Does providing tenants with the how to rent booklet only apply to tenancies which commenced on or after 1st October 2015?

The legislation suggests this, but it’s not entirely clear. However, all of the guidance suggests it is best practise to provide a how to rent booklet before you serve a section 21. At Bolt Burdon we have been advising our clients to ensure their tenants are given a booklet, no matter what date the tenancy commenced.

If a CCJ for £10,000 was issued in 2012 can it still be referred to High Court enforcement?

No, because you only have six years to enforce it. You could try to renew it, by making an application notice to vary the judgment. However, you’d need to evidence what actions you have taken in the last six years, as this was your statute of limitations to enforce the judgment. If you can evidence you’ve made some unsuccessful attempts or there are new circumstances, then the judge may well grant the extension.

If a S21 notice is served personally, rather than by registered post as per the tenancy agreement, is that an invalid service?

It all depends on what the tenancy agreement states. If the tenancy agreement permits personal service what you’d normally need to do is provide a certificate of service to the court confirming you have personally served it. That is usually enough for it to be accepted by the court.

If a writ is valid for 12 months, do we need to renew it if they are paying over a few years?

No. If they were to stop paying at any point then the application will be automatically valid for a further 12 months. It’s acceptable to extend payment arrangements beyond 12 months if this is necessary.

If the deposit was registered late but returned at the end of the tenancy, is the landlord still liable for penalty?

Yes, a landlord needs to protect the deposit within 30 days of receiving it and if this hasn’t been done then the tenant can take the matter to court. If they do bring a claim and there was non-compliance, the court can make an order, usually to the value of one, two or three times the deposit amount. This is then paid to the tenant.

Can you give some examples of prohibited payments?

There are many types of prohibited payments; these include third party costs such as inventories, check in and check out fees, contract renewal fees, any payments for credit checks etc. These would all fall under prohibited payments and therefore, if there is a cost attached, this needs to be paid for by the landlord and cannot be passed to the tenant.

How much will it cost to transfer to the High Court?

Where you have a possession order with leave to transfer granted, there is a fee of £100 to apply for permission to issue the Writ, along with a £66 court fee for the writ of possession. Should you already have a possession order from the county court without leave, there would be an additional £100 court fee to apply for retrospective leave.

David Asker

David is an authorised High Court Enforcement Officer and our Director of Corporate Governance

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