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Obscure law that community housing groups need to know

June 2017

Did you know that landlords (incl community housing landlords) are obliged to consult with tenants under 'long term tenancy agreements'?

If a landlord fails to consult tenants appropriately, then their recovery for payments out of service charge is capped at £100 per dwelling per year. 

How is this relevant to community-led housing groups?

This is generally problematic only in the early stages of development. 

For instance, if a group puts in a communal heating system in the first stage of a development, there are no tenants for the landlord entity to consult with.  However, if it does not consult, the service charge cap of £100 still applies. 

There is no easy solution to this in black letter law and it may be that groups need to revisit their rules to ensure that they can recoup payments.  The landlord entity may not be able to rely on the service charge provisions in the lease to recover the cost, yet funders may require certainty on the point.

Advice

This is an example of a legal provision that non-specialist residential conveyancers may miss but can be easily avoided with appropriately drafted rules.

Are there any other obscure property law points that community-led housing groups ought to be aware of?

Unfortunately, there are. We attempt to update groups on this and can point you towards these related articles:

Unfair hidden ground rent costs on new builds - We consider the effect on community-led housing groups using leaseholds

How a community right to build order could help your group retain affordable housing in perpetuity

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If you are involved with a community-led housing group and would like to receive our news bulletins and details of events, please send us a quick email here

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If you would like to discuss any aspect of this article further, please contact Emma Ridge on 0113 244 6100.

You can also keep up to date by following Wrigleys Charities and Social Economy team on Twitter here

The information in this article is necessarily of a general nature. Specific advice should be sought for specific situations. If you have any queries or need any legal advice please feel free to contact Wrigleys Solicitors

 

 

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Emma Ridge

Partner
Leeds

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