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Training for Professionals is the largest provider of lettings legislation training across England and Wales. We aim to help and support Letting Agents and Landlords alike with advice on how best to navigate the constantly changing property management landscape. Whether it’s through training courses, consultancy, or model documentation, TFP aims to make property management safer, easier, more compliant and cost effective. Want to know more? 

News

  • Jul 18

    Regulation of agents

    This group, chaired by Lord Best, has produced its recommendations for the way forward for the regulation of property agents. One of our concerns is trying to lump all "property agents" into a single scheme. Several of the comments in discussions were not appropriate for some areas of the market.

    They have made a number of recommendations, still to be formally agreed by Government. Essentially they will introduce an agent licensing scheme with a requirement that the staff within an agency are also trained, qualified to at least level 3 and licensed. A list of regulated activities is planned and if any of these activities are undertaken by a member of staff they will need to be regulated. By having individual members of staff licensed it will make it easy for them to work in more than one agency or to change jobs.

    They propose a regulator to oversee compliance. The details of this will be important as there is a danger of yet another regulator or body. With redress schemes, local councils, local Trading Standards, The National Trading Standards team in Bristol, deposits schemes, trade bodies and now another regulator, the chances of a tenant being able to know to whom they should complain is limited. As an alternative, but this is probably dreaming, why not merge many of these bodies into one single regulator and start a scheme of joined up thinking in the market.

    All pigs fuelled and ready to fly!

  • Jul 17

    Tenant Fee Ban

    The Tenant Fees Act 2019 has passed all the Parliamentary hurdles and now in force (from the 1 June 2019).

    The CMP provision came into force on the 1 April when CMP became mandatory. This part just made some technical changes for the CMP being introduced under separate legislation.

    There are transitional provisions in section 30 about what happens with fees already in a tenancy in existence before the law is passed, but essentially it will be fully in force by 1 June 2020 following a 12 month transitional provision.

    There are a number of surprises (like if the landlord charges a fee he cannot serve a section 21 notice but if the agent charges a fee this does not prevent the use of a section 21 notice). Although talked about (and named) as tenant fees, it also bans requiring the tenant to pay a third party for services or enter into a contract for services. The most obvious issue here will be tenancy agreements used to require professional cleaning of a property, this will be illegal under the tenant fee ban.

    The final guidance has also been produced and can be downloaded the the internet. We have our concerns about a couple of points in terms of their accuracy so be careful with what it says.

  • Mar 01

    Defective Premises

    In the case of Rogerson v Bolsover District Council, a lady stepped backwards while mowing the lawn and fell through a large manhole cover in the grass. The manhole was actually owned by Severn Trent water and was part of the main sewer system, even though it was on the landlord’s land. The lady won her case in the county court, lost on the appeal and appealed to the Court of Appeal. The tenant won in the Court of Appeal and the landlord was liable to pay damages for the accident. There are two significant things to come out of the case.


    Firstly the property had been inspected in 2013 just before the tenant moved in and again in 2014 as part of a standard 10 year asset management inspection. However, there were no meaningful records of either visit and members of staff involved were not longer working for the local authority by the time of court hearing limiting access to first hand evidence. Therefore, the first lesson is that visits to the property should leave an audit trail that remains even after staff changes or the business is sold.


    The second lesson is the consideration of what should be reviewed when visiting the property and the “technical” understanding of the person who did the inspection. Section 11 repairs generally need the tenant to notify the landlord of the need for repair before a liability arises. This claim was under the Defective Premises Act. Two significant differences between this legislation and section 11 are that Defective Premises Act applies to the whole property (not just the house) so included the drain in the garden, and there is no need to be notified of the problem. This lack of the need to be notified is a great example of why periodic visits to the property are an important part of the management. This is not just about seeing the carpet is vacuumed or the flower beds weeds, there are some serious technical building issues to consider and someone with appropriate knowledge should undertake them.


    Whilst the fact of this case were a little unusual, in having a main sewage tank in the garden, the underlying principle about liability under Defective Premises Act is very real. Other cases where the same legislation has been used include gas safety (before the Gas Safety Regs, but therefore could be used for oil fired or solid fuel heating) and a garden wall falling over and causing injury. Thorough checks and details records are the only defence. At the end of the day some things may be impossible to detect and this is probably the most important reason landlord’s should always ensure they are adequately insured.


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— Ally Horncastle, R M English (Yorkshire) Limited, YORK, Legal Update 2019/YO/Mar19
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— Kym Spink, The Letting Factory.com, BRIDPORT, Legal Update 2019/EX/Feb19
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