Do Landlords Need to Hire Solicitors?

Simply: yes. Yes, they do. Solicitors for landlords are imperative - whether you're letting out a property for the first time or an experienced landlord with multiple properties to your name you will need a good solicitor to make sure that you are meeting all legal protocol and protecting yourself and your tenants from any nasty future incidents with court. 

 
Many novice landlords have so much on their mind that they haven't even considered the fact they might need a landlord, but let us tell you that finding a good quality solicitor for landlords should be top of the priority list if you're considering letting out a property! 
 
Solicitors for landlords can draft the most up to date tenancy agreements for you, ensuring all potential loopholes are thoroughly covered and your rights and your property will be protected, help you decide whether a guarantor agreement is required to protect your payment scheme, advise you on handling the bond, serving a valid notice for you and helping you consider which notice is most appropriate for you and defend any claim brought against you by a tenant. Any mistakes you make as a landlord can cost thousands of pounds, so make sure you always seek advice from a legal expert! 
 
Leigh landlord Kris Parmenter learned the hard way when he was ordered to pay over £7,000 for not repairing the damp problem in his tenant's house! Cases of housing disrepair are taken very seriously indeed - so make sure that as a landlord you have a solicitor who will fully brief you on the ins and outs of housing disrepair, your rights as a landlord and consequently how not to end up in a sticky situation like Mr Parmenter!
 
We have an excellent expert team of solicitors for landlords at Newbold Solicitors, simply give us a call at any time and we can help you out.

Damp Property but Landlord Not Doing Repairs?

Out of all the disrepair claims we receive damp in rental properties is easily the most common. If you find yourself victim to a landlord not doing repairs, we can help! If you find yourself in a rental property that suffers from damp, and the landlord is refusing to take any action, we’re here to assist you.

Structural dampness is caused by unwanted moisture in the air; this can either be the result of an intrusion of water from the outside, or more commonly from condensation on the inside and a lack of adequate ventilation. The presence of damp in your home can lead to unpleasant respiratory problems, so if you think your house may be suffering then you need to report it to your landlord.

Of course, not all landlords will take immediate action. If you find yourself on the receiving end of a landlord not doing repairs remember they are actually legally obliged to. In the Housing Act 1985 the landlord’s responsibilities and obligations are clearly marked, and in a field that’s constantly developing you need the assistance of professionals like Newbold to guide you through.

If you’ve been subject to damp or a landlord not doing repairs, get in touch with Newbold Solicitors today to start to resolve your potential health risk.

Experts in Housing Disrepair Claims

At Newbold, we’re one of the country’s leading legal experts when it comes to housing disrepair claims. As housing disrepair claims can be fraught with such contentiousness (for both tenants and landlords), it is much advised to get people-in-the-know in to help assist you along the way.

Every landlord has a statutory obligation to abide by, and should they fail to do so then the tenant has a right to claim compensation. These claims can be significant so landlords are advised to take legal advice that considers which type of disrepairs result in a substantial claim.

Although you’ll find landlord’s obligations in the Housing Act 1985, and further more in that of 2004, the nature of case law is forever changing and developing, so it’s critical you have someone clued up in your corner. It’s also critical that whoever is defending housing disrepair claims has a knowledge of new cases, and this is obviously somewhere Newbold can really lend their expertise.

If you’re a landlord and find yourself in a situation where a tenant causes damages beyond the expense of their bond, we can also help. We may advise you to make a country court claim whereby we will attempt to recover the remaining balance from the tenant themselves.

Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, if you’re interested in filing a disrepair claim Newbold have a proven track-record of only taking on winnable claims, and delivering successful results.

How Will Landlords Vote in May?

With so many people talking about the upcoming Scottish independence referendum, it's easy to forget the general election that's due in 2015. As things stand, the United Kingdom will go to the polls on Thursday the 7th of May, giving the public roughly eight months to make up their minds and decide who to vote for.
 
With this in mind - and ignoring the apparent possibility of postponement - the NLA (National Landlords Association) recently conducted a survey of the nation's landlords, hoping to gain some insight into how they might vote next spring. Housing, of course, is a very contentious political issue; as we've previously reported, 14% of British voters consider it to be the country's biggest concern at present.
 
And yet the NLA's findings seem to suggest that landlords aren't all that interested in the housing policies of the major parties. Only 13% of those polled said that being a landlord had a significant effect on their political beliefs; twice as many (26%) admitted that their role as a landlord made no difference whatsoever.
 
 
This could be due in part to the ever-increasing number of amateur landlords in Britain today. We already know that part-time landlords now constitute 70% of the private retail market, and it stands to reason that part-timers may well have bigger concerns outside of the housing sector. Even if the other 30% - the professional landlords who depend solely on their property portfolios for income - were entirely influenced by housing policies, their portion of the pie chart would still be much smaller than that of the amateurs.
 
Of course, the NLA’s findings don’t mean that David Cameron, Ed Miliband et al won’t find ways to sway landlords to their respective causes. While such political hot topics as new home building and social housing may not really apply to private landlords*, it’s safe to say that there are plenty of other issues that will surely interest property owners – not least the Green Deal, and what will become of the GDHIF now that it is closed to new applicants. 
 
Are you a landlord? If you ever need legal advice for any reason – from drawing up contracts to evicting troublesome tenants – get in touch with Newbold Solicitors.
 
*The NLA report notes that, “as politicised as ‘housing’ has become, ‘homes’ and the industry which exists to support their provision should be kept separate.”
 

Can I Withhold Rent from My Landlord?

It is a landlord’s duty to ensure the property they are letting is in a fit state of repair and there are no potential hazards lurking. If this is not the case then you the tenant have the right to claim compensation for such a breach, and we at Newbold can help you along the course of taking legal action.

Before you take court action for housing disrepair claims you want to be sure of the following:

  • Is your landlord legally responsible for disrepairs on the property?
  • Have you given your landlord sufficient warning of the issues, and enough time to address them?
  • Be aware you may be at risk of eviction if you are renting privately.
  • Have you looked at alternative solutions to the problem?
  • Do you feel you have sufficient evidence to back up your claim?
  • Think about whether you have the money to afford legal costs – assuming you can’t get assistance with them.

If you have considered all of the above and you’re confident you have a case, we at Newbold would be more than happy to take on your case and offer our professional services. It is often advisable that you refrain from paying rent until the said repairs are carried out, and you can also take injunctions out to force repairs.

We operate under a no win no fee basis, so you really have nothing to lose! Visit our housing disrepair page now, and see if you should be withholding rent from your landlord.

Looking for Solicitors in Neath?

As you may already know, Newbold and Co have several offices throughout South Wales. The newest of the lot is our Neath office, which opened its doors back in October 2013 (less than a year ago).
 
But while the office itself is still relatively new, our team of solicitors in Neath are just as experienced and as knowledgeable as the rest of the Newbold staff. If you're based in Neath and you need some legal advice, here's how to find us:
 
Newbold Solicitors Neath
40 Alfred Street, Neath
Neath Port Talbot
SA11 1EH
 
Most of the people we help are landlords and tenants who are having trouble with rented accommodation. Here are some of the services we offer on this front:
 
Assistance for Landlords:
Assistance for Tenants:
We can also help with wills, divorces, property conveyancing, and a variety of other legal matters. Get in touch with our friendly solicitors in Neath today!

Tenants: Is Your Home in Disrepair?

No Win, No Fee on Disrepair Cases >

 
Yesterday's edition of the London Evening Standard told the story of a Hillingdon landlord who landed himself in hot water by letting a so-called 'bed in a shed' for £750 per month. The outbuilding - which had already been the subject of several planning enforcement notices - was recently torn down by Hillingdon Borough Council, and the landlord will reportedly be footing a £10,000 bill for their demolition work.
 
A similar report appeared in The Guardian last week. This story concerned a North London landlord who had been fined more than £3,000 for letting a room that was only accessible via a staircase with a 2ft 3in head height. Yaakov Marom had previously been banned from renting out the room, mainly due to fire safety concerns.
 
We've seen quite a few stories like these in recent weeks, and they're not all coming from London - for example, a Bradford-based property owener is now £13,000 out of pocket after being fined for a plethora of issues in two of his buildings. No matter where you look, the pattern is clear: landlords simply aren't fulfilling their legal obligations towards their tenants.
 
This is what Richard Lambert was warning us about a few weeks back; it's great to see the rental market in such rude health, but if landlords don't honour their responsibilities, they'll give the whole sector a bad name.
Of course, it's important for tenants to do their research as well. The aforementioned Guardian article notes that "many tenants are unfamiliar with their rights", and if you live in rented accommodation, it's well worth taking a little time to do some reading.
 
We're not going to list all of your landlord's responsibilities here, but at the very least, they should be providing a safe and habitable space for you to live in. If they are already failing to do this, don't wait for the council to catch up with them - take some action of your own! You may well be able to claim compensation for disrepair, and if the current state of your home represents a genuine health risk, it's better to act now rather than later.
 
To speak with a legal professional and find out if you have grounds for disrepair, get in touch with your nearest Newbold office today.

My Landlord Won't Return My Deposit

If you are a tenant of rental property then the likelihood is that you will have paid a bond and/or deposit to secure your tenancy. 

Since the 6th of April, 2007 all landlords have been required by law to place security deposits or bonds in a tenancy deposit protection scheme within 30 days of receiving it. However, there are a few landlords who fail to register deposits within the statutory time scale and consequently will refuse to return your deposit. This of course is illegal, and our team can help! 
 
If your landlord won't return your deposit and you're in a dispute then the likelihood is you'll need to file an Alternative Dispute Resolution. Newbold Solicitors' team of expert housing law solicitors can provide legal advice for tenants and help ensure that you get your deposit back and that your tenants rights are honoured and protected at all times. 
 
Let Newbold Solicitors help you get your deposit back today!

Housing Law: The Services We Offer

As one of the most experienced housing law firms in the UK, Newbold are more than qualified enough to deal with your case whether you’re a landlord or a tenant.

Here is a succinct list of the services we offer:

Services for Landlords

Offer out advice on your rights and duties

Defence against claims brought by your tenant

Help you evict illegal tenants by applying for a bailiff

Arrange housing payment benefits from the DWP

Draft tenancy agreements

Help you recover possession

 

Services for Tenants

Defend possession claims

Ensure your landlord can’t enter the property without consent

Help you recover a late bond payment

Offer practical advice if you find yourself homeless

Contest tenancy deposits

Ensure your property is not in a state of disrepair, and it meets government standards

Defence against unsound possession applications

Green Deal Closure: Landlord Association Demands Answers

A few weeks ago, the government announced that The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) would no longer be accepting new applications. This scheme was set up as a means of encouraging landlords to make their properties more energy-efficient; for example, grants were available for double/triple glazing and various forms of building insulation.
 
Now, though, visitors to gov.uk's Green Deal page are greeted by the following notice:
 
The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is closed to new applications.
 
The official press release blamed 'overwhelming popular demand' for this unexpected turn of events; because so many people applied for funding, the GDHIF's budget was used up far sooner than estimated, which is why applications are no longer being accepted.
 
This announcement came as a shock to property owners everywhere, not least because government officials had been singing the Green Deal's praises mere days earlier. Since the GDHIF's abrupt closure, Richard Lambert (CEO of the National Landlords Association) has issued several scathing criticisms of the government and their handling of the scheme; here is an excerpt from his latest statement:
"The Government has demonstrated outright incompetence in its handling of the Green Deal...It's gone from an ambitious, visionary programme to a shambolic joke, seemingly unlikely to benefit anyone."
 
Mr Lambert goes on to issue a challenge to the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), urging them to stop "playing around with short-term stop gaps" and show "a clear commitment to putting this right without delay".
 
Mr Lambert's anger is understandable; the NLA have, by and large, been vocal supporters of the GDHIF since day one. Even their latest campaign update asserts that the Association "always believed that the [Green Deal's] logic was sound", and so few will be more disappointed in the DECC's latest U-turn.
 
So, is there to be a silver lining for landlords and the GDHIF? For the moment, everything appears to be up in the air; the aforementioned campaign update concludes with the following statement:
 
"The NLA has secured meetings with the DECC and remains hopeful of finding a solution to the most recent problems. We will update members as we learn more."
 
Perhaps landlords will be able to apply for Green Deal funding once more in the near future. For now, though, the UK's landlords have been left out in the cold.
 
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