Its that time again! Ben and I are going to take a bit of time out from the blog and reacquaint ourselves with our families.
However as usual I have done a retrospective on the years posts, so you can look back and maybe read the bits you missed.
The blog will be returning on or about Monday 5 January 2015.
Ben starts off by confessing that he has missed writing for the blog over the holiday, going on to talk about redress schemes and gypsies, while later he wonders if individualism is the problem?
I start the year by considering why landlords should rent to tenants on benefit (in the light of the Wilsons’ plans to evict them all) and continue my earlier series on tenancy agreements writing about an agreement where the landlord pays the bills (its a very popular on one Landlord Law),
Blog clinic questions include enforcing an award against a non paying landlord and agent, whether a landlord should refund the rent now the tenant has moved out and from a tenant without hot water because the landlord cannot access the boiler.
Ben goes to Gleneagles for Frazzy’s award and learns that kitchens are disappearing.
I give some advice to tenants made homeless by the flooding, give some reasons as to why tenants served with an eviction notice might not go, and discuss evicting a tenant without a tenancy agreement.
I announce a new Landlord Law Live podcast series starting with Ian Potter of ARLA.
Blog clinic questions include tenants asking what they can do about black mould, landlords asking about claiming their deposit from the DPS, and a tenant asks if her rent increase is valid.
We had a lot going on this month! It started with a great podcast with Ian Potter of ARLA, but most of the month was taken up by preparing for our Landlord Law Conference.
However there were still some ‘normal’ posts such as this one on tenants’ notice periods, a report from Shelter on retaliatory eviction, and the governments plans to speed up evictions (which have since gone very quiet).
Ben had some interesting items in his column such as garden cities and renewable energy, and of course garden gnomes.
Blog clinic questions include a tenant whose landlord changed the locks while she was abroad, a landlord wanting to claim for redecoration due to damp and mould, and whether landlords need to give the time when giving notice of visits.
The month started with a great post featuring the Conference photos, followed later by the Conference film and then not one but TWO podcasts – Alan Ward and David Smith.
I also discuss when you need to get a court order to evict a licensee and how to evict tenants quickly (if you can)
Ben invested in a stab vest for work, considers neighbours from hell and considers selling soup.
Blog clinic questions include a landlord wanting to claim against the court for a botched eviction (I bet he’s not the only one), a tenant wanting to claim the deposit penalty when the deposit was never paid (allegedly) and discrimination of a gay couple by a building management company.
Ben discusses the big benefit bill, considers the immigration act, and reports on developing a rogue landlord multi agency task force in London.
We report on a sucessful prosecution of a landlord by his tenant in the Magistrates Court for damp, I do a power point presentation on 10 reasons why landlords need a tenancy agreement, consider what happens to a tenancy when the tenant dies and David Smith and I start a major series on HMOs
This month’s podcast is Professor Martin Partington talking about the new developments in Wales.
Blog clinic questions include a tenant asking how she can get her landlord to deal with the rat situation, whether a tenant leaving early can request a refund, and whether these tenants can get their landlord to deal with their unpleasant neighbours.
Ben considers Council Knockers, and how the Chinese are buying up the capital.
This months podcast is with barrister Robert Brown on gaining access for gas safety inspections, Generation Rent publish a manifesto which I look at in a 4 part series and I do a Monster List of tips for Landlords.
The HMO series with David looks at what an HMO is and this great post on valuing HMOs for Council Tax.
Blog clinic questions include evicting an elderly tenant who has been in the property for 10 years, whether a three month periodic tenancy is legal and whether a guarantor is bound by a new tenancy at an increased rent.
Ben mourns the passing of the wonderful Renter Girl blog and gets a new dog.
I am invited to join the Council of the Property Redress Scheme, give five tips to tenants on avoiding deposit disaster, discuss a DWP report which shows that the Bedroom Tax isn’t working and consider 3 ways to deal with homelessness in our big cities.
The podcast this month is Paul Shamplina talking about eviction and the courts.
My HMO series with David looks at the Management Regulations, and the case of Spencer v. Taylor changes the interpretation of section 21 forever.
Blog clinic questions include a tenant’s options after losing at adjudication, whether a landlord should pay agents’ commission if the tenant refuses to move out and whether tenants are liable for expenses caused by their failure to move out in time.
Ben discusses Powys role in regulating English landlords, considers poor doors and does a special post on councils using the Works in Default procedure.
I list 15 places + where tenants can get free legal advice, and my HMO series with David moves on to licensing
This months podcast is Ben Beadle of TDS talking about tenancy deposit issues.
Blog clinic questions include a tenant stuck in a dangerous property, whether tenants can claim compensation for a leaky roof after they have moved out, and a tenant worries about keeping the dog she inherited from her father in a no pets tenancy.
Ben looks at different theories of the housing crisis, blames his parents for the war and warns landlords of the growing problems of cannabis farms in rented properties
The HMO series ends with a post by David Smith on HMO Prosecutions, and I write what I hope would be a definitive post on landlords rights of access only to find arguments raging in the comments for weeks (I stopped publishing them in the end as they got very repetative).
The podcast this month is with Vanessa Warwick of the wonderful Property Tribes and we start a series on landlords as immigration officers by immigration expert Sue Lukes.
Blog clinic questions include whether landlords are entitled to hold keys to their rented properties, what a tenant can do to keep his bikes indoors and whether a drop in sale price of a property due to tenant damage was something the agents should have told the deposit adjudicator.
Ben tackles a few policitical issues in his column and later considers UKIP and expensive cats.
I look at the ten most common issues and problems with tenancy agreements, consider the options landlords have for getting paid money owed by tenants, wonder whether our housing problem is caused by politicians and government, and announce my free guide to the Private Rented Sector Code.
The months podcast (and last podcast for a while) is with Kevin Firth of the DPS.
Blog clinic questions include the tenant who was threatened with eviction by her landlord if she did not rebuild the wall she was told to knock down by his agents, whether this landlord can refuse to allow the tenants to end the tenancy early, who is responsible for replacing a shattered shower door and whether you need to tell your landlord if you are going to have a baby.
Ben discusses the right to buy, and talks about gypsies (now that he can).
The Home Office give me some right to rent links, I wonder whether landlords can discriminate against tenants with zero hours contracts, and take a look at Sarah Teathers bill (subsequently quashed by a couple of filibustering Tory landlord MPs)
We announce the Landlord Law Conferences 2015 in Cambridge and also in Wales.
Blog clinic questions include a protected tenant frustrated by his landlords refusal to deal with repair issues, a tenant unable to use the parking space with his rented flat, and a tenants rights if an agent enters without permission
So here we are in December! Ben discusses spite houses, gives a quick guide for tenants on checking out their landlords, and gives his predictions for 2015.
I look at what tenants should do if their landlord dies intestate, write about another new deposit case with bad news for landlords, and announce a new online course I am preparing for January 2015 on tenancy agreements.
Blog clinic questions include a tenant whose landlord is refusing to pay for essential repair work she paid to have done, a tenant who was locked out of her flat which was then boarded up, and whether this landlord is responsible for fitting ground floor window locks.
So there you are. A round up of the year. I hope you enjoy reading it.
Huge thanks to Ben for all his help and support over the past year and to YOU for reading the blog and particuarly ‘thank you’ if you have made comments.
If you want more, there is last years Christmas roundup and of course posts on the wonderful Nearly Legal site, Property Tribes and Property 118 to keep you going.
Ben and I will be back in the new year.