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  • Landlords in Distress

    Consumer protection for Landlords?

    Hi Tribes,

    Where is the line drawn between LL who deal as a business and LL dealing as a consumer?

    For example if a LL is victim of an unfair contract with a letting agent, under what circumstance can he complain to trading standards and benefit from the Consumer Rights legislation?

    A large portfolio LL is a business and a person who has temporarily let their own home while working away is a consumer, but what about a small LL with one or two houses as personal investments?

    Is there any official guidance available?  I can only find the Mortgage Credit Directive but that is only intended to decide on consumer status for mortgage lending and not more general consumer rights.

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    If it gets to court the Judge will decide for you.

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    Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 @ Section 27l/H at Part 4A

    In some circumstances, the tenant (consumer) can receive a discount of rent (& damages) should the LL (aka the trader) act in breach of the regulations.

    Example: LL tells tenant deposit is protected when it is not is a misleading statement & a breach of the regulations.

    Another example: LL does not tell Tenant that the deposit was protected late is a misleading omission & a breach of the regulations.

    Landlords please watch out! Tenants have another weapon! They no longer have to go to trading standards & hope that the LL is prosecuted. Tenants can start a claim themselves & use this as counterclaims against s8 rent arrears!

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    Well if a stupid LL doesn't protect the deposit correctly they deserve everything that might happen to them

    Ignorance of the law is no defence

    Deposits law has been in since 2011

    Bit hard to say you didn't know about deposit law!!

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    I knew I shouldn't have relied on my memory

    But I do remember as a new LL in 2008  that I needed to protect the deposit and have been a mydeposits  member since then

    There really is no excuse not to know about  deposit regulations

    I believe I was only aware of deposit rules  was because I was a FULL  NLA member

    Joining a LL  Association  is to be recommended

    Keeps a LL  on their toes and they won't miss out on vital information.

    Back then PT didn't exist as far as I was aware

    I didn't even know how to use Google! !!

    I was a very naive and ignorant  LL  back then.

    Consequently  was ripped off by LA  and tenants alike.

    I am of the opinion that had I been required to undergo compulsory  accreditation  before being allowed to become a LL  I wouldn't have made any mistakes

    Back then I didn't know what I didn't know!

    I now know there is a lot I don't know

    Little by little PT with all its invaluable  contributers reduces my ignorance

    Definitely  have a long way to go before I consider I know sufficient  but PT does assist to ensure I don't miss out on valuable info

    I find V and N are are the ball and I doubt if anything has ever missed their attention

    Sort of quite reassuring that there are some very motivated people out there attempting to reduce my ignorance  levels.

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    We have to give a copy of the right to cancel a contract within 14 days to any landlord who rents in his/her own name.  If they have formed a limited company then we do not have to give a copy of the right to cancel.  So under consumer law a landlord is treated as a consumer if they are operating in their own name but treated as a company if they are operating as a limited company.

    Hope that helps

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    Sandra Savage-Fisher

    Hi Roofus.

    I recently covered this whilst at uni, one of the modules I studied was business law and from my understanding, it will depend on what kind of entity your property is owned by. If you're a sole trader/individual, you are likely to be covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

    Whereas, if you were an incorporated business or partnership, or other form of legal entity besides sole trader/individual, you wouldn't be covered by the consumer rights act, instead you would be covered by the sale of goods and services act, I think.

    In other words, if the contract is between you as an individual and them as a company, it will be consumer law. If the contract is between an incorporated company and another company, consumer rights legislation will not apply. Trading standards no longer deal with consumer rights, that's dealt with by Citizens Advice Bureau, trading standards do, however, deal with business to business sales so if you're trading as a limited company, they will be able to give you advice, otherwise it would be citizens advice.


    Don't take my word for it though, I might be completely wrong but I think I'm correct. Smile

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