Fitness For Human Habitation

 

 

Bristol Council Starts Cynical campaign to bankrupt Landlords

13 Jul 2020 In another cynical move by landlord-hating councils, Bristol Council is encouraging tenants in the town who believe they have been mistreated by landlords to seek punitive rent repayment orders. Said Phil Turtle, director of Landlord Licensing & Defence “The only conclusion one can draw is that this is purely vindictive.”  The main reason for the grant of Rent Repayment Orders is...

Yet another Landlord fined for unlicensed (but faultless?) HMO. Spalding

06 Nov 2019 Landlords need to be fully aware that failure to have the necessary licence will result in prosecution or fines by the Council or Local Authority even if there is nothing wrong with the property. South Holland Council in Lincolnshire made this press release recently where Councillor Christine Lawton, South Holland District Council portfolio holder for housing and health said: "This...

Special Offer £71,600 – Rogue Landlord Special

A new case just in. A new slant on property investment: Here we have a landlord with a 6 Bed HMO in the Northern Home Counties.  This case is a cookie-cutter duplicate based on a pattern we are seeing on a week in, week out, basis. It starts with a Council realising that there is a property on their patch which might be an unlicensed HMO. They then go into overdrive. The format is usually a...

Oxford landlord issued financial penalty of £15,624 for HMO offences

An Oxford landlord has been issued a financial penalty of £15,624 for controlling an unsafe House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in the Cowley area of Oxford. The East Oxford-based landlord, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was investigated after environmental health officers from Oxford City Council visited a rented property on Kames Close in August 2017. The house was found to be an...

Southall landlord fined £70K for HMO regulation breaches

Mr Balwinder Singh Kahlon, the landlord of a property on East Avenue in Southall, received a substantial fine of more than £70K at Ealing Magistrates’ Court as the result of action by Ealing Council. Appearing in court on Friday, 30 October, Mr Kahlon was sentenced for 18 offences of failing to comply with the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 (Section 234(3)...

Coventry Landlord £180,000 Proceeds of Crime fine is just deserts

04 Aug 2020 Arrogant Maria Protheroe was paid income support payments after claiming she had no income – despite renting out a portfolio of properties the length of the country. The scheming property owner also lied to obtain mortgages to buy yet more houses – and then claimed to live in two of the properties to avoid Capital Gains Tax when she sold them. Despite her dishonest dealings making...

Landlord ordered to pay £14,500 for unlicensed HMO

29 Jul 19 A buy-to-let landlord has been ordered to pay £14,500 for illegally renting out an overcrowded House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) without a licence in Evesham, Worcestershire. The landlord was issued with four civil penalty notices by Wychavon District Council after officers found 11 people occupying the property. It is the first time Wychavon, which did not name the landlord, has used...

Landlord convicted of unlawfully evicting tenant now fined for running unlicensed HMO in Telford

Feb 21, 2019 A landlord from Telford who had previously been convicted of unlawfully evicting a tenant has now been fined for running an unlicensed house in multiple occupation. In March 2017, David Beattie admitted threatening violence against a tenant in his property in Dudmaston, Hollinswood. Shropshire Magistrates Court sitting in Telford on Monday heard that Beattie, of Priorslee, was not...

Leeds landlord has been fined for renting out this mouldy, unsafe house

2 May 2019 A woman living in this dangerously maintained house in Chapeltown has been awarded compensation after her landlord was taken to court. Andrew Watson, of Harehills Avenue in Chapeltown, was fined £6,500 and ordered to pay victim compensation of £1,000 after he repeatedly ignored legal notices served by Leeds City Council regarding the condition of a house he was renting out on Hill Top...

New figures reveal thousands of tenants are at risk of death in their properties

New figures reveal thousands of tenants are at risk of death in their properties Shocking stats emerged after two men died in a four-bedroom Edgware home They were living with at least five others in the ramshackle unlicensed property Nearly three quarters of a million people are living in dirty or unsafe homes and thousands of lives are at risk because of rogue landlords, new figures reveal....

DOZENS of landlords have been fined under a crackdown on illegal immigration

Financial penalties totalling £37,000 were handed out in the first eight months after the Right to Rent scheme was rolled out across England, figures obtained by the Press Association reveal. The fines were issued to 62 landlords between the start of February and end of September last year - a rate of around one every four days. Right to Rent requires landlords or householders to establish that...

Landlord fined for operating illegally

Nasar Shaikh, of Coleshill Road, Birmingham, was fined £5,000 after failing to obtain a licence from Waltham Forest Council to rent out a two-bedroom flat on Theydon Street, Walthamstow. The landlord let the property to a young family who had been living at the house since 2010. The council identified the address in 2017 as one that needed a licence, but when officers contacted Shaikh, after...

Worthing landlord fined £22,000 for renting out unlicensed HMO

Worthing Borough Council found five people living in dangerous conditions in the property. The flat in Heene Road, Worthing, did not have suitable fire detection, and fire doors to individual rooms had not been installed. There was also no safe fire escape route and the condition of the stairs meant that access was hazardous. As required by law, the landlord had also failed to get a licence for...

Repayment and banning orders may be applied to landlord

06 Dec 2019 A council says it is considering seeking a banning order and a rent repayment order against a landlord already fined over £150,000. The landlord’s offences included failing to rectify safety hazards in a property to let. Latif Rehman of Birmingham, was fined a total of £151,070 by Wolverhampton Magistrates Court for three breaches of an Emergency Prohibition Order served in relation...

Landlords prosecuted after flouting licensing laws in Gainsborough

Three landlords have been prosecuted for licensing offences in Gainsborough. Collectively the landlords, who all live outside of the West Lindsey area, were ordered to pay fines, costs and victim surcharges totalling more than £6,000. They all pleaded guilty to selective licensing offences during a hearing Lincoln Magistrates Court on June 4. Coun Sheila Bibb, chairman of the prosperous...

Two Staffordshire landlords fines for health and safety breaches

11 Jun 2019 Two landlords in Staffordshire have been ordered to pay more £5,000 after allowing their tenants to live in poor conditions Brian Kite was fined £256 and ordered to also pay £2,378 in costs and a victim surcharge of £30, while Beryl Kite was fined £207 and ordered to also pay £2,378.88 in costs and a victim surcharge of £30 – a total of £5,279.88, after pleading guilty at North...

Landlord fined for ‘extremely dangerous’ rental property

A private landlord has been ordered to pay just over £1,000 after being found guilty of providing an ‘extremely dangerous’ rental property that was in a poor state of repair. Lincoln Magistrates’ Court heard that landlord Joe Burgess, of Newark Road, Lincoln, had failed to comply with housing regulations for his rental property in Newtoft, which consisted of unsafe electrics, no heating, severe...

Landlords advised to watch out as Councils accused of not issuing enough Rent Repayment Orders

March 29, 2019 Councils in England have been accused of failing to use powers to tackle rogue landlords in the private rented sector. A response to a parliamentary question this week on the use of rent repayment orders (RROs) revealed that just three have been issued by local authorities to claw back Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit paid through rent in the 18 months to...

Issuing 2,500 Civil and legal Landlord Penalty Notices puts £7/month on every Liverpool Rent

Overall, 70 per cent of inspected properties in Liverpool have been found to be in breach of their licence condition claims Liverpool City Council since their now defunct selective licensing scheme was launched in 2015, uncovering, say the council, serious hazards such as fire risks, poor electrics and excess cold. Liverpool City Council has carried out over 37,000 compliance actions, issued...

University acts Criminally putting Landlords in Danger of Prosecution

23 Oct 2020 Following the recent revelation that the University of Warwick is dumping hundreds of private landlords in favour of its own student accommodation , it has today come to light that as part of this strategy it appears to have deliberately put landlords subject to Coventry City Council’s controversial Additional Licensing scheme at risk of prosecution and massive fines. These landlords...

Landlord Fined £2000 for substandard property

07 Oct 2019 A buy-to-let landlord in Sutton has been ordered to pay more than £2,000 after failing to provide acceptable living conditions for his tenants. Jonathan Patrick Hoey was found guilty of breaching an emergency prohibition order by the district council issued two months earlier. The action was taken in relation to a property he owned on Seagate Farm in Long Sutton, Spalding,...

Landlord fined £50,000, for failing to licence 2 HMOs

Following a trawl of Letting Agents Web sites properties for let were discovered for rent and had no house in multiple occupation Licences. Harmesh Bagga, landlord of 3 properties let through Ignite Properties to students in Royal Leamington Spa has been fined £50,000 plus costs for failing to properly manage and obtain licences for each of his properties let in multiple occupation Magistrates...

Landlord found guilty of unlawful harassment and misleading practices

A rogue landlord in Gainsborough will be sentenced later this month after being found guilty of unlawful harassment towards his tenants and pursuing misleading and aggressive practices. Ragoopathy Naidu, 64, ordered his tenants to move out of their property inside an hour, in breach of their tenancy agreement.  The charges were brought by Lincolnshire Trading Standards and West Lindsey...

“All hands to the pumps” demands Lord Chancellor as he vows to catch up on Court and Tribunal cases

06 Jul 2020 The Lord Chancellor has agreed that there should be no constraints in the number of sitting days available during the COVID-19 recovery period for the courts or any hesitation in using fee-paid and deputy judges to fill any gaps which cannot be filled by the salaried judiciary, the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett and Lord Justice Lindblom have revealed. “It is now all hands to...

The true Cost of Unlicensed HMOs

30 Jan 2020 A landlord in bath was fined £10,000 plus £4,000 costs and given a criminal record in Bath this month for not licensing her HMO. We see cases of this every week and the "going rate" is around £12,000 for not licensing an HMO.  But that is only the start. To 'obtain proof' that you are operating an unlicensed HMO, the councils often effect dawn raids turning up 6 or 8 of them at...

Landlord faces jail unless she pays back £140k

A landlord in Hayes, west London, has been ordered to pay back more than £140,000 in rent she received unlawfully after converting a house into two separate flats without planning consent. The council's planning enforcement officers discovered Surinder Kaur Sethi, 61, had converted a three-bedroom house in Balmoral Drive, worth in the region £400,000, into two self contained flats without...

Landlord hit with huge fine after council uncovers astonishing web of lies

10 May 2019 A rogue landlady has been hit with a fine of £24,000 after conning her tenants and the local authorities with a complex web of lies. Diana Thompson was taken to task by Brent Council and prosecuted for failure to licence a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) and failure to comply with fire safety regulations. Thompson convinced tenants living in her unlicensed, detached two-storey HMO...

Millionaire wife of Britain’s biggest buy-to-let landlord who banned single mothers and Indians must pay £25,000 after failing to fix disabled tenant’s hot water for five months

Judith Wilson, 68, failed to fix a disabled tenant's hot water for five months Ashford Borough Council served her a notice after ex-tenants complained She was found guilty of failing to comply with an enforcement notice at a court Wilson was fined £10,000 and she was ordered to pay costs of almost £15,000 A millionaire landlord has been ordered to pay £25,000 after she disobeyed a notice to to...

Council to crack down on Dorset Landlords in Dorset

04 Nov 2020 PRIVATE landlords who fail to stick to regulations and treat tenants unfairly can expect a tougher approach from Dorset Council. Senior council officers told a committee this week that they now had the backing, and funding, to adopt a tougher stance where needed, although will always try to work with property owners in the first instance. The new proactive approach is currently being...

£30,000 fine for lack of safe fire escape route – as resident hangs off guttering to save his life

A resident was found standing on a windowsill hanging from guttering and had to be rescued by firefighters. This was because he was unable to access any emergency escape route during the fire due to inadequate fire precautions. These were problems that would have been identified if the management company had undertaken a Fire Risk Assessment. Management company Harper Stone Properties Ltd has...

Landlady fined £18k over unauthorised shared house

19 Oct 2020 A landlady has been landed with a court bill of more than £18,000 for continuing to rent out a student house after being denied planning permission. Shirley White, of Southgate, London, applied for planning permission to turn 41 Bevendean Crescent, Brighton, into a house in multiple occupation (HMO) in September 2017. Permission was refused because there were already more than the...

Rent Repayment Order £8,975 against Landlord who failed to have Selective Licence

March 2016, Case summary by Phil Turtle Landlord Licensing and Defence By ignoring Selective Licensing, this landlord lost £13,000 and gained a criminal record. Local Authority, the London Borough of Newham (LA), applied for and won a Rent Repayment Order against Ms P. relating to a property in Malvern Road, East Ham, London E6. The Local Authority has introduced a Selective Licensing scheme...

Landlord and Agent fined for 32 occupants in 2 bed flat

The managing director of a letting agency and the Landlord of a two-bedroom flat where an unbelievable 32 people were found to be living have been fined, along with the agency itself. Altogether they have been ordered to pay a remarkably low £30,000. However, as this was a criminal prosecution in court rather than civil financial penalties it is normal for the fines to be lower because the...

Landlord fined for failure to comply

21 Jan 2020 A buy-to-let landlord has been ordered to pay more than £2,000 after ignoring several requests to carry out important repairs to a property in Bridlington, Yorkshire.  David Christlow, of Prospect Street in Bridlington, was fined a total of £2,000, and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £170 and full costs of £2,282.93 after pleading guilty at Beverley Magistrates’ Court to...

Rogue landlord fined £7,000 for not having an HMO licence

A landlord who failed to apply for an HMO licence despite being interviewed on the subject under caution has now been fined £7,000. Frank Scanlon appeared before Worthing magistrates accused of breaching the Housing Act 2004 (Section 72 (1)) after failing to licence his property correctly to ensure the safety of its occupants. When Scanlon’s property was inspected by Worthing council officers,...

Council adopts ‘zero-tolerance approach’ to rogue landlords

A private landlord has been fined by Willesden Magistrates Court for poor and potentially dangerous housing conditions following a prosecution by Brent Council. The prosecution of Monojor Ali, of Cairnfield Avenue, NW2, is one of more than fifty already made this year by Brent Council, which councillor Harbi Farah, cabinet member for housing, says “sends a clear message that the council is...

Bath pair fined £16k for holding wrong HMO licenses

Two landlords in Bath have been ordered to more than £16,000 for failing to hold the correct HMO licences. Elizabeth Vowles, 48, and Hayley Book, 55, from Weston pleaded guilty at Bath Magistrates’ Court to the offence under the Housing Act 2004. The court was informed that the pair were caught operating two HMOs in the Additional Licensing Area without a licence in January 2017, despite the...

Whopping fine should ‘serve as a warning to any other rogue landlords’

Whopping fine should ‘serve as a warning to any other rogue landlords’ A rogue landlord in Newmarket who exposed tenants to ‘significant risk’ has been ordered to pay almost £33,000 after being found guilty in court. Russell Wayne Price, 50, of Lisburn Road, Newmarket, was found guilty of 15 charges following prosecution by Forest Heath District Council. Some 13 charges, which related to two...

Two Cambridge landlords fined for breaching health and safety standards

Two landlords in Cambridge have been fined for health and safety breaches in their privately rented properties. Following an investigation by Cambridge city council, a local landlord was served with a financial penalty notice of £8951.60 after a property in multiple occupation (HMO) on Garlic Row was found to be unlicensed and had unsatisfactory fire precautions. In a separate investigation by...

Record fine highlights importance of HMO licences and compliance

An “unscrupulous” landlord in Birmingham has been handed a record-high fine of more than £180,000 for breaching the rules related to four of her HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) after being found guilty of 35 offences. The director of property business Vertu Capital, which is now in administration, has been ordered to pay a total of £182,314 in fines, costs and compensation to her tenants in...

Tenant in arrears? Text them! New research finds phone calls are too intimidating…

12 Oct 2020 Most tenants claim they are “intimidated” when agents or landlords telephone them about arrears - and they would much prefer a text. Warned Phil Turtle, compliance director with Landlord Licensing & Defence “Thus is potentially scary for landlords as “Intimidation or harassment is one of the reasons that tenants are persuaded to apply for Rent Repayment Orders claiming...

Rogue landlord in Harrow faces jail if he doesn’t pay £1.5m fine

Vispasp Sarkari convicted after being caught cramming families into squalid properties A rogue landlord who illegally carved up family homes to create cramped bedsits and charged tenants hundreds of pounds a month is facing prison unless he pays what is believed to be a record £1.5m penalty for breaking planning laws. Vispasp Sarkari, 56, from Harrow, north-west London, has been ordered to pay...

£10,000 Civil Penalty Fine – Landlord loses appeal

29 Nov 2019 The First Tier Property Tribunal has thrown out an appeal by Islington Landlord Iqbal Ahmad. The property, a flat in Holloway Road London N7 was inspects as part of the licence application process and he accepted a licence with conditions pertaining to amongst other things not having adequate fire protection measures.  When the council re-inspected the property in April 2019 -...

Stevenage BTL investor fined for attic room

A Stevenage buy to let investment landlord has been prosecuted for letting out an unsuitable attic room ignoring a council prohibition order. Stevenage Borough Council had made a prohibition order in November 2014 under the Housing Act 2004, prohibiting the occupation of the attic room at a property in The Noke, Stevenage. The council made the prohibition order due to the works completed to...

Landlord £300,000 property confiscated for planning breach & faces prison

26 Oct 2020 A London landlord who ignored six enforcement notices served by his local council has been ordered to pay over £300,000. Salim Mussa Patel from Southall has been made the subject of a confiscation order for £207,000, has been fined £50,000 and made to pay the council’s costs of £49,198.  Mussa Patel was given three months to pay the confiscation order or face three...

Fourth conviction for rogue Beeston landlord

25 Nov 2019 Landlord Jack Collins of Woodlea Road, Yeadon, has been hit with court fines for a fourth time for failing to properly manage his rental properties. On 18 November 2019, Mr Collins was found guilty and ordered to pay £25,324.60 within two months for failing to maintain a property on Sefton Terrace, Beeston. Mr Collins had denied exposing vulnerable tenants to sub-standard housing...

Co-operative HMO Landlord has fine reduced to £2,000 as Birmingham starts Civil Penalty Regime

30 Aug 2019 A landlord has been hit with a £2,000 penalty for fire safety breaches at a two-storey property housing nine people in a landmark case for Birmingham City Council. Officers visited the house in multiple occupation (HMO) in Small Heath in November and found there to be no interlinked fire alarm, fire doors or fire blanket, and a lack of fire separation in the building. The council...

Landlord’s excuse for operating Unlicensed HMO not a ‘Reasonable Excuse’ finds Appeal to Upper Tribunal

05 Jan 2021 Thurrock Council has won an appeal from a decision of the First-tier Tribunal to cancel a civil penalty imposed for the offence of managing or being in control of a house in multiple occupation that is required by the Housing Act 2004 to be licensed, when it was not so licensed. The FTT reached that conclusion because it found that the respondent had the defence of reasonable excuse....

Rent-to-renter fined £20,000 for illegally sub-letting HMO

04 Oct 2019 In an unusual and possibly unique case Brent council in London has prosecuted a tenant who sub-let property without agent's knowledge. A tenant in London has been fined £16,000 for sub-letting a house illegally as an HMO in a move that many in the industry will welcome as councils have begun to bear down heavily on agents and landlords who break the rules. The tenant, who has been...

Slum landlord family must pay £250k under crime proceeds act

Harsha, Chandni and Sanjay Shah crammed 31 tenants into four-bedroom Wembley house A family of slum landlords who crammed 31 people into a suburban four-bedroom house has been ordered to pay back almost £250,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The landlords were earning more than £100,000 a year from the enterprise, which involved squeezing tenants on “sleeping shifts” into rooms fitted with up...

Fitness For Human Habitation Act 2019

The Act came into force on 20 March 2019.

 It is designed to ensure that all rented accommodation is fit for human habitation and to strengthen tenants’ means of redress against the minority of landlords who do not fulfil their legal obligations to keep their properties safe.

“This Act Gives All Tenants The Power To Sue Their Landlords!”

There are no new obligations for landlords under this Act!

Contrary to popular opinion, this legislation doesn’t require landlords to comply with any new health and safety requirements! It merely requires them to ensure that they are meeting their existing responsibilities with regards to property standards and safety!

In effect, the Fitness For Human Habitation Act, amends the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 so as to require all landlords (private and social) to ensure that their properties, including any common parts of the building, are fit for human habitation at the beginning of the tenancy and throughout.

The Act states that there is an “implied agreement” between the tenant and landlord at the beginning of the tenancy that the property will be fit for human habitation.

Landlords who do not maintain safe properties prevent the operation of an effective and competitive rental market where all landlords operate on an equal footing. The government wants to support the majority of good landlords who provide decent and well-maintained homes. And so:

This Act provides an additional means for tenants to seek redress by giving them the power to hold their landlord to account without having to rely on their local authority to do so.

The government expects standards to improve as tenants will be empowered to take action against their landlord where they fail to adequately maintain their property. This will level the playing field for the vast majority of good landlords who are already maintaining homes fit for human habitation without serious hazards, by ensuring that they are not undercut by landlords who knowingly and persistently flout their responsibilities.

If you have a claim against you – click here to get help ASAP

What are the criteria for ‘Fitness for Human Habitation’?

The courts will decide whether a property is fit for human habitation by considering the matters set out in section 10 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

These are whether:

  • the building has been neglected and is in a bad condition
  • the building is unstable
  • there’s a serious problem with damp
  • it has an unsafe layout
  • there’s not enough natural light
  • there’s not enough ventilation
  • there is a problem with the supply of hot and cold water
  • there are problems with the drainage or the lavatories
  • it’s difficult to prepare and cook food or wash up
  • or any of the 29 hazards set out in the Housing Health and Safety (England) Regulations 2005

It is for the courts to decide whether the dwelling is fit for human habitation.

A Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) assessment by the Council is not necessary. However, a landlord should to carry out a private HHSRS assessment if they want to mount a defence or establish whether a serious health and safety hazard is present.

The court may also make a decision on unfitness without expert advice. For example, if there were no plumbed sanitary conveniences in the property an expert opinion would not be necessary as the property would evidently be unfit.

 Get Help ASAP

If you’ve received notice of court action by your tenants under the Fitness for Human Habitation Act you need specialist help and you need it fast!

Not only are you looking at civil action in the courts, once your coincil discovers that you have a Fitness for Human Habitation found agaisnt you, you will find the is Council declaring you a Not Fit and Proper Person to be a Landlord and refusing or withdrawing licenses in a way that can destroy your business. We can find solutions for you that will save your business from ruin.

Engage immediate help from experts in Housing Act Legislation and Regulation like ourselves at Landlord Licensing and Defence.

Don’t expect that you will be able to get the action dropped. There is a very low chance of that.

However, what can be done – and we achieve this on a weekly basis – is for us, as your representative, to negotiate an out of court settlement. We can do this because we know the legislation and we know from experience HOW to negotiate.

And remember, our discussions with the tenants representative do not incriminate you. If you think you can negotiate with them yourself you are totally wrong. Because everything you say can and will be used against you in evidence.

Don’t delay – contact us immediately for the help you need.  Time is absolutely of the essence.

Click here to get help ASAP

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Success Stories

Putney – An Unexpected Solution

A Landlord had purchased a property and wanted to know how to turn it into a HMO and operate it legally as serviced accommodation. It was an ex-council terraced property.   Turning it into a HMO had not been an issue, however the quality of works which had been undertaken to do so was incredibly bad and would not pass regulations under any circumstances. This owner had not been paying proper...

Kingston Prohibition Order

Defending a Prohibition Notice for both the Owner and the Subletting Landlord and replacing the subletting Landlord with a more suitable fit and proper Landlord in order to have the prohibition order withdrawn The owner is an elderly man and his daughter was dealing with the property and had let it to a subletting Company who was the Subletting (Rent to Rent) Landlord. The Owner and Subletting...

Liverpool Council hands out 2,000 legal notices, 154 cautions, 89 civil penalty notices and 159 prosecutions

11 Apr 2019 A council has revealed the squalid conditions its inspectors have found when visiting rental properties as it looks to extend its landlord licensing scheme. Liverpool City Council has operated a city-wide selective licensing scheme since April 2015 but is now looking to extend it for five years when it expires in March 2020. Council officials say more rogue landlords have been...

20 Properties. No selective Licences.

A Landlord in the North West had been very ill and hadn’t been able to deal with the requirements of a Selective Licencing scheme introduced by his Local Authority and which affected 20 properties in his portfolio. The deadline was looming and he was unable to take action. We negotiated an extension of the deadline because of his illness and the fact that he had now appointed us to organise and...

Solihull HMO

The property owner had owned the property for 20 years or so and two years previously had rented it to a corporation that had put 5 occupants into the property. From the 1st October 2018, all properties with 5 occupants, not all related, were required to have a Mandatory HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) Licence applied for by that date.  The corporation had agreed that it would carry out the...

Letting agent gives illegal HMO advice

16 May 2019 PLEASE SHARE WIDELY Des Taylor here.  I’ve just been working with a letting agent for a client and found the letting agent had a clear misunderstanding of what constitutes a HMO (House in Multiple Occupation). HMO is formed "when two or more households* occupy a dwelling and the number of occupants is three or more, then a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is formed. *...

Kedleston Road

Handled negotiations for the Client, a Tenant Company where the Letting Agent (as they so often do) was wrongly insistent on using an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, which was the incorrect agreement and not fit for purpose. (An AST is for individuals and not for Companies it is Housing Act 1.1 a. One ought to be able to expect better from Letting Agents!) Protracted negotiations, as we discovered as...

Epsom Emergency Licence Application

It was 30th September 2018 at 4pm. This is highly significant because it was just 8 hours before new HMO licensing deadline of 1st October 2018. If an HMO application was not properly lodged by that deadline, significant Civil Penalty fines could apply. While the team was doing a HMO licence application on another property for this Landlord, he suddenly had the realisation that a house he was...

Newark and Sherwood

Prepared contractual agreement for the lease of residential property to be used for serviced accommodation. Defending landlord against Planning Contravention Notice issued by the Council for alleged change of use from C3 to Sui Generis without permission. Defended landlord against council allegation that Building Regulations had been contravened. Defended landlord against Environmental Health...

Brentford Developer

A property developer had decided to change a three-bed semi-detached house into a 6 bedroom all en-suite HMO. Initially we inspected the property at purchase and contributed to best practice and design aspects to comply with planning use under permitted development and HMO Licensing.  As an expense saver and ongoing economy we suggested the removal of gas at the property and use of...

Breaches of planning, overcrowding and licensing: all sorted with no casualties!

21 Oct 2019 Fantastic Morning, taking back a house for a long-established client from a company who had rented it for subletting, not telling the letting agent nor the landlord. None of the employees on the agreement ever lived there, last year it was found to be overcrowded with 10 occupants on a house only supposed to have 5 occupants and they had created a self-contained unit too. Breaches of...

Fire Alarm Manufacturer tells engineer to put tenants lives at risk

By Des Taylor 15 May 2019 One of Landlords Defence’s clients had an inconceivable situation yesterday with a major manufacturer of interconnected smoke and heat detector fire alarm units. Our client had found problems some days ago with the units not working properly on test and had the manufacturer sent some replacements via the post, (reassuring the client that although the faulty ones were...

Letting Agent held to account by Landlords Defence

19 Jun 2019 11th June saw, for us, the first evidence of the Tenant Fee Ban (TFB) being misunderstood and a residential tenant being charged a £1000 holding deposit on a £1100 per calendar month rental starting 22nd June. On speaking with the tenants’ representative, consulting with the agent indirectly as a secret shopper, to confirm their misunderstanding, we engaged the tenant with the local...

West London Company Let

The client was renting the residential property to a Company who help vulnerable young adults and was trying to ascertain if the property needed a licence. His tenant was a corporate company which was providing an immigrant orientation service and also providing their living accommodation.  On contacting us he had attempted to connect with the local Council a number of times to no response. ...

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