Housing Act 2004 Section 72(1) Unlicensed HMO

 

 

Huge fine for HMO owner after refusal of planning consent

09 Dec 2020 A long-running case about a house divided up and let out without planning permission has resulted in a fine of nearly £10,000 for the owner. Brighton & Hove council investigated the property back in July 2018. The owner, Shirley White, had divided up the house and was letting it out before she discovered she needed planning permission to convert the property to a house of...

Landlords prosecuted after flouting licensing laws in Gainsborough

Three landlords have been prosecuted for licensing offences in Gainsborough. Collectively the landlords, who all live outside of the West Lindsey area, were ordered to pay fines, costs and victim surcharges totalling more than £6,000. They all pleaded guilty to selective licensing offences during a hearing Lincoln Magistrates Court on June 4. Coun Sheila Bibb, chairman of the prosperous...

Special Offer £71,600 – Rogue Landlord Special

A new case just in. A new slant on property investment: Here we have a landlord with a 6 Bed HMO in the Northern Home Counties.  This case is a cookie-cutter duplicate based on a pattern we are seeing on a week in, week out, basis. It starts with a Council realising that there is a property on their patch which might be an unlicensed HMO. They then go into overdrive. The format is usually a...

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...

Fourth conviction for rogue Beeston landlord

25 Nov 2019 Landlord Jack Collins of Woodlea Road, Yeadon, has been hit with court fines for a fourth time for failing to properly manage his rental properties. On 18 November 2019, Mr Collins was found guilty and ordered to pay £25,324.60 within two months for failing to maintain a property on Sefton Terrace, Beeston. Mr Collins had denied exposing vulnerable tenants to sub-standard housing...

£10k fine and Criminal Behaviour Order for illegal eviction by Agent

30 Apr 2021 A lettings agency director has been issued with a Criminal Behaviour Order for unlawfully evicting a tenant back in 2019. CFDP Ltd, trading as Belvoir Nuneaton and Hinckley, along with its director Clayton Foston, have been taken to court by Hinckley & Bosworth council for removing the possessions and changing the locks of a tenant’s flat while the tenant was unwell and...

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...

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...

£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...

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

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

Criminal sentences after rental property carried “risk of death”

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

Landlord fined £340,000 in 2017 is now fined another £150,000

02 Dec 2019 A rogue landlord has been fined more than £150,000 after failing to rectify safety hazards in a property he let. Two years ago Rehman was ordered to pay in excess of £340,000 after illegally converting houses into bedsits. A rogue landlord has been fined more than £150,000 after failing to rectify safety hazards in a property he let. Latif Rehman of Birmingham was fined a total of...

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...

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...

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...

Doncaster Landlord gets Banning Order

18 Dec 2019 A landlord has been banned for two and half years after repeatedly putting tenants’ lives at risk by letting unsafe housing. This landlord banning order - in Doncaster - is reportedly the first in the North of England and only the third achieved by a council since the order came into effect in April 2018. Following a hearing in October the Property Tribunal Service banned Almas...

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

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

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 jailed for illegally converted flats

29 Jun 2019 A rogue landlord who made almost £130,000 in illegal rent after converting his three-bedroom house in east London into two flats without planning consent has been jailed after failing to pay back the money. Akram Hussain, 57, converted the family home in Glenny Road, Barking, into a one-bedroom flat and two-bedroom flat without obtaining planning consent. Snaresbrook Crown Court last...

Landlord fined £6,000 for not having HMO licenses

A landlord has been fined for not licensing 12 buy-to-let properties in the North Ormesby area of Middlesbrough. John Bradley, 39, was the first landlord to be brought to court for not signing up to the scheme since Middlesbrough Council introduced compulsory £580 licences for those who rent out property in the local area in a bid to crackdown on rogue landlords. But while Bradley admitted to...

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...

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....

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...

Ex-professional footballer scores own goal as landlord of unlicensed properties

21 Oct 2019 Once again the Council prosecutes purely for lack of licences. There is no mention in the following story of the landlord providing substandard accommodation. Decent (but unlicensed) landlords beware and contact Landlord Licensing and Defence if you are in this situation before this happens to you. A landlord has been fined over £25,000 after admitting 12 licensing offences. Former...

£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...

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...

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...

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...

Dawn raid finds 17 tenants crammed into sub-let HMO

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

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,...

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...

Rogue landlord fined as council clamps down on ‘unacceptable living conditions’

"I hope this sends a clear message - we want to clamp down on unacceptable living conditions." A landlord has been fined for his failure to have a licence in place for the House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in Barnstaple which he owns and manages. Mr Franco Capocci was found guilty on 31 July at North and East Devon Magistrates Court of failing to obtain a licence in relation to The Gables at 4...

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,...

Landlords fined £3,800 in council’s first rented homes licensing prosecution

A council’s first prosecution over HMO licenses cost two landlords nearly £4,000. Appearing at Worcester Magistrates Court, Bing Wang and Yan Shao, were both convicted of renting out an unlicensed HMO to students when the property did not meet key safety standards. Wang and Shao were ordered to pay over £3,800 in fines and costs. The case was the first prosecution brought by Worcester City...

HMO Landlord ordered to hand over 18 HMOs to Managing Agent & fined £30,000

26 Apr 2021 A landlord has been handed nearly £30,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to maintenance and safety failures at three properties. Landlord Naomi Knapp, of Bedminster in Bristol, agreed to pay £2,000 a month for at least the next year to meet the fines, costs and victim surcharges totalling £29,597.59, after admitting failing to meet required standards of management in three...

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...

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...

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

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

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...

BTL landlord ordered to pay £9,500 for failing to maintain property

02 Mar 2020 A buy-to-let landlord in Liverpool has been ordered to pay almost £9.500 after failing to provide acceptable living conditions for his tenant. John William Kildare was found guilty of failing to comply with an Improvement Notice after allowing his tenant to live in dangerous conditions. According to Liverpool City Council, the Hanford Avenue property, in Orrel Park, had a long list...

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...

Tribunal Tells Coventry City Council that £31,499 Landlord Penalty is ’not in any way reasonable’ and slashes it to £3,300

24 Oct 2019 In the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) the Landlord Mr Tan Sandhu appealed against a fixed penalty of £24,649 (initially £31,499) imposed by Coventry City Council for breaches of the Housing Act 2004. Reviewing the Tribunal’s decision, Phil Turtle, compliance consultant with Landlord Licensing and Defence said “Whilst we cannot condone a landlord not knowing and / or failing...

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...

Landlord £300,000 property confiscated for planning breach & faces prison

26 Oct 2020 A London landlord who ignored six enforcement notices served by his local council has been ordered to pay over £300,000. Salim Mussa Patel from Southall has been made the subject of a confiscation order for £207,000, has been fined £50,000 and made to pay the council’s costs of £49,198.  Mussa Patel was given three months to pay the confiscation order or face three...

£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...

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

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

Landlord fined for operating illegally

Nasar Shaikh, of Coleshill Road, Birmingham, was fined £5,000 after failing to obtain a licence from Waltham Forest Council to rent out a two-bedroom flat on Theydon Street, Walthamstow. The landlord let the property to a young family who had been living at the house since 2010. The council identified the address in 2017 as one that needed a licence, but when officers contacted Shaikh, after...

Agent claiming to be unaware property was HMO, loses appeal over £20k fine

A lettings agent that claimed that it was unaware a property was a house in multiple occupation (HMO) has lost its appeal over a £20,000 fine. In January this year Altavon property management ltd and the landlord of the property, Adrian Simion, 30, had been found guilty at Luton Magistrates court of a series of management regulations breaches relating to the safety and running of houses in...

Landlord fined £25,000 over lack of hot water for disabled tenant

Judith Wilson, who owns 300 houses in Kent, ignored council enforcement notices. The wife of Britain’s most controversial buy-to-let landlord, Fergus Wilson, has been ordered to pay £25,000 in fines and legal costs after a court ruled that she had failed to supply hot water to a disabled tenant. The court found that Judith Wilson, who revealed she has more than 300 houses in her name in 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

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...

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...

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...

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...

Rent Repayment Order Magic Money Tree is pretty much dead!

10 Aug 2020 by Des Taylor & Phil Turtle, Landlord Licensing & Defence “Rent Arrears must be accounted for BEFORE rent is eligible to be reclaimed under a Rent Repayment Order (RRO).” At a stroke, this Judgement of the First-Tier Tribunal (in a case defended by Des Taylor of Landlord Licensing and Defence) means that the no-win/no-fee become almost worthless for the lawyers, and far...

Liverpool 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...

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...

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...

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. ...

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...

Kedleston Road

Handled negotiations for the Client, a Tenant Company where the Letting Agent (as they so often do) was wrongly insistent on using an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, which was the incorrect agreement and not fit for purpose. (An AST is for individuals and not for Companies it is Housing Act 1.1 a. One ought to be able to expect better from Letting Agents!) Protracted negotiations, as we discovered as...

Letting agent 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. *...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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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