A reprieve for landlords – Gas safety certificates and section 21 notices Case update: Trecarrell House Ltd v Rouncefield [2020] EWCA Civ 270 – 3PB

Posted June 23rd, 2020 in health & safety, housing, landlord & tenant, news, statutory duty, utilities by sally

‘Residential landlords may well be familiar with, and will quite possibly have fallen foul of, the statutory requirements placed upon them in respect of gas safety certificates. The case of Caridon Property Ltd v Shooltz (02/02/18, unreported but the judgment is available online) providing, until yesterday, unbinding but highly persuasive authority that landlords who fail to serve a copy of the most recent gas safety certificate prior to a tenant entering in to occupation of the relevant property could not rely upon the no-fault eviction process provided by section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and, as per the County Court appeal judgment of HHJ Luba QC, could never rectify the error. The decision, which was regularly followed by district judges and deputy district judges in the County Court throughout the country, placed landlords in a position where, unless they were able to rely upon any of the grounds set out Schedule 2 of the 1988 Act and therefore serve a section 8 notice, they had no way of evicting tenants, even though they were purportedly assured shorthold tenants.’

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3PB, 19th June 2020

Source: www.3pb.co.uk

East Tower Apartments Limited v No.1 West India Quay Residential Limited LON/00BG/LSC/2014/0329 – Tanfield Chambers

Posted December 4th, 2019 in leases, news, service charges, utilities by sally

‘The long-running saga of East Tower Apartments Limited v No.1 West India Quay Residential Limited continues.

The landlord has been given permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal on the issue of whether a demand under Section 20B(1) must be a contractually valid demand. If the landlord is successful, this will likely require the Upper Tribunal to find that Brent London Borough Council v Schulem B Association Ltd [2011] 1 WLR 3014 was wrongly decided.’

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Tanfield Chambers, 29th November 2019

Source: www.tanfieldchambers.co.uk

The Cost Of Sickness: Mental Health Conditions Cost People Over £1000 A Year – Rights Info

Posted March 6th, 2019 in energy, internet, mental health, news, utilities by sally

‘A person suffering from mental health issues could be paying as much as £1,100 to £1,550 a year more than someone without a condition on necessities such as phone, internet and electricity bills, according to new research by Citizens Advice.’

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Rights Info, 4th March 2019

Source: rightsinfo.org

New Acts – legislation.gov.uk

Posted May 24th, 2018 in data protection, energy, legislation, utilities by tracey

Data Protection Act 2018

Smart Meters Act 2018

Source: www.legislation.gov.uk

High-speed broadband to be legal right for UK homes and businesses – The Guardian

Posted December 20th, 2017 in internet, news, utilities by sally

‘British homes and businesses will have a legal right to high-speed broadband by 2020, the government has announced, dismissing calls from the network provider BT that it should be a voluntary rather than legal obligation on providers.’

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The Guardian, 20th December 2017

Source: www.theguardian.com

Legal costs capped for those who can’t pay energy bills – The Guardian

Posted November 10th, 2017 in costs, debts, news, utilities, warrants by tracey

‘Gas and electricity customers who have fallen so far behind with their payments that they are forced to have a prepayment meter, are to have their court and legal charges capped at £150 by the energy regulator.’

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The Guardian, 10th November 2017

Source: www.theguardian.com

Appeal judges uphold indemnity costs order in “long and acrimonious” neighbour dispute – Litigation Futures

Posted August 16th, 2017 in appeals, costs, dispute resolution, indemnities, judges, news, part 36 offers, utilities by sally

‘The Court of Appeal has backed the order of indemnity costs against a retired couple involved in a battle over access to gas and electricity meters, who “had not come to court to assist the court in resolving the dispute but to assist themselves”.’

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Litigation Futures, 15th August 2017

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

‘Bombastic’ pensioners could lose their home after £200,000 legal battle over shared gas meter – Daily Telegraph

Posted July 26th, 2017 in easements, news, utilities by sally

‘In elderly couple described as “troublemaking” and “bombastic” face giving up their home after losing a £200,000 legal fight to prevent neighbours accessing a shared utilities meter.’

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Daily Telegraph, 25th July 2017

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Nor any drop to drink – Nearly Legal

‘Jones v London Borough of Southwark [2016] EWHC 457 (Ch). Quite a lot of councils have agreements with water suppliers under which the council will collect water charges from their tenants, effectively as an addition to the rent. This case concerned a challenge to the nature and validity of Southwark’s agreement, at least before 2013.’

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Nearly Legal, 5th March 2016

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk/blog/

Court rules council overcharged 37,000 tenants for water and sewerage – Local Government Lawyer

Posted March 7th, 2016 in housing, landlord & tenant, local government, news, rates, sewerage, utilities, water by tracey

‘A London borough has overcharged approximately 37,000 tenants for water and sewerage services, a High Court judge has ruled.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 4th March 2016

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Illegal counterfactuals: bringing in new claims by the backdoor? – Competition Bulletin from Blackstone Chambers

Posted February 24th, 2016 in banking, competition, damages, illegality, news, utilities by sally

‘It is fairly well-established in competition cases that the hypothetical counterfactual – which, for the purposes of causation, posits what the situation would have been absent any breach of competition law – cannot contain unlawful elements: see e.g. Albion Water Ltd v Dwr Cymru [2013] CAT 6. In a normal case, C will claim damages, arguing – let’s say – that D abused a dominant position by imposing discriminatory prices. D defends the claim on the basis that, absent any abuse, it would have set prices at a certain (high) level. C replies that those prices too would have been discriminatory – i.e. the counterfactual is inappropriate.’

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Competition Bulletin from Blackstone Chambers, 24th February 2016

Source: www.competitionbulletin.com

Freedom of information: round-up – Law Society’s Gazette

‘Transparency and openness for local authorities does not just mean disclosing information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FoI). Section 3 of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 gives the secretary of state the power to issue a code of practice about the publication of information by local authorities relating to the discharge of their functions.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 13th April 2015

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Not So Alarming – Nearly Legal

‘There are new provisions requiring smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in residential properties.’

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Nearly Legal, 24th March 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

Teather’s Tether – Will the Tenancies (Reform) Bill be a sticker? – Zenith Chambers

Posted September 24th, 2014 in bills, housing, landlord & tenant, news, utilities by sally

‘Aided by a campaign from Shelter to put an end to “retaliatory eviction” in the private rented sector, Sarah Teather MP introduced a private members bill on 3rd July 2014. This is to address the situation where a tenant, making a legitimate complaint that rented premises are in a state of disrepair, is immediately met with a s. 21 notice and the accelerated procedure for possession. Rather than face up to their responsibilities, or risk a challenge in rent possession proceedings by way of defence and counterclaim for damages for disrepair, unscrupulous landlords choose simply to evict the tenant using the swift and final “no fault” route to possession.’

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Zenith Chambers, 12th September 2014

Source: www.zenithchambers.co.uk

EDF to pay £3m in compensation after Ofgem inquiry – The Guardian

Posted August 22nd, 2014 in compensation, complaints, consumer protection, inquiries, news, utilities by tracey

‘EDF Energy is to pay out £3m to benefit “vulnerable customers” after an investigation by the energy industry watchdog Ofgem found that the company had breached complaint handling rules.’

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The Guardian, 22nd August 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

The UT Repays Again – NearlyLegal

Posted July 7th, 2014 in appeals, landlord & tenant, licensing, news, rent, repayment, tribunals, utilities by sally

The Upper Tribunal has again found itself considering the issue of Rent Repayment Orders and has provided some further enlightenment on its position after the case of Parker v Waller.

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NearlyLegal, 6th July 2014

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

What is a “public authority” for the purposes of environmental information? – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted September 18th, 2013 in disclosure, EC law, freedom of information, human rights, news, utilities by sally

“In this most recent case concerning access by private individuals to environmental information held by public authorities, the AG grasps the nettlish question of what precisely a public authority is. The issue was a subject of debate because the request for information had been addressed to private companies which manage a public service relating to the environment. The question therefore was whether, even though the companies concerned are private, they may be regarded as ‘public authorities’ for the purposes of the Directive governing access to environmental information (Directive 2003/4).”

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UK Human Rights Blog, 17th September 2013

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

SSE fined record £10.5m by Ofgem over ‘prolonged and extensive’ mis-selling – The Guardian

Posted April 3rd, 2013 in energy, fines, news, unfair commercial practices, utilities by sally

“The utility giant SSE is to be fined £10.5m for ‘prolonged and extensive’ mis-selling in what will be the largest ever penalty imposed on an energy provider.”

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The Guardian, 3rd April 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Thames Water Utilities Ltd v Transport for London – WLR Daily

Posted January 23rd, 2013 in causation, law reports, negligence, nuisance, statutory duty, utilities by sally

Thames Water Utilities Ltd v Transport for London [2013] WLR (D) 15

“On the plain construction of regulation 19 of the Traffic Management Permit Scheme (England) Regulations 2007 a statutory undertaker could not avoid a criminal sanction where a person contracted to act on its behalf to undertake specified works in a specified street did so without a permit.”

WLR Daily, 17th January 2013

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

Npower fined £2m by Ofgem – Daily Telegraph

Posted October 31st, 2011 in complaints, consumer protection, fines, news, utilities by sally

“Ofgem has handed npower a £2 million penalty for breaching regulations in handling customer complaints.”

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Daily Telegraph, 31st October 2011

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk