Housing Act 2004 Section 249A and Schedule 13A  Financial Penalties

HMO landlord fined after Barnet Council investigation

A landlord has been ordered to pay £2,650 in fines and costs after failing to licence a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO), following a successful prosecution by Barnet Council. Investigators discovered that the two-storey property in Hamonde Close, Edgware, was housing seven people during an evening inspection by the council’s Private Sector Housing Enforcement Team. They wrote to the owner,...

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

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

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...

Fines for Fire Safety breaches Will Become Unlimited says Home Office

25 Mar 2021 Building owners who breach fire safety regulations under the Fire Safety Order will be subject to unlimited fines, the Home Office has announced. The measures come as part of the government’s response to the Fire Safety Consultation and will be included in the Building Safety Bill legislation currently working its way through parliament. The fines will also be issued to anyone...

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...

Rogue rent-to-rent landlord will face prison if he tries to rent out property again

06 Oct 2020 A landlord has failed to overturn a ban from renting out properties after repeatedly putting tenants’ lives at risk by letting unsafe housing. Balazs Stalter was prosecuted earlier this year by Wandsworth Council’s housing team following complaints received from people who had been renting accommodation from him. The rogue operator rented large properties himself and then unlawfully...

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...

Bristol landlord £5000 Rent Repayment Order

24 Jun 2020 Two Bristol landlords have been ordered to repay nearly £5,000 following investigations by the council’s so called rogue landlord unit. One, Lucy Sherry, was found to have breached the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.  She was found to have harassed her tenants, and did so with reasonable cause to believe that her conduct would lead to the tenants giving up occupation of the...

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...

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...

Two landlords have been fined for letting out a flat that had no heating or windows.

01 May 2019 Two buy to let investors in Chester have been ordered to pay more than £5,000 for renting out a flat without windows or any form of heating. Following our recent article reporting the Slough landlord who was hiding tenants in their rental property by boarding up the windows, two Chester landlords have been found to be renting out a buy to let property with no windows. The property is...

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...

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...

£140,000 in fines for buy to let couple failing to maintain properties

29 Aug 2019 A husband and wife pair of buy to let investors have been prosecuted after letting out a property that contained serious hazards and defects. Hamedur Choudhury and his wife Roshon let out two flats and staff accommodation above a restaurant in East Grinstead. Environmental health officers from Mid Sussex council inspected the property 18 months ago and discovered serious issues...

Landlord without HMO licence fined £20,000

A £20,000 fine has been handed to a landlord and his managing agent for failing to secure a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence for their three-storey property. After its community safety team received complaints about waste storage and nuisance behaviour, Barnet Council discovered 13 tenants living in the house, which is in Edgware. An eight-month-old baby was found living with a couple...

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...

Landlord fined for ‘extremely dangerous’ rental property

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

Council with Most Prosecutions of Agents and Landlords is Named

Camden has been revealed as the local authority with the highest number of prosecutions of agents and landlords in London. According to the Mayor of London’s rogue landlord and agent checker, launched last December to assist Londoners in securing affordable homes with the knowledge that their agent or landlord has not committed previous offences, Camden has prosecuted on 59 occasions and put 35...

Oxford City Council has collected a total of £31,606 in penalties for housing offences from its first three cases since the introduction of new financial penalty powers

Oxford City Council has collected a total of £31,606 in penalties for housing offences from its first three cases since the introduction of new financial penalty powers to help crackdown on rogue landlords and improve safety for renters. In the biggest of the three fines, a landlord who owns a rented property on Garsington Road received financial penalties totalling £25,298 for failing to...

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...

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...

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...

Landlord in hot water after ignoring council abatement notice

28 Jun 2021 A tenant was put at risk from a ceiling that partially collapsed and was left unable to use her shower after her landlords failed to adequately repair a leak. Sunita and Surinder Paul have each been fined £500 for breaching a Wolverhampton council abatement notice ordering them to complete the repairs on the property in Bilston.  In March 2020, the tenant reported water leaking...

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...

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...

Landlord gets £200k fine for planning offence, proceeds of crime and confiscation order

11 Mar 2021 A landlord who illegally turned a London property into 13 flats has been hit by nearly £200,000 in fines, costs and a confiscation order. Inanc Elitok pleaded guilty to ignoring two previous notices at a hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court, in a case brought by Waltham Forest council. Clyde Loakes, the council deputy leader, says: “Even after being given two enforcement notices for...

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...

Landlord fined for keeping tenant’s deposit in a tin

15 Oct 2020 A landlord has been ordered to pay his ex-tenant £1,500 after failing to protect her deposit with an approved scheme. The Housing and Property Chamber First-tier tribunal for Scotland found that Mark Bradley of Gourock had not protected his tenant’s deposit for five and a half years, when he should have protected it within 30 working days of the start of the tenancy. In April 2014,...

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...

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...

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...

Ministers insist work of courts and tribunals must continue during fresh lockdown

11 Jan 2021 Landlord Licensing and Defence has confirmed that it remains open for casework defending landlords against councils and representing them at the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) as councils  ramp up their assault on issuing Civil Penalty Fines to landlords as their major revenue generation stream.  This announcement follows the Lord Chancellor stating that the vital...

Landlord who refused to pay for legal assistance gets stung for £28,000 in Rent Repayment Orders

19 Oct 2020 A Landlord who told our firm that he’d rather go out alone than pay £450 in fees for legal assistance has ended up with the inevitable DIY result of a massive Rent Repayment Order for £28,000. "Landlords who think they have the skills that they can handle their own case in the Property Tribunal are for the most part deluded and heading for disaster”, said Phil Turtle compliance...

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

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

Angry landlord chucks council safety inspector down the stairs in bid to thwart property inspection

13 Jun 2019 He also grabbed him in a bear hug. A landlord in Lincoln grabbed a council worker and pushed him down the stairs in a bid to stop him inspecting his property, a court heard. Brian Goodwin was unhappy after two City of Lincoln Council private housing officers called to carry out a safety inspection on the home he owns in Union Road in July 2018. The two workers were doing the checks...

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...

Bath pair fined £16k for holding wrong HMO licenses

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

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...

It’s Rubbish being a Landlord: 40 Landlords Prosecuted by One Council for Tenants’ Mess

18 Feb 2021 A landlord’s firm has been fined after waste accumulated in the rear yard of a tenanted property. Elahi Properties of Blackburn was ordered to pay £1,259 by a court, comprised of a £750 court fine and £500 costs. The firm was summonsed to appear in court earlier this month after ignoring repeated calls from the local council to take action.  In the past year, 40 waste...

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...

Fine of up to £30,000 for failing to comply as Slough introduces 3 person HMO and Selective Licensing

06 Jun 2019 Slough Borough Council approved the implementation of two discretionary licensing schemes for residential property in Slough. Therefore from 1 July 2019 there will be three property licensing schemes in operation in Slough: Additional licensing for all HMOs (not covered by mandatory scheme, i.e. smaller HMOs)Selective licensing of all privately rented property covering most of...

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...

Bristol Council Starts Cynical campaign to bankrupt Landlords

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

‘Landlord in Crisis’ Cases Last Week

23 Jun 2020 The last two weeks has been hectic and often people see what we publish and ask what exactly do we do? Well here is the first half covering just some of the things we have covered in the last two weeks, no day is ever boring and it is a long read and these cases are all landlords just like you: Landlords and COVID-19 Covid-19 has meant much more enforcement action against landlords...

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...

Housing Act 2004 Section 249A and Schedule 13A

If you’ve just searched for this term, then the chances are very high that you’ve received a letter from your Council’s Housing Enforcement Officer similar to the ones in the photo.

It means that your Council Housing department have already decided that you are guilty without trial of Criminal Acts in relation to The Housing Act 2004 and related Regulations. Often they do not have enough evidence. But most landlords don’t understand the danger they are in and happily give the Council more and more evidence with which to prosecute them.

**Do not attempt to discuss your letter on notice with anyone at the Council before you take professional advice.**

Why?

Because, just like the police when suspecting someone of a serious crime, their only interest now is to get you to self-incriminate so that they can substantiate their “Guilty” decision and can then proceed to extract many £1,000s from you by way of Civil Financial Penalty Fines or take you to Criminal Court.

You would not phone up the police for a bit of a chat to explain why you thought it was ok to drive at 105 miles per hour. You would not dream of giving them all the evidence thy need to prosecute you without having professional representation.  In exactly the same way, to avoid giving the Council all the evidence they need to prosecute or fine you.

And we hate to say it, but you probably are guilty. It is extremely easy to be guilty of offences under the Housing Act(s). 

Click here to get help ASAP

Failure to apply for an HMO or Selective Licence

Many councils’ favourite ‘crime’ is that of failing to apply for an HMO or Selective Licence.

They will raid a house that they think *might* be a licensable HMO of 5 persons under that Mandatory HMO Licensing legislation (or 3 if they have an Additional Licensing Scheme in operation) and they only have to suspect there could be a fifth person living there that you’re probably not even aware of.

Quite often it’s just a visiting girl or boyfriend – but that’s enough for them to throw the book at you.

And throwing the book at you is exactly what they will do because they will set out to find you in breach of ALL of these ‘relevant housing offences’ under Section 249A:

Many councils’ favourite ‘crime’ is that of failing to apply for an HMO or Selective Licence. They will raid a house that they think *might* be a licensable HMO of 5 persons under that Mandatory HMO Licensing legislation (or 3 if they have an Additional Licensing Scheme in operation) and they only have to *suspect* there could be a fifth person living there that you’re probably not even aware of. Quite often it’s just a visiting girl or boyfriend – but that’s enough for them to throw the book at you.

And throwing the book at you is exactly what they will do because they will set out to find you in breach of ALL of these ‘relevant housing offences’ under Section 249A:

  • Housing Act 2004 Section 30 – failure to comply with an improvement notice
  • Housing Act 2004 Section 72 – failure to licence an HMO
  • Housing Act 2004 Section 95 – failure to licence a house under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004 (i.e. failure to apply for a Selective Licence)
  • Housing Act 2004 Section 139(7) – failure to comply with an overcrowding notice
  • Housing Act 2004 Section 237 – failure under the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations (England) 2006 including (and they usually create a separate Civil Penalty for each of these that they can get you on):
    • Regulation 3 – failure to display the managers full details prominently in the HMO
    • Regulation 4 – failure of the manager to take safety measures
    • Regulation 5 – failure of the manager to maintain water supply and drainage
    • Regulation 6 – failure of the manager to supply and maintain gas and electricity
    • Regulation 7 – failure of the manager to maintain the common parts, fixtures fittings and appliances
    • Regulation 8 – failure of the manager to maintain living accommodation
    • Regulation 9 – failure to provide (adequate) waste disposal facilities

Usually by the time they have totted up all this lot, a Landlord of a single house can be staring £20,000 to £50,000 of Civil Penalty Fines in the face.

Click here to get help ASAP

Not Fit and Proper Person

 

 

But that is not all. The chances are very high that they will continue after issuing this letter to declare you to be a Not Fit and Proper Person to hold a licence – they will do this by refusing to grant a licence for your property in your name. If you have other licenced properties they will often issue a Notice to Revoke licences.

 

Councils can completely destroy your business.

 

And just for good measure, many councils’ not only make your tenants aware that they can reclaim up to 12 months’ rent from you because you didn’t have a licence when you should have had one. Many Councils even help tenants to fill in the forms.

 

Click here to get help ASAP

PACE inverview under caution

If you see ‘helpful’ words in the letter like

“If you would like a meeting to discuss the proposed financial penalty before making your representations,
then please contact the xxxxx team so arrangements can be made to meet at the Town/City Hall”

Do NOT make any such arrangements. This is a trick to get you to attend a PACE (Police And Criminal Evidence ACT) interview under caution.

The sole purpose of which is to trick you into self-incrimination 

Click here to get help ASAP

 Get Help ASAP

If you’ve received one of these Housing Act Section 249A and Schedule 13A: Financial Penalties letters you need to act fast because you have very little time before the fines are imposed.

 Click here to get help ASAP

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

Don’t think that you will be able to get these fines dropped. There is a very low chance of that. As we said above, it’s very easy for a council enforcement officer to find you guilty and you are Guilty until Proven Innocent.

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

And remember our discussions with the Council 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.

If the is Council declaring you a Not Fit and Proper Person and refusing or withdrawing license we can find solutions that the council will accept  that can save your business from ruin.

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

Click here to get help ASAP

Get in touch if you have had a PACE or Interview Under Caution ‘invitation’…

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Success Stories

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...

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...

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...

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...

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. ...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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. *...

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...

20 Properties. No selective Licences.

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The Legal Stuff

 

 

Housing Act 2004 Section 249A Financial penalties for certain housing offences in England

(1) The local housing authority may impose a financial penalty on a person if satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, that the person’s conduct amounts to a relevant housing offence in respect of premises in England.

(2) In this section “relevant housing offence” means an offence under—

(a) section 30 (failure to comply with improvement notice),

(b) section 72 (licensing of HMOs),

(c) section 95 (licensing of houses under Part 3),

(d) section 139(7) (failure to comply with overcrowding notice), or

(e) section 234 (management regulations in respect of HMOs).

(3) Only one financial penalty under this section may be imposed on a person in respect of the same conduct.

(4) The amount of a financial penalty imposed under this section is to be determined by the local housing authority, but must not be more than £30,000.

(5) The local housing authority may not impose a financial penalty in respect of any conduct amounting to a relevant housing offence if—

(a) the person has been convicted of the offence in respect of that conduct, or

(b) criminal proceedings for the offence have been instituted against the person in respect of the conduct and the proceedings have not been concluded.

(6) Schedule 13A deals with—

(a) the procedure for imposing financial penalties,

(b) appeals against financial penalties,

(c) enforcement of financial penalties, and

(d) guidance in respect of financial penalties.

(7) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision about how local housing authorities are to deal with financial penalties recovered.

(8) The Secretary of State may by regulations amend the amount specified in subsection (4) to reflect changes in the value of money.

(9) For the purposes of this section a person’s conduct includes a failure to act.

 

Housing Act 2004 Schedule 13A Financial penalties under section 249A

Notice of intent

1 Before imposing a financial penalty on a person under section 249A the local housing authority must give the person notice of the authority’s proposal to do so (a “notice of intent”).

2(1) The notice of intent must be given before the end of the period of 6 months beginning with the first day on which the authority has sufficient evidence of the conduct to which the financial penalty relates.

2(2) But if the person is continuing to engage in the conduct on that day, and the conduct continues beyond the end of that day, the notice of intent may be given—

(a) at any time when the conduct is continuing, or

(b) within the period of 6 months beginning with the last day on which the conduct occurs.

2(3) For the purposes of this paragraph a person’s conduct includes a failure to act.

3 The notice of intent must set out—

(a) the amount of the proposed financial penalty,

(b) the reasons for proposing to impose the financial penalty, and

(c) information about the right to make representations under paragraph 4.

Right to make representations

4(1) A person who is given a notice of intent may make written representations to the local housing authority about the proposal to impose a financial penalty.

4(2) Any representations must be made within the period of 28 days beginning with the day after that on which the notice was given (“the period for representations”). 

Final notice

5 After the end of the period for representations the local housing authority must—

(a) decide whether to impose a financial penalty on the person, and

(b) if it decides to impose a financial penalty, decide the amount of the penalty.

6 If the authority decides to impose a financial penalty on the person, it must give the person a notice (a “final notice”) imposing that penalty.

7 The final notice must require the penalty to be paid within the period of 28 days beginning with the day after that on which the notice was given.

8 The final notice must set out—

(a) the amount of the financial penalty,

(b) the reasons for imposing the penalty,

(c) information about how to pay the penalty,

(d) the period for payment of the penalty,

(e) information about rights of appeal, and

(f) the consequences of failure to comply with the notice.

Withdrawal or amendment of notice

9(1) A local housing authority may at any time—

(a) withdraw a notice of intent or final notice, or

(b) reduce the amount specified in a notice of intent or final notice.

9(2) The power in sub-paragraph (1) is to be exercised by giving notice in writing to the person to whom the notice was given. 

Appeals

10(1) A person to whom a final notice is given may appeal to the First-tier Tribunal against—

(a) the decision to impose the penalty, or

(b) the amount of the penalty.

10(2) If a person appeals under this paragraph, the final notice is suspended until the appeal is finally determined or withdrawn.

10(3) An appeal under this paragraph—

(a) is to be a re-hearing of the local housing authority’s decision, but

(b) may be determined having regard to matters of which the authority was unaware.

10(4) On an appeal under this paragraph the First-tier Tribunal may confirm, vary or cancel the final notice.

10(5) The final notice may not be varied under sub-paragraph (4) so as to make it impose a financial penalty of more than the local housing authority could have imposed.

Recovery of financial penalty

11(1) This paragraph applies if a person fails to pay the whole or any part of a financial penalty which, in accordance with this Schedule, the person is liable to pay.

11(2) The local housing authority which imposed the financial penalty may recover the penalty or part on the order of the county court as if it were payable under an order of that court.

11(3) In proceedings before the county court for the recovery of a financial penalty or part of a financial penalty, a certificate which is—

(a) signed by the chief finance officer of the local housing authority which imposed the penalty, and

(b) states that the amount due has not been received by a date specified in the certificate,

is conclusive evidence of that fact.

11(4) A certificate to that effect and purporting to be so signed is to be treated as being so signed unless the contrary is proved.

11(5) In this paragraph “chief finance officer” has the same meaning as in section 5 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.

Guidance

12 A local housing authority must have regard to any guidance given by the Secretary of State about the exercise of its functions under this Schedule or section 249A.

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