Fitness For Human Habitation

 

 

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 hit with £180,000 penalty: how to avoid a buy-to-let fine

Birmingham court hands down record-breaking buy-to-let penalty A rogue landlord has been ordered to pay more than £180,000 in fines after tenants were left living in unsafe and unacceptable conditions at four properties. Leila Amjadi, the head of Vertu Capital Ltd, was found guilty of 35 offences relating to fire safety violations and poor maintenance, and was handed a record-breaking fine by a...

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...

Fire risk assessor prosecuted brings serous doubt to DIY Fire Risk Assessments

09 Sep 2019 South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has welcomed the prosecution of a fire risk assessor, saying it proves that there are consequences for failing to comply with safety laws. David Thompson of Toftwood Health & Safety Solutions was fined £750 and ordered to pay a £170 surcharge and £1,000 costs at Sheffield Magistrates Court on Friday (23 August) for failing to provide a suitable...

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...

How every Surrey council deals with complaints about about rogue landlords

Just two councils in Surrey fined or prosecuted landlords for issues such as poor living conditions Councils in Surrey received more than 600 complaints from tenants in a year, but there have been just four rogue landlords prosecuted. Owning a home is becoming less affordable. In 2001, 9% of homes in Surrey were private rented, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). In 2011, the...

Portsmouth lettings agency Kings Estates and Southsea landlord fined £18,000 for unlicensed 12-bed student house

11 Feb 2021 A LETTINGS agency has been fined £12,000 after council officers found 11 students living in a ‘high risk’ unlicensed converted pub. Portsmouth letting firm Kings Estates was initially handed a £6,000 fine by Portsmouth City Council after a tenant blew the whistle about the lack of a mandatory licence. Elegance lap dance bar owner Paul Ojla, the co-owner, of the shared 12-bed house...

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...

Tribunal upholds civil penalty notice and £8,852 fine on landlord

20 Nov 2020 A £4,550 fine, one of several imposed by the council,  has been upheld after an appeal by the landlord was rejected by a property tribunal. Fenland council served five civil penalty notices on the landlord totalling £8852 earlier this year for failing to rectify safety hazards at the block of flats he owned. The landlord appealed one of the penalty notices relating to...

Yet another landlord fined massively for unlicensed property

11 Jun 2021 A London council has prosecuted a landlord for renting out an unauthorised and unsafe House in Multiple Occupation. Daniella Mbachu, who owns property in Mitcham, was found guilty of failing to apply for an HMO licence from Merton council, and failure to supply a fire alarm, fire blanket, CO2 extinguisher, and fire escape.  As a result, she has been ordered to pay £13,800 in...

Criminal sentences after rental property carried “risk of death”

11 Sep 2020 Two suspended sentences, community service, a fine and disqualification from being a director - those form the penalty for a rogue landlord guilty of letting out a property as a dangerous and illegal hostel. After three years of serving prohibition notices and bringing the case through the courts, Kent Fire and Rescue Service and the Health and Safety Executive jointly brought legal...

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...

Dawn raid finds 17 tenants crammed into sub-let HMO

29 Nov 2019 A dawn raid by enforcement officers from a London council has discovered 17 men sleeping on mattresses in a three bedroom Home in Multiple Occupation. The raid followed a tip-off about a suspected unlicensed HMO. A statement from Brent council says the men were paying £50 a week to a head tenant in exchange for accommodation which was described by the local authority as “overcrowded,...

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 hit with curfew, and compensation bill after unlawful eviction

07 May 2021 A landlord has been placed under an overnight curfew in her home and ordered to pay just under £7,000 in compensation and costs after pleading guilty to unlawfully evicting her lodger, in a case brought by Bristol City Council’s Rogue Landlord Unit.  The landlord, Juliet Matorerwa, has been ordered to remain...

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 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...

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...

A Hertfordshire landlord has pleaded guilty to 28 offences resulting in a fine of over £20,000.

The convictions related to two private properties in the Hatfield area. 23 offences applied to one and the last five applied to the other. The first property, a HMO in Fern Dells, had failures with gas, electric and fire safety ad was therefore potentially dangerous for tenants. Extensive damp and mould was also found by the local council. There was also disrepair to windows and doors. The five...

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...

Unlicensed landlord ordered to pay over £2,600

A private landlord has been fined £2,000 for renting out two properties in Peterborough without a licence which he was legally obliged to obtain under the city council’s selective licensing scheme. Kevin Wagstaff, who lives in Eye, was found guilty in his absence at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court last week for letting two properties on Atkinson Street and Saltmarsh without a licence, despite it...

Somerset Council warns Landlords could be hit with financial penalties of up to £30,000

9 MAR 2019 North Somerset council is cracking down on rogue landlords Landlords are being warned they face financial penalties of up to £30,000 if they fail to keep their rented properties in good condition. North Somerset Council bosses have issued the warning as the authority steps up its efforts to tackle poor rented accommodation in the area. Officers from the private rented sector housing...

Landlord fined £90,000 for faultless properties

06 Feb 2020 A landlord has been ordered to pay just over £90,000 for repeatedly ignoring selective licensing laws in Brent, north London. Said Phil Turtle a director of Landlord Licensing and Defence, "The Council admits that there were 'no serious concerns' with this landlord’s properties. This fine is not for being a bad landlord - it is purely about the landlord failing to obey the law in...

£22,000 landlord fine for inadequate fire precautions and poor maintenance

15 Feb 2021 Two landlords who let an unlicensed London HMO property without providing proper washing facilities or tackling serious fire hazards have been taken to court. The pair were fined over £22,000 after letting out a property in Hackney without proper safety and hygiene standards, or applying for a council licence. Magistrates heard that joint owners Ella Louise Hill and Tyrone...

“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...

Landlord fined £177,000 for putting tenants at risk

A neglectful landlord, who allowed his tenants to occupy a property without working smoke alarms, a lack of sufficient fire doors and an external escape route that was in a poor state of repair, even after repeated warnings from the local council, has been fined £177,000 for serious breaches of fire safety regulations. Philip Anthony Brotherton, the owner of Cresctcourt Properties Ltd, accepted...

Court puts Charge on Landlord’s Property for £37,000 unpaid Civil Penalty

12 Dec 2019 An unlicensed landlord who let out rooms with dangerous electrics and refused to pay a civil fine, has been told he must pay the fine before he can sell the property. Slough council took a civil case against the landlord due to the dangerous standard of living conditions in the Home of Multiple Occupancy. A £37,000 penalty charge notice was issued in June this year due to a breach of...

Ombudsman names Southwark, Hammersmith & Fulham, Lambeth, Westminster, Haringey and Camden councils as the worst landlords in the country for leaseholders and shared ownership

05 Oct 2020 The Housing Ombudsman has issued a report containing almost 40 recommendations for dealing with complaints from leaseholders and shared owners. The report, which can be viewed here, also identified the 12 landlords – six housing associations and six councils – with the highest number of maladministration findings (including partial maladministration and severe...

Liverpool tries again to implement selective licensing tax

15 Dec 2020 In a cynical attempt to hide their revenue creation motive by stating: “The council makes no profit from the scheme. Every single pound we get from landlords would be ring-fenced, paying for our team [of enforcement officers] to be out on the streets every day inspecting homes, chasing disrepair and taking the strongest action against those landlords who refuse to manage and...

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...

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...

£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...

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...

Northampton Council takes Landlords house

29 Oct 2020 Northampton council is seeking a so-called Charging Order against a landlord who failed to carry out improvements to her property and then ignored the resulting £12,400 civil penalty. In December 2018, council officers carried out an inspection of the property in the town, owned by Mrs Alle Sabboth. They found multiple category one hazards such as faulty door locks...

Landlord fined three times over for “poorly converted” HMO

18 Mar 2021 A landlord and agent must pay more than £300,000 after housing 18 people in squalid conditions. Bristol City Council officers had "serious concerns" for the safety of the residents – including six children – of 24 Lower Ashley Road in St Agnes. Adam Habane, 51, of Dove Street, and Lloyd Beckford, 60, of Lower Ashley Road, ran the building as a house in multiple occupation (HMO),...

Landlords: Protect Yourself against 10 Million New Housing Inspectors

Seminar: What EVERY Landlord needs to know about avoiding massive fines and 'ambulance chasers'. Full day in-depth seminar. Thursday, 5 September '19   12pm - 6pm London SW1 Book tickets here On 20th March this year the Government appointed 10 MILLION new housing inspectors. They are not employed. They are on commission for getting Landlords sued. Which means they are highly...

Landlord gets £2,249 fine and criminal record for illegal eviction

18 May 2021 Landlord Antanas Klibavicius has pleaded guilty to illegally evicting his tenant and not taking any steps towards ending the tenancy properly and legally.  Klibavicius, from Sheffield, pleaded guilty to unlawfully depriving his tenant of accommodation contrary to s1(2) Protection from Eviction Act 1977.  Taking into account Klibavicius’ early guilty plea, magistrates...

Are you running an HMO without realising it?

How many rooms do you have in your rental property? How many people are living there? Could you be at risk of being targeted by local government's current crackdown on unlicensed HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation)? HMOs can be a serious pitfall for landlords, with the potential to cost you large sums of money in penalties and litigation. A couple of recent news items have reminded us how...

HMO landlord fined

Three landlords have been fined a total of £24,170 including costs, for failing to have a licence for a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). Chiabass Lawrence, who has been managing HMOs across London since 2003, pleaded guilty at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on 19th June for failing to acquire a license for an HMO without reasonable excuse. Mr Lawrence and his property management companies, OGAS...

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...

Banned but still in business: The rogue landlords exploiting weaknesses in the law

Landlords who have been deemed unfit to rent out their properties continue to operate by exploiting weaknesses in the law. An investigation by ITV News and the Guardian has found landlords continue to collect rent - often from the taxpayer in the form of housing benefit - despite failing “fit and proper” tests which were introduced to improve protection for tenants. The findings raise questions...

Court fines Landlord £26,000 for rats and cockroaches in un-declared HMO

22 Jul 2020 A pregnant woman was among nine people put “at risk” by their landlords, who allowed their tenants’ home to become infested with rats and cockroaches. Barnet Council says its enforcement officers found a “severe cockroach infestation” at 80 Highfield Avenue in Golders Green, Barnet, while the stairs and flooring had been “partially eaten by rats”. Officers also...

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...

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...

Reading Borough Council fine landlord £66k for failing to meet fire safety requirements

13 Jan 2021 A LANDLORD has been slapped with a £66,000 fine over 'serious' safety breaches including plug sockets next to the shower, and repairs that risked residents being trapped in a fire. In a record attempt by Reading Borough Council (RBC) to clamp down on landlords of HMOs (Houses of Multiple Occupation) failing to reach required standards, it is hoped that last month's prosecution will...

Success! We bat 5 over zealous council court summonses into the long grass – defending older landlord

20 Nov 2020 A LONG READ – Well Worth it. Especially if you were born between 1950 and 1980 and, you are a LANDLORD. A client Of Landlord Licensing & Defence who has lived in abject terror for months due to bullying and ridiculous Local Council action had a Happy Outcome at Court today! Terrified by Council Enforcement; a client who had been summoned to court by an overly aggressive local...

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...

Landlords fined over £60,000 over 7 bed HMO

19 Apr 2021 Two landlords of a property in East London have been ordered to pay costs and fines totalling £61,057.05 after they were prosecuted for multiple housing offences. John Renvoize and Dedar Shah owners of a seven bed property in Dagenham were ordered to pay the fines following a case at Romford Magistrate Court. Following an inspection of the property in January 2018, Renvoize...

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...

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

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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. *...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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. ...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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