COVID-19: notice periods for seeking possession

The Coronavirus Act 2020 (CVA 2020), which came into force on 26 March 2020, extended the notice periods in relation to possession proceedings for certain residential tenancies. The provisions contained in Schedule 29 were originally due to end on 30 September 2020 but have been extended until 31 March 2021. The notice period that must be given in most types of notice seeking possession of residential properties in England or Wales between 29 August 2020 and 31 March 2021 is increased from three to six months. A shorter period can…

Upcoming leasehold reforms

Upcoming reforms are planned to make it easier and cheaper for leaseholders to buy their homes  In July 2020, the Law Commission (Commission) published Leasehold Home Ownership: buying your freehold or extending your lease, which set out recommendations to make it easier and cheaper for leaseholders to buy the freehold of their building or extend their lease. Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, announced on 7 January 2021 that, millions of leaseholders will be given the right to extend their lease by a maximum term of 990 years at zero ground rent at…

Update to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm regulations for residential landlords

In late 2020, the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government published a consultation seeking views on proposed amendments to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/1693). Landlords of residential rented properties in England must comply with the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. The aim of the consultation was to require landlords to: Install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation where a fixed combustion appliance that uses any fuel type is installed (excluding gas cookers). Repair or replace…

Update: COVID-19 and protection from forfeiture for non-payment of rent

In October, a blog I wrote explained how commercial tenants should act without delay when applying for relief from forfeiture from non-payment of rent. A further update to this is that business tenants affected by COVID-19 will continue to benefit, until 31 March 2021, from: Protection from forfeiture for non-payment of rent. This will bring the length of time business tenants have been given support from the threat of eviction to one year. Restrictions on landlords recovering unpaid rent by the exercise of commercial rent arrears recovery. If you would…

How to repossess your property from squatters

Squatters have been an inconvenience for landlords, both residential and commercial, for many years. Of course, in residential situations, a person trespassing, or squatting in a house is a criminal offence, and assistance from the police is common. In a commercial scenario, the situation is far more complex and time-consuming, with a squatter having to be evicted with assistance from the courts and with possession being enforced by County or High Court Enforcement Officers. Our Litigation department at Bowling & Co recently assisted a client to recover possession of their…

Landlords must gear up for new safety checks 

Residential landlords must get their house in order with the arrival of further legislation to protect tenants through electrical and building safety requirements. New electrical safety standards are rolling out for private sector tenancies and the other upcoming challenge for residential landlords is fire safety compliance for building structures.  Both safety aspects have been accelerated following tragic outcomes.  Electricity causes about half of the UK’s 37,000 house fires a year, according to the charity Electrical Safety First, and faulty electrics cause some 70 deaths and 350,000 injuries each year in…

What investors, savers and homeowners should consider to protect their finances

At the beginning of the year, we could not fathom the impact the COVID-19 pandemic would have on the way we work and live - not to mention our savings, investments, and day-to-day finances. The UK is now in recession - the biggest on record. There have been monumental swings in the stock market and in the price of almost every other asset including property, bonds, oil, and gold. Companies have been forced to cut and cancel dividends, with many concerned that they may even go out of business altogether.…

Property boom as home and overseas buyers rush to beat the deadline 

Property buyers are fighting off the pandemic to catch a new home before stamp duty goes back to its normal rate.  For overseas buyers, the race is even more important, as the rate will carry an additional surcharge for them from April. As part of the range of measures to provide economic support through the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government introduced a temporary holiday for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on the first £500,000 of purchases, but this will come to an end on 31 March 2021, when it will revert…

Applying for relief from forfeiture? Act without delay

A recent high court case shows the importance of acting on time when applying for relief from forfeiture. The basics of the case were as follows: The tenants (being the Claimants in this matter) had the benefit of a 21-year lease for a property in Leicester (which was entered into in 2008). The Property, which was a ground floor shop with a residential flat above it, attracted a £2,000 quarterly rent instalment. In June 2018 the Claimants had, by way of a mistake, paid 1,500 of the rent thereby going…

Lockdown 2 and home improvements: When do you need planning permission?

With recent announcements from both the UK and Scottish government about further lockdown restrictions, you might be planning to fill your time with some home improvements. At the time of writing, tradespeople are exempt from lockdown restrictions and may enter your home to carry out necessary repairs. However, you should be aware that certain modifications to your home and garden may require specific permissions. In this article, we look at where you can find the information you need and provide a brief guide to when you may and may not…

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