Financial Penalties

Housing Act 2004 Section 249A and Schedule 13A  

£600,000 fine for damage to bat breeding site

22 Dec 2020 A major house builder has been ordered to pay what is understood to be the largest fine ever issued by a court in relation to a wildlife crime. On 8 December at Woolwich Crown Court, Bellway Homes pleaded guilty to the offence between 17 March 2018 and 17 August 2018 of damaging or destroying a breeding site or resting place for bats. The company was ordered to pay a fine of £600,000...

London landlord gets eye-watering £450,000 fine

Beds in Sheds: Samina Nadeem, of Malborough Road, Southall who had refused to demolish her “beds in sheds” after repeated warnings from the council, now faces a record fine of nearly £450,000 or 4 years in prison. An Ealing councillor described Nadeem as “obstructive and aggressive” and housing her tenants in “Dickensian” conditions. Nadeem had had repeated warnings from the council but still...

£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...

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...

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,...

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

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

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...

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

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

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

£40k fine for unsafe scaffolding at house

26 May 2022 Kent-based RPS Scaffolding Ltd has been fined following an incident where the scaffolding the company erected collapsed, injuring two workers. Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that in August 2020, two workers were injured when the scaffolding they were working from on Thorpebank Road in London collapsed. An HSE investigation found that RPS Scaffolding Ltd erected a scaffold to...

Landlord in court because buy to let was unclean and unsafe

23 Jul 2021 A landlord who failed to ensure his property was clean and safe for tenants to live in has been prosecuted by a council.  An environmental health officer from Oldham council first visited a private rented property in the town in September last year after they received information about a number of faults, including dangerous electrics and a leaking toilet. An Improvement Notice...

Countrywide chain Beresford Adams and landlord together fined £30,000 over HMO

23 Sep 2019 Wrexham council discovers that HMO is unlicensed and that conditions at the property include inadequate fire safety provision. A landlord and her letting agent, 28-branch Countrywide chain Beresford Adams, must pay a total of £32,300 in fines, costs and victim surcharge after an HMO visited by inspectors in Wrexham found it to be unlicensed. Landlord Jane Sabio, who had pleaded...

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

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

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...

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....

Landlord faces jail unless she pays back £140k

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

Landlords lose conclusively against VoA on HMO banding

25 Mar 2022 Landlords whose HMOs are split up into separate units for council tax purposes are losing court challenges, while a lawyer has remarked that their cases are “unwinnable”, The Telegraph reports. ‘Disaggregation’ is where an HMO is charged council tax for every separate unit, while it can happen when each floor of the house has shared facilities, or if rooms have their own...

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

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

NLA demands councils prosecute letting agents

04 Jul 2019 Local authorities are failing in their duty to prosecute criminal letting agents, the National Landlords Association (NLA) has warned. The NLA says a lack of enforcement is undermining efforts to improve the reputation of the private rental sector. More than half of 20 local authorities did not prosecute a single letting agent between 2014 and 2018, according to a Freedom of...

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...

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...

£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...

Harrow rogue landlord’s nightmare flat left tenants at ‘imminent risk of death’

2 May 2019 The building was cold, filthy, structurally unsound and a firetrap with gaps on the stairs and no washbasin. A Harrow landlord rented out such a disgusting home that his nine tenants were at "imminent risk of death". The problems at the Harrow home began with a dangerous bed bug infestation, but conditions were revealed to be so bad, that even after an £11,000 fine in the courts,...

Letting Agent and Property Manager fined thousands for ‘failure to produce documents” to council 

04 Jul 2022 Two landlords have been fined £3,000 and ordered to pay more than £6,000 in costs for failing to provide documents to a local council. Nicole Cameron, director of local letting and property management company South Tyneside Rooms, along with property manager Shamusdin Mohammad were both convicted of failing to comply with a Request for Information Notice under the Housing Act 2004....

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...

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...

Landlord fined £60,000 for license breaches

A court has fined a Gateshead private landlord £60,000 for committing serious offences under The Housing Act 2004. Mr X. the landlord* of the property in Ridley Gardens in Swalwell, was found guilty of failing to comply with an Improvement Notice and breaching the conditions of his landlord licence by failing to effectively manage his property. Issues with the property, which is located within...

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...

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

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

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...

Three rogue lettings agents expelled by The Property Ombudsman

24 Oct 2019 The Property Ombudsman has expelled three lettings agencies from its scheme because of unpaid awards to landlord clients. The first is Kingsman Property Limited (trading as Kingsman Property) in Essex, which owes a landlord £14,921.23. A landlord made a complaint to The Property Ombudsman after claiming that the agent failed to pass on rent owed to him, which had been paid by the...

Councils using ‘Intelligence” to track down rental properties with low EPCs – £5,000 fines

29 Mar 2021 And so the EPC witch-hunt begins…. Threatening fines of up to £5,000 for any rental property with an EPC lower than Band E, councils are now using artificial intelligence to pull together all manner of records and information to cross-correlate properties on the EPC register with ratings F or G so that they can issue fines in the name of improving housing conditions for tenants. Of...

Letting agent fined £80k after investigation into shared houses

09 Oct 2019 Fire at one of the properties triggered the prosecution of Orange Living Ltd - which trades as Loc8me and provides for students A letting agent which counts students among its customers has been fined £80,000 for failing to license shared houses it rented out. A council investigation was triggered after a fire in the attic of one of the properties in Loughborough leased out by Orange...

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...

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,...

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...

Landlords ordered to pay more than £6k for HMO failings

16 May 2019 A buy-to-let landlord has been ordered to pay more than £6,000 in relation to 12 charges under the Housing Act after council officers found numerous breaches of regulations at a house in multiple occupation ( HMO ) ranging from defective windows to failing to produce a gas safety certificate. Mahmut Gilgil, of Blandford Road, BH15, was convicted of a series of failings at the HMO,...

Fine for landlord admitting failings

A property management company has been landed with a legal bill of almost £2,000 after admitting that it failed to keep a property in Nottingham in good repair. Nottingham City Council`s Housing Licensing and Compliance team secured a successful prosecution against ADKAM CIC (Community Interest Company) resulting in a fine of £1000 with costs of £836 and a £100 victim surcharge at Nottingham...

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...

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...

Landlord gets £90,000 Fines for Inadequate Fire Precautions at 2 properties

14 Apr 2021 A landlord and a property company have a total of over £90,000 to pay after being found guilty of 27 charges relating to two properties in Hertfordshire. Landlord Faraz Bucha and the property management firm Captain Solutions were each found guilty of 27 charges at St Alban's Magistrates Court relating to the management of two premises at Hatfield. Issues at the properties related to...

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...

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...

Property prohibited from use. Landlord and house both unfit

25 Nov 2021 A landlord in Newcastle has been barred from letting out his property and could face a fine after allowing the house to dramatically fall into disrepair. Rats had gnawed through electrical cabling, meaning the electricity was unsafe. The heating system was knocked out, so there was no heating or hot water. Meanwhile the house had defective double glazing, missing balusters on the...

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...

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...

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 Financial Penalty, Council Notice or  PACE (Interview Under Caution) ‘invitation’…

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Success Stories

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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

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

Fire Alarm Manufacturer tells engineer to put tenants lives at risk

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

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...

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...

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. *...

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. ...

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...

Kedleston Road

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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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