Housing Act 2004 Section 72(1) Unlicensed HMO

 

 

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...

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...

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,...

Tenant dies in HMO fire – landlord gets 4 months plus fines, Fire Safety Order

28 Oct 2020 A landlord has been prosecuted following the death of a tenant in a house fire at an HMO said to have had inadequate fire safety precautions. The case was brought by Luton council, working with Bedfordshire Police and Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, against landlord Bhagwent Sagoo.  The fire broke out at the property on March 27 2019 originating in the first floor...

£30,000 fine for lack of safe fire escape route – as resident hangs off guttering to save his life

A resident was found standing on a windowsill hanging from guttering and had to be rescued by firefighters. This was because he was unable to access any emergency escape route during the fire due to inadequate fire precautions. These were problems that would have been identified if the management company had undertaken a Fire Risk Assessment. Management company Harper Stone Properties Ltd has...

New figures reveal thousands of tenants are at risk of death in their properties

New figures reveal thousands of tenants are at risk of death in their properties Shocking stats emerged after two men died in a four-bedroom Edgware home They were living with at least five others in the ramshackle unlicensed property Nearly three quarters of a million people are living in dirty or unsafe homes and thousands of lives are at risk because of rogue landlords, new figures reveal....

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...

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...

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...

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

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

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...

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...

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...

Airbnb host fined £100,000 for letting council flat

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

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...

BREAKING NEWS: Change to which Landlords can receive Rent Repayment Order.

Rakusen v Jepson and others appeal upheld and Upper Tribunal Decision Overturned. In what is the most important news for Landlords who find their property has been sublet unknowingly in Rent to Rent Residential to HMO situations. the Rent to Rent company will be held responsible. Following intricate calculations by Martin Rodger QC at the UTLC, these have been quashed at Appeal in the High...

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 hit with curfew, and compensation bill after unlawful eviction

07 May 2021 A landlord has been placed under an overnight curfew in her home and ordered to pay just under £7,000 in compensation and costs after pleading guilty to unlawfully evicting her lodger, in a case brought by Bristol City Council’s Rogue Landlord Unit.  The landlord, has been ordered to remain in her home between 8pm – 6am each day for the...

Landlord and Agent fined for 32 occupants in 2 bed flat

The managing director of a letting agency and the Landlord of a two-bedroom flat where an unbelievable 32 people were found to be living have been fined, along with the agency itself. Altogether they have been ordered to pay a remarkably low £30,000. However, as this was a criminal prosecution in court rather than civil financial penalties it is normal for the fines to be lower because the...

Own goal! Failure to licence HMO cost ex-footballer £34,000

23 Feb 2021 A landlord who failed to licence his properties has been ordered to pay back over £8,000 in rent. Dexter Blackstock, a former professional footballer, has been told he has to refund £8,592.98 in housing benefit that he was paid for two unlicensed properties. Blackstock was previously convicted of nine offences of failing to licence properties under Nottingham council's...

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...

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...

Record fine highlights importance of HMO licences and compliance

An “unscrupulous” landlord in Birmingham has been handed a record-high fine of more than £180,000 for breaching the rules related to four of her HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) after being found guilty of 35 offences. The director of property business Vertu Capital, which is now in administration, has been ordered to pay a total of £182,314 in fines, costs and compensation to her tenants in...

Tenant in arrears? Text them! New research finds phone calls are too intimidating…

12 Oct 2020 Most tenants claim they are “intimidated” when agents or landlords telephone them about arrears - and they would much prefer a text. Warned Phil Turtle, compliance director with Landlord Licensing & Defence “Thus is potentially scary for landlords as “Intimidation or harassment is one of the reasons that tenants are persuaded to apply for Rent Repayment Orders claiming...

“Screw your Landlord” Westminster City Council launches online tool encouraging HMO Tenants to claim Rent Repayment Orders

In a move designed to punish as many landlords as possible with crucifying Rent Repayment Orders of up to 12 months rent, City of Westminster has launched a "find out of you can screw your landlord" tool on their website. They are obviously using this 'hook' to get tenants to grass-up landlords who have not paid their 'licence tax'. Cynically, It has everything to do with punishing landlords for...

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

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

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

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

Just Move Estates fined £10k for failing to install smoke alarms in rented house in Leyton

Just Move Estates in Hoe Street, Walthamstow, had claimed that tenants removed three smoke alarms from the house on Melford Road, Leyton, but upon inspection, council officers found no evidence they were ever installed. They were fined by Waltham Forest Council, using powers from the Housing & Planning Act. The council issued a civil penalty against Just Move Estates, which the company...

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...

Liverpool tries again to implement selective licensing tax

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

Landlord fined £6,000 after rat droppings and disrepair

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

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...

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...

Council adopts ‘zero-tolerance approach’ to rogue landlords

A private landlord has been fined by Willesden Magistrates Court for poor and potentially dangerous housing conditions following a prosecution by Brent Council. The prosecution of Monojor Ali, of Cairnfield Avenue, NW2, is one of more than fifty already made this year by Brent Council, which councillor Harbi Farah, cabinet member for housing, says “sends a clear message that the council is...

Mandatory Professional Qualification to be a Landlord says Commission

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

BTL landlord ordered to pay more than £25k for unlicensed properties

18 Oct 2019 A buy-to-let landlord in Nottingham has been fined £24,000 and told to pay £1,100 costs as well as a victim surcharge of £170 after being convicted of 12 licencing offences. Dexter Blackstock, 33, was convicted of nine offences of failing to license properties under the Selective Licensing scheme at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court. These properties were in Addison Street, Haydn Road,...

Prison Sentence for Landlord over Poor Fire Safety

01 Sep 2020 A buy to let property owner has received a four month prison sentence for letting out a property he had already been warned was too dangerous to live in. Manmohan Sahib, of Ilford in Essex, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court after pleading guilty to three offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, including three breaches of a prohibition notice. London Fire...

HMO landlord hit with £40k fine

04 Oct 2019 City of Lincoln Council has taken action against a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) landlord in Lincoln for failing to comply with a number of safety breaches under the Housing Act 2004. Julie Churchill who was responsible for an unlicensed HMO at 135 Monks Road, LN2, has been fined £40,000 for letting out a dangerous HMO that was also unlicensed. Lincoln Magistrates Court heard...

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...

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,...

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...

Landlords: Protect Yourself against 10 Million New Housing Inspectors

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

And this is why Landlords have a bad name

29 Jul 2019 Announcement follows an investigation and police action into the notorious landlords and businessmen. The landlord business of father and son Salvatore and Robert Lopresti is subject to an “urgent” investigation by the council’s housing enforcement team. The announcement follows an investigation into the family ice cream and property rental businesses that resulted in a police...

‘Landlord in Crisis’ Cases This 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 are 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: Breaking the Law If you drive at 90mph you will eventually get caught. If you break the law of the Housing Act 2004 or...

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...

Landlord convicted of unlawfully evicting tenant now fined for running unlicensed HMO in Telford

Feb 21, 2019 A landlord from Telford who had previously been convicted of unlawfully evicting a tenant has now been fined for running an unlicensed house in multiple occupation. In March 2017, David Beattie admitted threatening violence against a tenant in his property in Dudmaston, Hollinswood. Shropshire Magistrates Court sitting in Telford on Monday heard that Beattie, of Priorslee, was not...

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...

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...

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...

Housing Act 2004 Section 72(1)

 If you’ve just searched for the term Housing Act 2004 Section 72(1), 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 photos.

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.

In the case of Housing Act 2004 Section 72(1) it means they have decided you are guilty of operating an HMO without a licence. Even if you believe that you have rented out your property or a single-family dwelling or a 3/4 person HMO that doesn’t require licensing, its very easy for your council to ‘suspect’ that you’re running an unlicensed HMO and that is all the evidence they need in order to hit you with Civil Penalty fines in the £1,000s – often around £8,000 to 12,000.

**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 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 as well as deciding you are guilty of a section 72(1) offence they will then 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 HMO can be staring at £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

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

20 Properties. No selective Licences.

A Landlord in the North West had been very ill and hadn’t been able to deal with the requirements of a Selective Licencing scheme introduced by his Local Authority and which affected 20 properties in his portfolio. The deadline was looming and he was unable to take action. We negotiated an extension of the deadline because of his illness and the fact that he had now appointed us to organise and...

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...

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. *...

The Legal Stuff

Housing Act 2004 Section 72 Offences in relation to licensing of HMOs

72 (1) A person commits an offence if he is a person having control of or managing an HMO which is required to be licensed under this Part (see section 61(1)) but is not so licensed.

The penalties are contained in 72(6) (7) and (7A) as follows

72(6) A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2) is liable on summary conviction to a fine.

72(7) A person who commits an offence under subsection (3) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale. [level 5 is an UNLIMITED fine together with prison if the magistrates so decide]

72(7A) See also section 249A (financial penalties as alternative to prosecution for certain housing offences in England).

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