Housing Law is a fairly complex subject. It needs to be as it's regulating an area of people's lives that has an enormous impact on their health and wellbeing. We all need somewhere to live; the market provides but not always adequately and that's where housing law steps in to ensure minimum standards for property conditions, security of tenure, rent levels etc.
Housing Law is a constantly changing subject; successive governments alter and amend the laws to address current issues or reflect their ideology/need for votes; successive judges interpret (or inflate/dilute/reverse) those laws to address the situations that come before them.
For the uninitiated, Housing Law can be a minefield. For the initiated, it is still a minefield and although you'll know where most of those mines are planted, there'll always be a rogue one no one told you about.
But if you're in the business of letting houses, either as a landlord or an agent, you inevitably end up venturing out on to that minefield on a fairly regular basis. You need to step clear of those mines.
You have probably picked up quite a lot on the way if you're serious about the business; you are likely to be aware of how to register your deposits, what's important to put in your tenancy agreements, how to increase your rents and how to terminate a tenancy.
Inevitably there is a great deal of background information behind what you do know, and the greater your knowledge, then it will inevitably improve your operation and business efficiency. Operating outside of the rules is a dangerous occupation and unsustainable in the long term.
I'm delighted to have been invited to contribute to a new course, entitled Easy Law for Landlords devised by solicitor Tessa Shepperson, of the Landlord Law blog. Tessa has a talent for making the complex simple, and avoiding legalese which makes her courses more interesting than most.
I will be contributing in a discussion about the work of the Residential Property Tribunal, as well as being involved with the online tutorials.
The course is a 10 module course which will be delivered online over 20 weeks, covering the following subject areas:
- Basic law
- The Rent Act 1977 and the Housing Act 1988
- Joint tenancies
- Tenancy agreements
- Data protection
- Tenancy deposits
- Health and safety
- Eviction of tenants
- Law relating to agencies and letting agents
If you're interested in signing up for the course, more detail can be found here.
Places are available to those that sign up before 30th May 2012.
As ever, there is no substitute for taking independent legal advice on the specific issues that affect you; please contact any member of the Housing Law team at Emsleys for advice.Back to Blog