PODCAST: Leading Legal Expert Highlights Latest Law Updates For Landlords

Hosts Eddie Hooker and Paul Shamplina of the HFIS group are joined by David Smith, Head of Property Litigation at JMW Solicitors, legal advisor to the NRLA and a regular face in national media trusted for advising the private rented sector.

With the Renters’ Reform Bill due to be laid before Parliament imminently, this podcast taps into David’s legal expertise, taking a deep dive into the nitty gritty of lettings law and holding them to scrutiny. What are the limitations of the Renters’ Reform Bill from a lawyer’s perspective?

To kick off the discussion, David describes the background to the recent Rakusen v Jensen rent repayment order case, where he acted as legal advisor to the NRLA.

The landmark Supreme Court case illustrates how the interpretation of legislation changes over time, he explains. With an increasing number of ‘property gurus’ damaging the reputation of the sector with their ‘get rich quick’ schemes, perhaps the Government should be taking the opportunity to reform rent to rent rules as part of the Renters’ Reform Bill, says David.

You can also watch this video Q&A in which LandlordZONE editor, Nigel Lewis, asks Eddie Hooker, should rent to rent be regulated? When it comes to the issue of property condition, already a major focus for reform through the proposed application of the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector, will the tragic death of Awaab Ishak be a milestone? The difficulty, argues David, is how any legislative change will be matched by enforcement, which has been consistently weak.

With so many increasingly complex legal changes to contend with, should landlords take on a professional agent to manage their property? Not necessarily, says David – if the agent gets it wrong, the fact the landlord instructed an agent is no defence, and it’s not currently possible to seek a rent repayment order against an agent. Should agents have to take more responsibility, or should educating landlords be enforceable in England, as it is in Wales?

Tune in to hear detailed discussion on these questions and a wide range of topics, including the proposed new property portal for landlords in England, the remit of landlord redress, the introduction of fixed term tenancies, student lets, new grounds for possession, whether agents without a bank account are in breach of client money protection law, and more.

They may not have all the answers, but this podcast will provide you with informed opinion and lively debate.

The latest episode of The Property Cast – an in-depth legislation special – is now available to download.

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