal with the case where there was uncertainty as to whether a document had been delivered and the article could not be relied upon where it was established that the document had not been delivered.
2 WX Investments Ltd v Begg [2002] EXHC 925 (Ch)
3 R v Westminster Union Assessment Committee, ex p Woodward & Sons [1917] 1 KB 832
4 Papillion v Bernton (1860) 5 H&N 518
5 Beanby Estates v Egg Stores (Stamford Hill) [2003] EWHC 1252; CA Webber (Transport) Ltd v Railtrack plc [2003] EWCA Civ 1167
6 Blunden v Frogmore Investments Ltd [2002] EWCA Civ 573 [2003]


Further Reading


Service of notices by Rebecca Ebdon

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Landlords guide to serving notices – Part 1 – method of service

There are several elements that affect the validity of a notice – the form, the content, the method of service and the deemed date and time of service.


In this article I consider contractual and statutory provisions for method of service. If you don’t have time to read the full article skip to the Summary section.


Contractual Provisions


The method of service used to serve any notice should exactly accord with the relevant clause(s) in the Tenancy Agreement. The clauses within the Tenancy Agreement that cover how any notices should be served should be easy enough for someone with no legal knowledge to understand, otherwise they could be deemed unfair and therefore unenforceable.


The syntax of any contractual provision covering method of service will be similar to the following:


A notice given to a party under or in connection with this lease:


[shall] or [may] be:

(i) delivered personally; or

(ii) sent by commercial courier; or

(iii) sent by first-class post or recorded or special delivery; or

(iv) sent by e-Mail [provided that a confirmatory copy is delivered personally , sent by commercial courier or sent by first-class post or recorded or special delivery on the same day]


Mandatory or permissive provisions


It is a good idea to specify the acceptable methods of notice and also to be clear as to whether these methods are mandatory or permissive.


If the methods are mandatory they will be strictly applied and if they are not followed the notice will be invalid: if personal service is required and the notice is sent by post it will be invalid even if it is fact received.


If the methods are permissive, service by another method will not invalidate the notice, provided it is in fact received.


The use of the word “shall” makes these methods mandatory whereas “may” will make them permissive. Other wording can also be used which will achieve a similar effect so the provision should be read and followed carefully to ensure that the notice is not invalidated by sending it using the incorrect method.


Common methods of serving notice


Some of the common methods of giving notice include:


a) Personal delivery: this will include use of a courier or other agent to serve the notice, though these methods can be specified separately.


b) Post: this may include first class post, Special Delivery and Signed For. Special Delivery or Signed For are more preferable to first class post as they provide a record of receipt.


c) E-mail: though e-mail is popular, consideration needs to be given to possibility of non delivery of the notice sent in this way.


Statutory Provisions


Landlord and Tenant Act 1927, section 23


…notice …may be served on the person on whom it is to be served either personally, or by leaving it for him at his last known place of abode in England or Wales, or by sending it through the post in a registered letter addressed to him there …


Law of Property Act 1925, section 196


…notice …shall be sufficiently served if it is left at the last-known place of abode or business in the United Kingdom of the lessee, …or …left …on the land or any house …comprised in the lease …


…notice …shall also be sufficiently served, if it is sent by post in a registered letter addressed to the lessee, …at the aforesaid place of abode or business, office …and if that letter is not returned …undelivered …


There has been plenty of case law that helps with the interpretation of these Acts.


Leaving a notice at a property includes:


* Handing the notice to someone at the property provided that there are reasonable grounds for supposing that the person will pass it on to the recipient if possible(1).


* Leaving it at the furthest place to which a member of the public can go(2).


* Fixing the notice onto the door of the property(3). This is the case even where the property has been so badly damaged that the intended recipient is unlikely to be able to access it, provided that the person giving the notice has acted in good faith. If the notice has been deliberately concealed this will not amount to good service(4).


* Pushing it under the door, even if it is not found for several months(5).


The last known place of abode is the last address you have for the person. It can be a residential or a business address. It is worth noting that where a solicitor has been advised of a change of address, the client may be deemed to have that knowledge regardless of whether or not it has actually been passed on(6).


A registered letter includes both a letter sent by Recorded Delivery(7) and a letter sent by Special Delivery(8). Since 1998, the Special Delivery service has been the only registered service offered by Royal Mail, after the old-style Registered Letter service was discontinued. Signed For is the brand name for the recorded delivery service offered by Royal Mail.


The prescribed methods of service under these statutory provisions are permissive rather than mandatory. This means that, provided the notice actually reaches the intended recipient, it is validly served even though one of the prescribed means of service have not been used(9). However, where a different method is used from those specified it will be necessary to prove that service has taken place. If the intended recipient can prove, on the balance of probabilities, that he did not receive the letter, the notice will not have been served.


Summary


* Statute has provision for notices to be served personally, left at the last known place of abode or sent by post using Royal Mail Special Delivery or Signed For services.
* Commercial courier, first class post and e-mail are acceptable methods of service though if using these methods it will be necessary to prove that service has taken place.
* Make sure the Tenancy Agreement includes provisions for method of service of notices and do what the Tenancy Agreement states when actually services notices.


References


1 Cannon Brewery Co Ltd v Signal Press Ltd (1928) 138 LT 384
2 Trustees of Henry Smith’s Charity v Kyriacou (1990) 22 HLR 66
3 Major v Ward (1847) 5 Hare 598; Cusack-Smith v Gold [1958] 2 All ER 361
4 Blunden v Frogmore Investments Ltd [2002] 29 EG 153
5 Lord Newborough v Jones [1975] Ch 90
6 Arundel Corporation v Khoker [2003] EWCA Civ 1784.
7 Recorded Delivery Service Act 1962, s1(1): any enactment which requires a document to be sent by registered post has effect as if it required or authorised it to be sent by registered post or the recorded delivery service.
8 Successor Postal Services Company Inland Letter Post Scheme 2001, Sch 2 (as amended): any reference to “Registered Post” must be taken as a reference to Special Delivery as this is the brand name used by the Post Office and is the same in all material particulars.
9 Galinski v McHugh (1988) 21 HLR 47


Further Reading


Service of notices by Rebecca Ebdon

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Preparing a property to let – Gardens

In preparing your property to let, we recommend landlords tidy the gardens.


If the tenant is to be held responsible for maintaining the garden, make available the appropriate gardening tools and equipment. Any tools or equipment you do provide must be safe and in full working order and must be supplied with manufacturer’s instructions.


Few tenants are experienced gardeners so if the garden is particularly large, of an elaborate design, contains plants of high monetary or sentimental value or must be maintained to a particular standard we recommend you contract a gardener to maintain the garden on behalf of the tenant and add the cost to the rent.

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Do I need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for my new home?

Yes – for all new homes completed on or after 6 April 2008, the builder is required to provide an EPC to the owner, with evidence shown to Building Control.

When the builder has finished building they will submit a notice to Building Control which includes an energy rating using SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure) to demonstrate the building complies with Building Regulations. By the same date on the notice, the builder must get an EPC from an accredited On Construction Domestic Energy Assessor (OCDEA) give the EPC to the owner of the building and tell Building Control that this has been done.

Building Control will not issue a final completion certificate until they are sure that this has been done.

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