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Infamous and abusive landlord faces fines of over £125,000 

12 May 2022 A court has told a multi-millionaire landlord he must pay £125,000 after a 10-year campaign of abuse against a local council.  Last year Fergus Wilson, 72, was the subject of a life-time injunction banning him from contacting his local Ashford Borough Council. Wilson can now only contact staff or councillors through a named legal advisor. Last year’s High Court injunction case...

Landlord handed two-year ban and £41k bill for putting tenants’ lives at risk

A man who rented out rooms above a town centre bar has been banned from being a landlord after putting the lives of his tenants at risk. Dean Dunkley, 41, of Dunchurch Road in Rugby, has also been ordered to pay more than £41,000 in legal costs by the magistrates after he was found guilty of a number of offences. The prosecution was brought by Rugby Borough Council after several inspections of...

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...

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...

Council boasts of issuing 133 penalty notices and 23 improvement notices

02 Jul 2019 A London council wants to extend its private rental sector licensing scheme - and in doing so is boasting of the number of notices it’s so far issued against landlords. Havering council has begun a consultation looking at extending its scheme, launched initially in March 2018. As part of the publicity promoting its extension, the council says it has issued 133 financial penalty...

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...

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...

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,...

London Borough of Camden secures ASBO injunction & exclusion zone against landlord

30 Jul 2021 Camden council in north London has become the first local authority to secure an anti-social behaviour injunction against a landlord in order to protect private tenants from illegal eviction and harassment. The council secured the injunction against landlord Mohammed Ali Abbas Rasool, aged 29. Working in partnership with the Met Police, Camden brought the case against Rasool after...

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...

Council encourages tenants to get Rent Repayment Order against Landlord

21 Mar 2022 A London landlord has been fined £5,000 for letting an unlicensed HMO. The fine was issued after the landlord ignored repeated warnings from Hackney council to obtain a license to continue letting the property.  The landlord appealed the fine to the First-Tier Tribunal, which upheld the decision in a virtual hearing. Hackney’s HMO licensing scheme, which requires landlords to...

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...

£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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Essex ‘Accidental Landlord’ stung with £3,500 rent repayment order

05 Dec 2019 Assisted by a no-win, no-fee organisation the tenant, a former acquaintance of the landlord’s daughter – to whom the accidental landlord had let the property on reduced rent-terms as a favour because of their acquaintanceship as teachers who worked together. In his finding regarding the property in Chadwell Heath, Romford, Judge Nichols of the First Tier Tribunal (property chamber)...

Nowhere for HMO landlords to hide as Councils turn to Artificial Intelligence

21 Jul 2021 How long does it take for your Council to work out you’re running an unlicensed HMO? Less than one day! This was confirmed for us this week when a worried landlord got in touch with our landlords defence consultancy team. Here’s the situation: Landlord completes on an HMO purchase on the 30th June.  On the 1st July one of the London Borough Councils sends the new owner a letter...

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...

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 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...

Crackdown on unlicensed HMOs in Islington leads to five housing prosecutions

Four landlords and a letting agent face bills totalling more than £20,000 after being prosecuted by Islington Council for operating unlicensed houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). HMOs are properties occupied by three or more people forming more than one household, and HMO licensing is used to tackle poor management of properties and drive up standards of accommodation in the private sector....

Bristol housing charity tops list of UK’s most-prosecuted landlords

Charity set up to house homeless among landlords convicted of making money from substandard properties but still letting homes to tenants, research finds A Bristol-based charity that receives thousands of pounds in housing benefit to accommodate vulnerable people has topped a list of the UK’s most-prosecuted landlords compiled. Alternative Housing, which was established to provide accommodation...

Government gives Councils £3.8million to increase Enforcement against Landlords

06 Nov 2019 Fresh funding for local councils in England to tackle landlords has been made available, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has announced. The government’s intention is that this money should be used to target true ‘rogue’ landlords - but in practice, it is likely to be used to target all landlords. Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said councils will be...

Landlord denied licences despite past conviction being ‘spent’

10 Dec 2020 A London council has confirmed its right to refuse licenses to criminal landlords - even reformed ones. A story in the East London Guardian says Nasim Hussain and her daughter Farina took the Waltham Forest council to court after the family’s licences for 29 rented properties were revoked and seven applications for new licences refused. The two women argued the council was wrong to...

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...

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...

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,...

Speed cameras being used by Councils to create revenue new report – just like property licensing & Landlord Fines

16 Jul 2020 In a report by the Inspectorate of Police and Fire Services they accuse Safety Camera Partnerships (dominated by local authorities) of being cynical and putting cameras to generate revenue and not to save lives. What landlords need to know is that this is exactly what Local Authorities are doing in the housing sector with Licensing and...

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...

HMO deemed dirty & unsafe. Lettings firm fined £21,000

09 Jun 2021 A council investigation found no fire alarms, routes of escape blocked, and a broken window covered with a 'to let' sign A Manchester letting and management company has been fined more than £21,000 after one of their properties was found to have multiple fire safety breaches. Mecca Properties M/cr was found guilty of ‘systematic failings’ at a tribunal following an investigation by...

Will Government make Rogue Landlord Database public? Decision awaited

11 Aug 2021 There has still been no formal response to a government consultation on the database of rogue agents and landlords, 25 months after comments were initially requested and 22 months after the exercise closed. The database of rogue landlords and property agents was introduced in April 2018, targeted at agents and landlords who committed the most serious offences - typically those...

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...

Property manager hit with £10,500 fine for unlicensed HMO

Property manager hit with £10,500 fine for unlicensed HMO A company and the manager of a house of multiple occupation (HMO) in South Hampstead, north-west London, have been hit with a hefty fine following legal proceedings brought by the Camden Council. Manager of the property, Benjamin George Wilson, aged 40 from Barnet, having earlier pleaded guilty to operating an HMO without an HMO licence,...

Councils teaching tenants how to reclaim rent from landlords

03 Mar 2021 A London council is running what it describes as “an innovative project” to help private tenants reclaim rent from landlords who fall foul of licensing rules.  London Borough of Tower Hamlets council claims that over £200,000 has been reclaimed for tenants under the Rent Repayment Order project, which holds landlords to account if they fail to obtain the correct property licence...

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...

Harrogate Borough Council has announced its latest win against a landlord

11 Nov 2021 The most recent success relates to a case the council served on landlord Mr Jamshid J-G, for failing to comply with an improvement notice of a property on the High Street, Starbeck. As Mr J-G failed to address several hazards at the property, including excess cold, structural issues and kitchen safety, the council imposed a financial penalty of £25,000. Mr J-G appealed against 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...

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...

£10,000 fine per 2-bedroom shared house as Greenwich mounts witch-hunt to raise revenue

10 Jul 2020 Four buy to let investors have each been fined £10,000 for letting out unlicensed HMOs. The unlicensed properties , all in the Greenwich area, include a two-bedroom HMO rented to four separate tenants, a five-bedroom HMO rented to seven separate tenants, and two separate three-bedroom HMOs.  A council spokeswoman says: “Every single person in our borough deserves...

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...

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...

Stoke-on-Trent landlords fined almost £1,800 & more will be prosecuted

Two landlords have been told to pay almost £1,800 - after failing to apply for a relevant licence. Both Sarah Machin and Mohammed Ashraf failed to apply for the licence within a selecting licensing areas in Stoke-on-Trent. The initiative had previously been rolled out by Stoke-on-Trent City Council with leaders claiming the scheme is aimed at raising the condition of rental properties. And 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...

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...

Firm fined £18,000 for allowing Bristol knotweed ‘forest’ to grow so high it could be seen from space

The invasive plant was allowed to spread for 10 years and was blocking light from neighbouring homes. Bristol City Council prosecuted the landlord MB Estate Limited on behalf of seven residents using anti-social behaviour laws. It is thought to be the first prosecution of its type. Amie King moved into a £400,000 property in Ash Road, in the trendy Horfield area of the city, in 2007 and soon...

Landlords warned over housing rules as £16,000 fine dished out in Wolverhampton

Warnings have been issued to rogue landlords in Wolverhampton after council officers issued a £16,000 penalty to a homeowner flouting the rules. Wolverhampton council handed a Whitmore Reans landlord the huge financial penalty for running a house in multiple occupation (HMO) without a licence. It is the first time the council's housing team issued a civil penalty to a landlord for failing to...

Now Council Licensing are doing Dawn Raids just like the Drug Squad

22 Jan 2020 An investigation was launched this morning into the safety of residents in 10 rented properties operating without landlord licences. Officers from Slough Borough Council knocked on the doors of the 10 properties simultaneously at 5am to examine the living conditions in the houses on Alexandra Road, Chalvey. All the terraced homes are owned by the same people who have not obtained a...

99% of architects don’t understand the HMO Amenity Standards. And in our experience, 90% of landlords don’t either.

Also, whilst 100% of architects know the Building Regulations –90% don’t understand that Building Regulations standards – being the absolute minimum standard – are not adequate for HMOs. A higher standard must be applied and 90% don’t know what this higher standard is.

Wrong First Time. 
Why do we say this?
Because time after time, when our inspectors visit new HMO conversions or HMO refurbs, in order to do pre-licensing compliance audits, we find that we have to tell landlords that they’ve done many things wrong.
 And then we have to drop the bombshell that they must do costly and time-consuming rectifications to make their shiny new but non-compliant acceptable for HMO property licensing.  
Frequently, we find: 
  • Wrong or inadequate fire alarm system
  • Non-compliant fire doors 
  • Inadequate fire escape routes
  • Inadequate fire compartmentation
  • Provide extra bathrooms (or accept fewer occupants) 
  • Fit additional kitchens and cookers (or accept fewer occupants) 

And all of these are because either the landlord specified all the works themselves, or just let their architects do it all, and neither of them were sufficiently expert in the HMO Management Regulations, HHSRS, Fire design and that particular council’s HMO Amenity Standards. 

Right First Time
To get your HMO right first time, you need good HMO advice right from the start on fire design, HMO Amenity Standards and all 29 hazards of the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System. As well as the HMO Management Regulations. To make sure your HMO really is right first time.

Multi-disciplinary experts from Landlord Licensing & Defence who are landlords, fire risk assessors, HHSRS practitioners or environmental health officers, will provide you with comprehensive HMO services and ensure you get it right first time.

Without all the extra costs and delays of not taking professional advice before the works are done.

HMO Advice and HMO Design Services include:

  • Review of original and proposed design sketches against HMO and licensing standards
  • Site visit and advice during first-fix
  • Specification of HMO requirements over and above Building Regulations
    • Fire doors
    • Alarm system and location
    • Amenities
    • Safety requirements
  • Practical advice on tenants:
    • Living experience
    • Furnishing for longevity
    • Materials to use and avoid
  • HMO Management Regulation Requirements
  • Council Amenity Standards
  • Occupancy levels achievable within the Council Amenity Standards
  • Better building layouts
  • Housing Act 2004 and HHSRS, the Housing Health and Safety Rating System as applied to HMOs

Want to get it right first time and save remedial costs and time slips?

Whether you need HMO advice in London or anywhere in England and Wales, your team of qualified and experienced experts at Landlord Licensing & Defence, stand ready to assist with your HMO compliance, design, execution and licensing.

Get in touch by Confidential Call: 0208 088 0788 now. Or fill in our contact form below.

Contact the HMO Advice and HMO Design Experts NOW. 
Phone 0208 088 0788 or fill this form

 

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