Sunday, November 05, 2006

Tenants Book

I’m writing a book. A book for tenants this time (I have already done one for Landlords - see left). Its coming along quite nicely, I have done over 40,000 words so far, but I thought having a blog I ought to use it to vent my angst from time to time, on writing niggles and so on. Otherwise why have a blog?

Mind you I am not going to tell you all about the book, I will tell you that when it is published (so it will be a nice surprise for you!). But it aims to help tenants through the minefields of residential landlord and tenant law.

I’m hoping to make it easy to understand and am trying to make my English as plain as I can. However it is difficult sometimes when you are a lawyer and legal phrases are second nature to you. I have to keep stopping myself and saying “they’ll never understand that, you will have to re-phrase that”. Which of course makes the book very wordy as most legal phrases are verbal shortcuts, so we can refer to complex concepts without having to explain them every time. Difficult.

Also I keep coming across nasty holes in the law where I cannot find the answer to questions I suspect tenants will expect to have answered. For example there is a common law implied covenant that rented properties will be fit for habitation on the first day of the tenancy, which only applies to furnished lets. But I cannot find any definition of what a furnished/unfurnished let actually is! Does 'unfurnished' mean no furniture at all? Does 'furnished' mean the furniture must be sufficient for the tenant to be able to move in and live in straightaway (for example have all necessary beds and chairs)? What about lets where only kitchen white goods are included?

I suspect there may be something on the Inland Revenue site about this and I will have to brace myself to take a look there. If you can help do leave a comment. I am sure that there must have been a case on this at some time.

More on the book later ...

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