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First rental eviction prompted by tighter EPC rules takes place in Midlands

An 80-year-old disabled woman is being evicted from her home after more than 60 years because her property won’t pass tighter new EPC rules, a case which is believed to be the first of its kind.

Thoresby Estate which owns Anne Marsh’s property in Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire (pictured), says it is no longer viable to rent it out, leaving the pensioner two months to find somewhere else to live.

A report on BBC East Midlands Today explained that although Newark & Sherwood Council is trying to find her a new home, it’s proving difficult as Marsh needs somewhere to park her valuable mobility scooter.

62 years

“I’ve been here 62 years – why do I want to go anywhere else?” she told the programme. “I will be isolated somewhere else and that’s very difficult for an old person – that’s what kills old people off.”

A spokesman for Thoresby Estate says it deeply regrets the situation. “However, the recent law changes with regards to energy performance certificates has made it no longer viable for us to rent out houses like this. Our sympathy goes out to everyone in this and similar situations.”

The NRLA, along with many other groups, has been urging the government to announce more financial help for the PRS to make energy efficiency improvements ahead of looming new rules that could see all tenancies forced to have a C EPC by 2028.

Just the start

 mick robertsNottingham landlord Mick Roberts (pictured) believes this eviction is only just the start. “The government needs to sort this out,” he tells LandlordZONE.

“Half of my properties won’t get to a C band without spending £30,000 and that isn’t happening when tenants are paying 70% of market rent. Some have had a new boiler and double glazing and are still a D rating.”

Adds Roberts: “It should be up to tenants – I’ve asked some and they are quite happy with their houses and don’t want anything done because they don’t want to pay more rent.”

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Chadwell Heath rental home gets a whopping 52 offers

queue property

In a display of competitiveness in the rental market, one Chadwell Heath home reportedly received 52 offers last week.

The landlord for the two-bedroom house in Cornshaw Road was spoilt for choice as 162 viewings were booked for the property, flooding the street with a long queue of interested parties.

Adeel Hasnain, a prospective tenant, had travelled all the way from Harrow for the viewing. He was stunned to see the amount of people who had gathered for it like him, and posted videos of the crowd on social media.

Adam Picton, the local lettings expert for the agency Purple Bricks that arranged for the viewings, shared with this paper that the location and the characteristics of the home were the main crowd-pullers.

He said: “First of all, the price compared to most two-bedroom houses near the station was somewhat generous.

“It’s pretty hard finding a property that ticks every single box, but when it’s within your budget, has a garden, has two double bedrooms, a driveway, is close to the station, is within school catchments, a decent sized kitchen and a shed for storage…most tenants would give an arm and a leg for all that.”

The house ended up going for a price that was £150 above its original asking rate, and some tenants were reportedly offering to pay more.

Adeel told this paper about his struggle to rent a home in London. He said: “Nowadays it has been very difficult to get a suitable house at a price you can afford. I have been looking for more than a month but still haven’t made much progress.”

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Leading economics expert says ‘enough is enough’ for bruised landlords

david smith

Sunday Times’ economics editor David Smith has expressed sympathy for private landlords who he believes feel bruised by increasing regulation in the sector.

He says higher mortgage rates might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for many, with some already selling up and financial institutions moving in by building homes to rent and becoming bigger property owners, often adapting models seen in successful student accommodation.

Speaking on the Talk Property with Ian Collins podcast, Smith said the big changes began during George Osborne’s stint as Chancellor and would continue under this government with the end of no fault evictions and updated energy performance certificate standards.

“The government was under pressure from generation rent who felt they weren’t well treated,” he told Collins. “The effect such as rent controls in Scotland is now limiting supply of rental property particularly for young people and there is a great danger of unintended consequences with these interventions.

Enough is enough

“It’s been one thing after the other for landlords who feel quite bruised by it – for some of them, enough is enough.”

The economics expert predicts that we might have to get used to higher interest rates for some time, however, he is convinced the housing market is robust and predicts that in the next 12 months, prices will only drop by 5 or 10% – or even less.

“After the mini Budget when mortgage rates went up, people got scared, appetite and interest went away for a few weeks,” he added.

“There’s currently a standoff between buyers who are a bit scared of higher mortgage rates and sellers who don’t want to sell into a market they don’t see as very strong – but there are signs buyers are coming back.”

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Landlords warned over Section 13 rent rises after Court of Appeal decision

appeal court

The Court of Appeal has dismissed the case of a landlord who tried to evict a tenant in arrears after getting the date wrong on a Section 13 notice.

Tenant Victoria Whiteland had lived in her cottage in Llanbydder, Carmarthenshire, since May 1991 but although the rent was due every Monday, had always paid on the preceding Friday of each week.

However, when landlord Christopher Mooney bought the property in 2017 and served a notice proposing an increase in the weekly rent from £25 to £100, this stated that the new rent should take effect from Friday 7th December, rather than Monday 10th December 2018.

Typically, if a tenant doesn’t take the matter to a First Tier Property Tribunal, the increase takes effect automatically.

The landlord argued that as she had not done this, it was too late to challenge the validity of the notice.

He believed a reasonable tenant would understand that the landlord meant Monday and not Friday, however, the Court of Appeal disagreed. It also dismissed his argument that the correct date was a Friday because he had already pleaded that the proper date was Monday.

Renters Reform changes

david smithDavid Smith, property lawyer at JMW, explains: “It is quite likely that the Renters Reform Bill will make Section 13 notices the only way to increase rent. If so, then it will be important that agents and landlords are getting the dates on them right.”

Smith adds that the s13 process no longer exists in Wales as it was removed by the Renting Homes (Wales) Act on 1st December.

“The judgment remains valid in England though and is an odd example of the curious effects of devolution in that a case about a Welsh property has changed the law for England but not that for Wales.”


The judges ruled that a tribunal is there to determine the proper rent for a property and can also determine the validity of a notice.

His tenant did not accept the validity of this notice and maintained a previous landlord had told her that the rent would be £25 per week for as long as she lived at the property. Mooney then started possession proceedings.

Read a guide to Section 13 notices.

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BTL landlords welcome landmark ruling from the Supreme Court

Buy to Let

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has welcomed a landmark ruling from the Supreme Court which provides vital clarification about the responsibilities of so called ‘rent-to-rent’ companies.

The ruling in the case of Rakusen v Jepsen will have important implications for the private rented sector as a whole.

In the case, the landlord, Rakusen, agreed to let a flat to a rent-to-rent company. The property required a licence, but the company did not apply for one.

As a result of the failure to be licenced, the former tenants of the flat sought a Rent Repayment Order against Rakusen rather than the rent-to-rent company – even though he had not received rent directly from the tenants.

Rent-to-rent companies take over the running of a property for a landlord.

At an initial tribunal it was ruled that the Rent Repayment Order could be applied for against Rakusen. The Court of Appeal however later overturned the decision and ruled in Rakusen’s favour.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court has ruled that where rent-to-rent companies take over the running of a property, they cannot shirk responsibility and expect to leave the landlord to pay for their legal failings.

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, said: “This case has never been about whether legal obligations should be met, but about who should be responsible for them in rent-to-rent cases.

“We therefore welcome today’s ruling which accepted many of the arguments made by the NRLA and provides important clarity for landlords and tenants alike.

“The ruling makes clear that it is the responsibility of rent-to-rent companies acting as a landlord to ensure that relevant legal requirements are met, since it is they who receive tenants’ rent. It is simply not right that such companies can take money from people without any responsibility for the property they are running.”

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