Fitness For Human Habitation

 

 

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...

Mould in Northwich flat leaves landlord with £2,500 fine

A LANDLORD has been fined almost £2,500 after a Northwich flat tenant complained of excessive mould and a front door they could not close. Nicholas Ian Shaw, 47 and from Norbury's Yard, Knutsford, was convicted at Chester Magistrates Court on Thursday, August 9, after failing to comply with an improvement notice. Mr Shaw had rented out a Victorian terrace flat in Huxley Street to a young family...

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...

Council Demolishes illegally occupied outbuilding. Issues £16,000 fine

25 Jun 2020 A property built without planning consent and then illegally let to a family has been knocked down by Ealing council in West London - and the owner has been sent the bill for the demolition job. Rapinder Kaur Sehajpal has been sent an invoice for £16,000 after ignoring requests to demolish it himself.  The council says the 45 square metre outbuilding had been built without...

Civil penalty notices served on landlords who cannot be named

11 Sep 2020 Two landlords have been served with civil penalty notices for operating unlicensed HMOs.  The notices were from Wellingborough council; one was for £6,000 and the other for £8,250. Details of the individuals and properties cannot be disclosed as the penalties are civil sanctions, not criminal, however the council confirms that both landlords were operating licensable HMOs...

Landlord fined £7,400 as council secures 125th prosecution against rogue operators

A buy-to-let landlord has been ordered to pay £7,400 after failing to obtain a license to rent out a property in North West London. The unlicensed two-bedroom flat in Tunley Road, Harlesden, which would have cost £340 for a five-year selective licence, came to the attention of enforcement officers after the family complained to the council about their broken boiler. The landlord, Errol Roy...

Rogue Hayes landlord has 3 months to pay £430k or face jail after illegal HMO

29 Nov 2019 Gurdeep Kaur crammed 15 tenants into a small three-bed home. A landlord from Hayes who pocketed more than £400,000 after illegally turning her home into a home of multiple occupation (HMO) must pay the money back or face jail. Gurdeep Kaur turned a small semi-detached three-bed family home in First Avenue into a house of multiple occupancy without permission from the council. The...

Brent Council raise almost £100,000 in landlord fines in just four weeks

Four weeks of prosecutions by Brent Council in north London has seen six successful results with total court fines for rogue landlords of £97,727, the highest amount recorded by Brent in such a short period. One private landlord, Bernard Patrick McGowan, was ordered by Willesden Magistrates Court to pay more than £40,000 last week for failing to licence a flat in Craven Park, Harlesden, which...

£66,000 fine for landlord letting out HMO with safety failings

15 Jan 2021 A landlord has been hit with what a local authority calls a record £66,000 fine after being found guilty of letting an HMO that was dangerous to tenants. Reading council prosecuted Mohammed Naseer Zamir, following its housing team’s findings at the property in the town between October 2019 and February 2020.  Zamir claimed the property consisted of two self-contained flats,...

Landlord fined £25,000 over lack of hot water for disabled tenant

Judith Wilson, who owns 300 houses in Kent, ignored council enforcement notices. The wife of Britain’s most controversial buy-to-let landlord, Fergus Wilson, has been ordered to pay £25,000 in fines and legal costs after a court ruled that she had failed to supply hot water to a disabled tenant. The court found that Judith Wilson, who revealed she has more than 300 houses in her name in the...

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...

£10k fine and Criminal Behaviour Order for illegal eviction by Agent

30 Apr 2021 A lettings agency director has been issued with a Criminal Behaviour Order for unlawfully evicting a tenant back in 2019. CFDP Ltd, trading as Belvoir Nuneaton and Hinckley, along with its director Clayton Foston, have been taken to court by Hinckley & Bosworth council for removing the possessions and changing the locks of a tenant’s flat while the tenant was unwell and...

Court of Appeal upholds £99k penalties for breaches of HMO regulations and non-compliance with enforcement notices

05 Feb 2021 The Court of Appeal has rejected a company director's appeal over penalties amounting to £99,000 imposed by the Upper Tribunal for breaches of regulations covering houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), and non-compliance with enforcement notices. The penalties related to Max House, 60 St Faiths Lane, Norwich of which Faith’s Lane Apartments (FLAL) was the freehold owner. The...

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...

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)...

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...

Wirral Council Extends Selective Licensing Scheme

Landlords are being warned that Wirral Council is extending its selective licensing scheme, after a family of landlords was fined more than £16,000 for failing to comply with the system. From April 2019, streets in Birkenhead, Hamilton Square and Seacombe will become subject to selective licensing, which means that all landlords with properties in these areas must apply for a licence to let...

Landlord fined £87,000 for putting tenants in ‘serious danger’

11 Mar 2020 A private landlord has been prosecuted by Bristol City Council for providing private rented accommodation that posed a “serious risk to life”.  Nine people were found living in cramped conditions in a small flat rented out by rogue landlord Deepak Singh Sachdeva on Avonmouth Road in Bristol, BS11, with two children forced to sleep in cupboards. Bristol City Council said the...

Landlord and managing agent fined £22,000 for unlicensed HMO

Kuppusami Selvarajan and his agent S3A Management Limited must pay sum which includes fines and costs and will also have to return rent to eight tenants. The landlord and managing agent of a property in North London have been fined nearly £22,000 between them for operating it as an unlicensed HMO at which inspectors found tenants living in Dickensian conditions. Both Kuppusami Selvarajan and his...

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...

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,...

I would have sent you to prison if I could – Judge tells Landlord

10 Dec 2019 A landlord has been ordered to pay almost £20,000 and has been told by a judge that he was meaner than Scrooge. George Lindsay, from Birmingham, has pleaded guilty of failing to obtain an HMO licence and to 13 breaches of HMO Management Regulations. He has been ordered to pay a fine of £19,970. When issuing the sentence, the district judge commented that Scrooge was a philanthropist...

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...

Mandatory Electrical Test (EICR) before you can let any property will be Law very soon

14 Jan 2020 By Giles Parker of Nearly Legal. The draft of The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 has been laid in Parliament. The regs require a resolution of each house, so this will not be an immediate approval, but should be soon – it looks like the intention is for the Regs to be in force from 1 April 2020. From the draft, there will be a...

Mandatory Professional Qualification to be a Landlord says Commission

05 May 2020 A commission investigating affordable homes in the UK has called for annual private sector rent increases to be limited to a new index of income growth and for landlords to pay tenants’ removal costs in some circumstances. The Affordable Housing Commission also recommends that “charging more than the permitted rent increase would be an offence, with the landlord facing a fine...

Fatal fire in unlicensed house leads to £15k fine and entry on rogues database

20 Jan 2020 A judge has ordered two landlords to pay a total of £14,858 for illegally renting out an unlicensed house without working smoke alarms to tenants whose teenage son died after it caught fire. Firefighters attended the scene in Thornton Heath, south London, last March but 13-year-old Kuzi Matope went on to die in hospital in April. The cause of Kuzi’s death has yet to be determined at...

London Boroughs of Camden and Newham slated by Housing Ombudsman for SEVERE maladministration

27 Oct 2020 The Housing Ombudsman has named the five social landlords involved in cases where it found severe maladministration in 2019/20. The report, Severe maladministration findings in 2019/20, sets out the case background, the Ombudsman’s assessment and findings, plus the orders made. The cases were: Two involving the London Boroughs of Camden and Newham where there were lengthy delays in...

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...

Suspended sentence for Fire Risk Assessor and warning to Landlords

02 Jul 2021 A fire risk assessor who provided an inadequate assessment for a residential block in Southampton has been fined and given a suspended prison sentence, following a prosecution brought by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service. Commented Phil Turtle, Compliance Director with Landlord Licensing & Defence, “This is just one of many examples of the risks if a Fire Risk...

Leading council has so far fined rogue agents and landlords £100,000

Brent Council is one London's key boroughs leading the charge against poor housing standards. Brent Council, which says it has fined agents and landlords £100,000 since introducing civil penalties last year, revealed it had collected £63,500 of the fines levied and is waiting to collect the remainder under its 49-day payment rules. “When we start the process of issuing a Civil Penalty Notice...

Landlord fined £6,000 after rat droppings and disrepair

22 Apr 2021 A landlord has been fined £6,000 for failing to properly maintain a HMO in Reading. Nidan Singh, 76, has also been ordered to pay council costs of £1,956 and a victim surcharge of £181. Council officers inspected the property twice in 2019 and discovered a rat entry point and rat droppings in the kitchen.In addition, the fire detectors were found to be faulty; a bathroom...

Doncaster Landlord gets Banning Order

18 Dec 2019 A landlord has been banned for two and half years after repeatedly putting tenants’ lives at risk by letting unsafe housing. This landlord banning order - in Doncaster - is reportedly the first in the North of England and only the third achieved by a council since the order came into effect in April 2018. Following a hearing in October the Property Tribunal Service banned Almas...

Landlord fined £29k for putting tenants’ lives ‘at risk’

Dangerous electrical mains installation, ‘defective’ sanitary fitments in both the bathroom and kitchen, and a ‘lack of automatic fire detection’, were among just some of the issues uncovered during an inspection of a rental home in Derby that led to the property’s owner being fined just over £29,000. Buy-to-let landlord Adrian Ernest Dart was described by the prosecution as an ‘absentee...

Judge tears into Northampton Council’s Samantha Ling and her department

14 Jun 2021 In a shocking, and embarrassing for Northampton Borough Council (NBC),  determination by Judge Wayte of the First Tier Tribunal property, he went so far as to suggest that the landlord should make a claim for costs against the Council.  A move that is almost unheard of, such was his condemnation of Samantha Ling and her department. Ling’s department is well known as priding...

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...

Rent Repayment Order £12,025 for Rent-to-Rent Flat in London SE10

15 July 2019 Case summary by Phil Turtle, Landlord Licensing and Defence. A rent-to-rent company fined £12,025 including costs by way of Rent Repayment Order in addition to £5,000 Civil Penalty Fine for failing to Licence the property which had become an HMO through sub-letting via a rent-to-rent company. The Landlord and owner of the leasehold flat (Mr E.) had let the flat through a letting...

Enfield Council persecutes private landlords while leaving Council Tenant in “mouldy, mouse-infested” accommodation for three years

05 Oct 2020 Of course if a private landlord had left a disabled tenant and his whole family in "mouldy, mouse-infested” accommodation for three years, any council in the land would have thrown the book at them and issued Civil Penalty Fines in the multiple £10,000s.   In yet another case proving that two-faced Councils actually care very...

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...

Conviction of rogue landlord upheld

01 Jul 2021 The conviction of a rogue Dudley landlord who failed to rectify safety hazards in a property he let has been upheld. In November 2019 Latif Rehman, of Bank Street, Brierley Hill was fined a total of £151,070 by Wolverhampton Magistrates Court for three breaches of an Emergency Prohibition Order served in relation to a house of multiple occupation in Cole Street, Netherton. Rehman...

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...

Rogue Birmingham landlord endangering lives successfully prosecuted

George Lindsay, 55, from Erdington, has been successfully prosecuted and ordered to pay close to £20,000 for breaching housing regulations. The rogue landlord pleaded guilty for failing to obtain a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence and to 13 breaches of HMO Management Regulations and has been ordered to pay a fine of £19,970. When issuing the sentence, the district judge commented that...

Airbnb host fined £100,000 for letting council flat

30 Jul 2019 An Airbnb host who rented out his central London council flat to tourists has been fined £100,000 and evicted. Council tenant Toby Harman, 37, created the fake identity "Lara" on Airbnb to rent out his studio apartment. The flat, in Victoria, had been advertised since 2013 and received more than 300 reviews, Westminster City Council said. Anti-fraud software had found Harman's first...

Agents & Landlords urged to beware council crackdown and heavy fines

07 May 2021 A crackdown is now underway withTrading Standards divisions now taking an even stricter approach to enforcement of compliance obligations. This is yet another assault on the wallets of letting agents and landlords in addition to ever increasing compliance enforcement by the growing army of council housing revenue generation police (aka Housing Enforcement Officers).Three recent cases...

Capitol Riot Suspects Self-Incriminate Just Like Landlords Do Every Day

19 Jan 2021 Capitol riot suspect Aaron Mostofsky (Source: New York Post, as cited in criminal complaint) Many of the insurrectionists who marched on the UA Capitol building on Jan. 6 and violently forced their way into the building stupidly livestreamed their activities or boasted about them via social media. So far, those self-identifying actions have helped law...

Huge fine for HMO owner after refusal of planning consent

09 Dec 2020 A long-running case about a house divided up and let out without planning permission has resulted in a fine of nearly £10,000 for the owner. Brighton & Hove council investigated the property back in July 2018. The owner, Shirley White, had divided up the house and was letting it out before she discovered she needed planning permission to convert the property to a house of...

Record £20,000 fine for unlicensed landlord with 62 properties

Local man Charles Baker is to pay fine and costs after failing to gain relevant licences from Rent Smart Wales. A Welsh landlord with 62 apartments within 16 rented properties has been fined a record £20,000 for failing to obtain a licence from Rent Smart Wales to operate them. Charles Baker of Cyncoed Road, Cyncoed, Cardiff was found guilty at the city’s Magistrates Court and will now have to...

Tenants suffer fire, but council only interested in prosecution for lack of HMO licence

23 Apr 2021 Following a rental property fire in a house in Hendon, all the council appeared to be interested in was that it had discovered an unlicensed HMO and proceeded to prosecute the landlord  “for failing to licence the HMO”. According to the council’s press release:  Barnet Council discovered the property was an unlicenced House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) after being called to the...

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...

BTL landlord ordered to pay £9,500 for failing to maintain property

02 Mar 2020 A buy-to-let landlord in Liverpool has been ordered to pay almost £9.500 after failing to provide acceptable living conditions for his tenant. John William Kildare was found guilty of failing to comply with an Improvement Notice after allowing his tenant to live in dangerous conditions. According to Liverpool City Council, the Hanford Avenue property, in Orrel Park, had a long list...

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

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...

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. *...

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...

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...

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...

Rent Repayment Order Magic Money Tree is pretty much dead!

10 Aug 2020 by Des Taylor & Phil Turtle, Landlord Licensing & Defence “Rent Arrears must be accounted for BEFORE rent is eligible to be reclaimed under a Rent Repayment Order (RRO).” At a stroke, this Judgement of the First-Tier Tribunal (in a case defended by Des Taylor of Landlord Licensing and Defence) means that the no-win/no-fee become almost worthless for the lawyers, and far...

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...

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...

Judge tears into Northampton Council’s Samantha Ling and her department

14 Jun 2021 In a shocking, and embarrassing for Northampton Borough Council (NBC),  determination by Judge Wayte of the First Tier Tribunal property, he went so far as to suggest that the landlord should make a claim for costs against the Council.  A move that is almost unheard of, such was his condemnation of Samantha Ling and her department. Ling’s department is well known as priding...

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...

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. ...

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...

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...

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...

Battle of Hastings: Upper Tribunal Decision underlines end of Magic Money Tree for Rogue Tenants and their No Win/NoFee allies

17 Mar 2021 In a landmark decision, the Upper Tribunal (Lands) has confirmed that the judgement of the First Tier Tribunal that “Rent Arrears must be accounted for BEFORE rent is eligible to be reclaimed under a Rent Repayment Order (RRO).” This Judgement of the First-Tier Tribunal (in a case defended by Des Taylor of Landlord Licensing & Defence), and now upheld by the Upper Tribunal,...

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