From Medieval times a landlord has been able to recover rent by distress, namely entering on a property and removing goods to the value of the arrears. This procedure weighed heavily in favour of the landlord and in its wisdom the Government has reformed this ancient remedy under a 2007 Act and The Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013.
The Regulations provide some important revisions to the Law. For example an enforcement agent (bailiff) must give 7 days written notice that he/she intends to come to the property for the purpose of taking control of a tenant’s goods. This gives the tenant plenty of time to remove them!
Only rent arrears can be recovered this way, even if the insurance or service charge is reserved “as rent”.
So wiley the tenants may well only pay part of an invoice for rent and service charge, and specify that the payment is for “rent”, and not for the service charge. This would prevent the landlord from pursuing action for the tenant’s goods to be seized for the service charge! Is this not absurd?
Sometimes we feel that the Government in trying to redress one problem, or something that is unfair, can go too far the other way.