Housing Act 2004 Section 234 Regulation 5 HMO Management

Landlord without HMO licence fined £20,000

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

Tenants suffer fire, but council only interested in prosecution for lack of HMO licence

23 Apr 2021 Following a rental property fire in a house in Hendon, all the council appeared to be interested in was that it had discovered an unlicensed HMO and proceeded to prosecute the landlord  “for failing to licence the HMO”. According to the council’s press release:  Barnet Council discovered the property was an unlicenced House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) after being called to the...

Landlord’s excuse for operating Unlicensed HMO not a ‘Reasonable Excuse’ finds Appeal to Upper Tribunal

05 Jan 2021 Thurrock Council has won an appeal from a decision of the First-tier Tribunal to cancel a civil penalty imposed for the offence of managing or being in control of a house in multiple occupation that is required by the Housing Act 2004 to be licensed, when it was not so licensed. The FTT reached that conclusion because it found that the respondent had the defence of reasonable excuse....

£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...

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

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

Oxford landlord convicted of repeat HMO offences

An Oxford landlord has been convicted for the second time in 12 months for operating an unlicensed House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) and ordered to pay a total of £6,146 in fines and costs. The investigation followed a fire in the house which had a faulty fire detection system. Mr Zahid Ali Rana, 58, of Boundary Brook Road, Oxford, was prosecuted after environmental health staff from Oxford...

Landlord hit with £66,000 bill after sending in heavies to kick tenant out

27 Jun 2019 A rogue landlord has been ordered to pay a £60,170 fine and £6,000 court costs after being found guilty of making tenants’ lives a misery. The fine is the biggest financial penalty that Brent Council in London has secured to date. The council says it is a reflection of the “truly appalling conditions” tenants were living in. Hugo Pulqueiro sent in the heavies to remove the belongings...

Top Solicitor accidentally affirms Landlord Licensing & Defence

14 January 2020 "Mandatory Electrical Test (EICR) before you can let any property will be Law very soon." (removed) Update 22nd September 2021: Today Giles Peaker has demanded that his once useful article be removed from our news website. There are plenty of other articles that tell you all about EICRs as this has now been law for ages and it is now an old topic. Peaker later published this in...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Council announces free property licensing!

10 Jun 2021 Instead of charging landlords around £1,000 like most UK councils - for the dubious honour of going into a database - which the council will then use so they can easily inspect properties and issue eye watering fines, Jersey (which is of course part of the UK) is to offer this for free. They did try to charge for it but we’re told by their government that they can only offer this...

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...

HMO Landlords: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

01 Apr 2020 Over the past year we have seen Mandatory HMO licensing increased in scope to include all properties with 5 or more occupants, where they belong to two or more households. Since this we have seen a dramatic increase in the use of prosecutions, civil penalty fines and Rent Repayment Orders against Landlords. Many landlords, doing their best and running what they believe to be good HMO...

Landlord fined three times over for “poorly converted” HMO

18 Mar 2021 A landlord and agent must pay more than £300,000 after housing 18 people in squalid conditions. Bristol City Council officers had "serious concerns" for the safety of the residents – including six children – of 24 Lower Ashley Road in St Agnes. Adam Habane, 51, of Dove Street, and Lloyd Beckford, 60, of Lower Ashley Road, ran the building as a house in multiple occupation (HMO),...

Rent Repayment Order £8,975 against Landlord who failed to have Selective Licence

March 2016, Case summary by Phil Turtle Landlord Licensing and Defence By ignoring Selective Licensing, this landlord lost £13,000 and gained a criminal record. Local Authority, the London Borough of Newham (LA), applied for and won a Rent Repayment Order against Ms P. relating to a property in Malvern Road, East Ham, London E6. The Local Authority has introduced a Selective Licensing scheme...

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,...

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

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

Councils teaching tenants how to reclaim rent from landlords

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

Yet another landlord fined massively for unlicensed property

11 Jun 2021 A London council has prosecuted a landlord for renting out an unauthorised and unsafe House in Multiple Occupation. Daniella Mbachu, who owns property in Mitcham, was found guilty of failing to apply for an HMO licence from Merton council, and failure to supply a fire alarm, fire blanket, CO2 extinguisher, and fire escape.  As a result, she has been ordered to pay £13,800 in...

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...

Rent Repayment Order £12,025 for Rent-to-Rent Flat in London SE10

15 July 2019 Case summary by Phil Turtle, Landlord Licensing and Defence. A rent-to-rent company fined £12,025 including costs by way of Rent Repayment Order in addition to £5,000 Civil Penalty Fine for failing to Licence the property which had become an HMO through sub-letting via a rent-to-rent company. The Landlord and owner of the leasehold flat (Mr E.) had let the flat through a letting...

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

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

Landlord ordered to behave himself after being abusive towards tenant

21 May 2019 A BTL landlord who lost his cool during a heated exchange with a tenant over unpaid rent has been ordered to be of good behaviour for the next nine months at Jedburgh Sheriff Court. Steven Melville, 53, pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by shouting and swearing and struggling with his tenant, William Harley, during the incident in Hawick, Scotland, in...

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...

‘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...

Civil Penalty Notice and hefty fine for HMO landlord without licence

12 Oct 2021 A landlord has been fined over £7,000 for letting out an unsafe and unlicensed HMO. South Gloucestershire council’s private sector housing team issued the landlord a Civil Penalty Notice after a number of offences were identified at a three-storey semi-detached property in Filton housing five people. The team were first alerted to the property in January this year when council tax...

Landlord and managing agent fined £22,000 for unlicensed HMO

Kuppusami Selvarajan and his agent S3A Management Limited must pay sum which includes fines and costs and will also have to return rent to eight tenants. The landlord and managing agent of a property in North London have been fined nearly £22,000 between them for operating it as an unlicensed HMO at which inspectors found tenants living in Dickensian conditions. Both Kuppusami Selvarajan and his...

Brighton landlord prosecuted for unlicensed HMO

Brighton & Hove City Council’s planning enforcement team has prosecuted a landlord for letting a Brighton home as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) without a licence, in the first successful prosecution by the council regarding an unauthorised conversion of a house into a small HMO. James Trevor Ford of Maidstone Road, Horsmonden in Kent had made no attempt to secure permission for the...

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...

Government gives Councils £3.8million to increase Enforcement against Landlords

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

Landlord 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,...

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...

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

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

Landlord 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...

£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...

Landlord fined £177,000 for putting tenants at risk

A neglectful landlord, who allowed his tenants to occupy a property without working smoke alarms, a lack of sufficient fire doors and an external escape route that was in a poor state of repair, even after repeated warnings from the local council, has been fined £177,000 for serious breaches of fire safety regulations. Philip Anthony Brotherton, the owner of Cresctcourt Properties Ltd, accepted...

Six month custodial sentence for criminal landlord

03 Jul 2019 A Derby landlord has been handed a six month prison sentence following a successful prosecution by Derby City council. Mr Rajinder Narroya was prosecuted by the Derby City Council Housing Standards Team at a case heard in South Derbyshire Magistrates Court on Thursday 20th June. The prosecution related to two offences about rented flats on Uttoxeter New Road, Derby. Following...

Fire risk assessor prosecuted brings serous doubt to DIY Fire Risk Assessments

09 Sep 2019 South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has welcomed the prosecution of a fire risk assessor, saying it proves that there are consequences for failing to comply with safety laws. David Thompson of Toftwood Health & Safety Solutions was fined £750 and ordered to pay a £170 surcharge and £1,000 costs at Sheffield Magistrates Court on Friday (23 August) for failing to provide a suitable...

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...

Landlords advised to watch out as Councils accused of not issuing enough Rent Repayment Orders

March 29, 2019 Councils in England have been accused of failing to use powers to tackle rogue landlords in the private rented sector. A response to a parliamentary question this week on the use of rent repayment orders (RROs) revealed that just three have been issued by local authorities to claw back Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit paid through rent in the 18 months to...

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...

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...

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 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...

Letting agent fined £11,500 for an illegal eviction

29 Oct 2021 A lettings agency has been prosecuted by Birmingham council for unlawfully evicting a tenant. Principal Homes is based at Great Barr and was found guilty under Section 1 of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 of unlawfully evicting Natalia Szergejev from her tenancy in Erdington in June 2019. Principal Homes was fined £10,000 and a victim surcharge of £170, ordered to pay...

Housing Act 2004 Section 234 Regulation 5 HMO Management

 If you’ve just searched for the term Housing Act 2004 Section 234 Regulation 5, 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 234 Regulation 5 it means they have decided you are guilty of a management offence in relation to the Management of Houses in Muiltiple Occupation Regulations England (2006) Regulation 5 which says 

**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

Success Stories

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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 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. *...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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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