Landlords and the Challenges of Legislation

One of the many responsibilities of landlords is making sure that they conform to current letting and other legislation. Gina Peters from experts from Dutton Gregory Solicitors explains some of the complexities

Why is it difficult for landlords to keep up with relevant legislation?

The sheer amount of it! There are over 170 pieces of legislation that those letting residential property in England must comply with. In Wales landlords must also consider the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 which has brought major changes in housing law since December 2022.

New Acts and Regulations are regularly being introduced, existing legislation often changes, (e.g., new editions of the How to Rent Guide in England,) and nothing is broadcast that well.

It takes a lot of effort to keep up and in some circumstances, landlords need to prepare well in advance of measures coming in. This is where trade associations and legal professionals can ease the pressure.

What are the most common legal questions facing landlords?

How am I going to get my property back when the Section 21 Notice is abolished?

Will it be easier to get my property back or worse when the Renter’s (Reform) Bill is passed?

How do I deal with a tenant who won’t let me undertake gas safety checks or other inspections?

What do I do with left belongings?

What are the complexities of debt recovery?

All claims are issued through the recently merged ‘Civil National Business Centre’ and can be prepared and issued online by individuals or legal professionals.

The County Court’s issue fee is on a sliding scale depending on the value of the claim.

There is a six- year limitation period on general debt claims from the breach of contract and, when a judgment is obtained, you have six years to enforce the judgment and recover the monies owed. This will involve a ‘Letter Before Action’ setting out the full details of your claim and seeking payment within say 14 days. If no payment is forthcoming, then court process can start.

The debtor could enter a personal arrangement of their debts, which could be an Individual Voluntary Arrangement or more seriously, bankruptcy.

There is also The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020, a permanent piece of legislation that provides a 60-day moratorium on proceeding with a debt claim or its enforcement. This can become prolonged if it is a mental health crisis as they can be extended almost indefinitely subject to the treatment continuing.

What should I do if I have been served a Rent Repayment Order?

Read the application thoroughly to understand what you are being accused of. If it is breach of licence requirements for a certain period, then often you can establish its validity with the dates you obtained a licence. If you are in breach, then you should negotiate with the applicant or their representative as soon as possible. If you are not a professional landlord, then this could be regarded as a mitigating factor and may assist in reducing the amount you pay.

Where can I get help in drafting and reviewing tenancy agreements?

Solicitors such as the specialist team here at Dutton Gregory can help with drafting queries on specific clauses or reviewing your current tenancy agreement. Sometimes it is more cost effective to purchase a tenancy agreement from us and then fit the bits you really want in it into the document we produce for you. We will always assess what you are asking for and provide you with a quote for the options that are available to you.

Can I get telephone support for legal questions?

We currently only offer a subscription telephone helpline service to letting agents. We can always assess enquiries in the first instance and provide an estimate for the work required.

Where can I read some advice on lettings law?

You can get a copy of my book Lettings Law for Property Professionals – Your Legal Questions Answered which I wrote, was published, and became a number one Amazon bestseller last year! I wanted to provide lettings law information and share my experience with those wishing to take their learning further.

What are Dutton Gregory Solicitors’ HOUSE rules?

The rules are a personal and business development tool I created and based my book on. They allow those with legal questions to get thorough answers and understanding that add to their personal and business skill set, empowering the reader, those they work with, and improving their business.

What’s the story behind Dutton Gregory Solicitors?

Dutton Gregory has been supporting landlords of both Residential and Commercial Property for over 75 years. Originally founded in Hampshire, we have grown through industry reputation to now help landlords across England and Wales with a wide variety of letting and enforcement issues. We see our roles as protecting and guiding landlords through their legal obligations and, should there be a difficult tenant, using the law to defend their assets.

Where can I find out more about Dutton Gregory Solicitors?

For more information, you can visit, or if you have a specific question, problem or enquiry, email me at, I would be delighted to help.

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