Selective Licensing…

Do I need a Selective Licence?

‘Landlord in Crisis’ Cases Last Week

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

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

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

Landlord denied licences despite past conviction being ‘spent’

10 Dec 2020 A London council has confirmed its right to refuse licenses to criminal landlords - even reformed ones. A story in the East London Guardian says Nasim Hussain and her daughter Farina took the Waltham Forest council to court after the family’s licences for 29 rented properties were revoked and seven applications for new licences refused. The two women argued the council was wrong to...

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...

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...

Ombudsman names Southwark, Hammersmith & Fulham, Lambeth, Westminster, Haringey and Camden councils as the worst landlords in the country for leaseholders and shared ownership

05 Oct 2020 The Housing Ombudsman has issued a report containing almost 40 recommendations for dealing with complaints from leaseholders and shared owners. The report, which can be viewed here, also identified the 12 landlords – six housing associations and six councils – with the highest number of maladministration findings (including partial maladministration and severe...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Council to crack down on Dorset Landlords in Dorset

04 Nov 2020 PRIVATE landlords who fail to stick to regulations and treat tenants unfairly can expect a tougher approach from Dorset Council. Senior council officers told a committee this week that they now had the backing, and funding, to adopt a tougher stance where needed, although will always try to work with property owners in the first instance. The new proactive approach is currently being...

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...

Coventry Landlord £180,000 Proceeds of Crime fine is just deserts

04 Aug 2020 Arrogant Maria Protheroe was paid income support payments after claiming she had no income – despite renting out a portfolio of properties the length of the country. The scheming property owner also lied to obtain mortgages to buy yet more houses – and then claimed to live in two of the properties to avoid Capital Gains Tax when she sold them. Despite her dishonest dealings making...

“All hands to the pumps” demands Lord Chancellor as he vows to catch up on Court and Tribunal cases

06 Jul 2020 The Lord Chancellor has agreed that there should be no constraints in the number of sitting days available during the COVID-19 recovery period for the courts or any hesitation in using fee-paid and deputy judges to fill any gaps which cannot be filled by the salaried judiciary, the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett and Lord Justice Lindblom have revealed. “It is now all hands to...

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...

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...

Enfield Council persecutes private landlords while leaving Council Tenant in “mouldy, mouse-infested” accommodation for three years

05 Oct 2020 Of course if a private landlord had left a disabled tenant and his whole family in "mouldy, mouse-infested” accommodation for three years, any council in the land would have thrown the book at them and issued Civil Penalty Fines in the multiple £10,000s.   In yet another case proving that two-faced Councils actually care very...

Record £20,000 fine for unlicensed landlord with 62 properties

Local man Charles Baker is to pay fine and costs after failing to gain relevant licences from Rent Smart Wales. A Welsh landlord with 62 apartments within 16 rented properties has been fined a record £20,000 for failing to obtain a licence from Rent Smart Wales to operate them. Charles Baker of Cyncoed Road, Cyncoed, Cardiff was found guilty at the city’s Magistrates Court and will now have to...

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

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

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...

Landlord fined £35,000 for selective licence breaches

02 Dec 2019 The owner of two properties has been fined £35,000 for breaches of the selective licensing regime in his local area. At a hearing in Scarborough Magistrates Court last week a Mr Raja - director of ASR Estates (UK) Limited - pleaded guilty to a string of charges including failing to notify the council of new tenancies being granted at the property together with confirmation that all...

Two Cambridge landlords fined for breaching health and safety standards

Two landlords in Cambridge have been fined for health and safety breaches in their privately rented properties. Following an investigation by Cambridge city council, a local landlord was served with a financial penalty notice of £8951.60 after a property in multiple occupation (HMO) on Garlic Row was found to be unlicensed and had unsatisfactory fire precautions. In a separate investigation by...

Are you running an HMO without realising it?

How many rooms do you have in your rental property? How many people are living there? Could you be at risk of being targeted by local government's current crackdown on unlicensed HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation)? HMOs can be a serious pitfall for landlords, with the potential to cost you large sums of money in penalties and litigation. A couple of recent news items have reminded us how...

£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...

NLA demands councils prosecute letting agents

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

Record fine for unregistered HMO landlord as two landlords prosecuted

Two Brighton & Hove landlords of shared houses have been prosecuted for failing to license their properties as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) with one facing an unprecedented £20,000 fine. Both were prosecuted under the Housing Act 2004 at Eastbourne Magistrates Court. Neither defendant appeared at the hearing this week and neither was represented. Sarah Jordan, who is the landlord of...

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...

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...

HMO landlord fined

Three landlords have been fined a total of £24,170 including costs, for failing to have a licence for a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). Chiabass Lawrence, who has been managing HMOs across London since 2003, pleaded guilty at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on 19th June for failing to acquire a license for an HMO without reasonable excuse. Mr Lawrence and his property management companies, OGAS...

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,...

Millionaire wife of Britain’s biggest buy-to-let landlord who banned single mothers and Indians must pay £25,000 after failing to fix disabled tenant’s hot water for five months

Judith Wilson, 68, failed to fix a disabled tenant's hot water for five months Ashford Borough Council served her a notice after ex-tenants complained She was found guilty of failing to comply with an enforcement notice at a court Wilson was fined £10,000 and she was ordered to pay costs of almost £15,000 A millionaire landlord has been ordered to pay £25,000 after she disobeyed a notice to to...

Wirral Council Extends Selective Licensing Scheme

Landlords are being warned that Wirral Council is extending its selective licensing scheme, after a family of landlords was fined more than £16,000 for failing to comply with the system. From April 2019, streets in Birkenhead, Hamilton Square and Seacombe will become subject to selective licensing, which means that all landlords with properties in these areas must apply for a licence to let...

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...

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...

£66,000 fine for landlord letting out HMO with safety failings

15 Jan 2021 A landlord has been hit with what a local authority calls a record £66,000 fine after being found guilty of letting an HMO that was dangerous to tenants. Reading council prosecuted Mohammed Naseer Zamir, following its housing team’s findings at the property in the town between October 2019 and February 2020.  Zamir claimed the property consisted of two self-contained flats,...

Advice for Accidental Landlords

30 Apr 2020 By Des Taylor, Casework Director with Landlord Licensing and Defence Landlords… If your property is being managed by your brother’s sister’s cousin’s sister-in-law, or your best-est friends’ brother-in-law then you face a 90% probability of massive problems in the form of: Unpaid rentRepairs not doneCouncil inspectionsCouncil enforcement action Prosecution Massive Civil...

£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...

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...

Council takes to the sky to find rogue landlords

02 Sep 2019 A council used a plane with thermal imaging to catch unscrupulous landlords that allowed tenants to live in substandard conditions. Several people were found to be living in appalling conditions, including some residing in sheds, thanks to the aerial thermal imaging. A total of 21 such sheds were discovered and closed by Oxford City Council and 31 enforcement notices served on...

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...

A Hertfordshire landlord has pleaded guilty to 28 offences resulting in a fine of over £20,000.

The convictions related to two private properties in the Hatfield area. 23 offences applied to one and the last five applied to the other. The first property, a HMO in Fern Dells, had failures with gas, electric and fire safety ad was therefore potentially dangerous for tenants. Extensive damp and mould was also found by the local council. There was also disrepair to windows and doors. The five...

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....

£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...

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...

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...

Leeds landlord has been fined for renting out this mouldy, unsafe house

2 May 2019 A woman living in this dangerously maintained house in Chapeltown has been awarded compensation after her landlord was taken to court. Andrew Watson, of Harehills Avenue in Chapeltown, was fined £6,500 and ordered to pay victim compensation of £1,000 after he repeatedly ignored legal notices served by Leeds City Council regarding the condition of a house he was renting out on Hill Top...

Crackdown on unlicensed HMOs in Islington leads to five housing prosecutions

Four landlords and a letting agent face bills totalling more than £20,000 after being prosecuted by Islington Council for operating unlicensed houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). HMOs are properties occupied by three or more people forming more than one household, and HMO licensing is used to tackle poor management of properties and drive up standards of accommodation in the private sector....

Landlord punished over safety case

21 Jan 2013 A LANDLORD risked his own tenants' lives by allowing them to stack furniture on a staircase. He has now been prosecuted by the city council for failing to keep the fire escape of his Chorlton property clear. The council decided to take legal action after making a number of visits to Alan Selkirk's property on Oswald Road. Manchester Magistrates Court heard that between September and...

Landlord fined £60,000 for license breaches

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

Landlord get £13,850 in fines for no HMO licence

19 Jan 2021 A landlord has been fined £10,000 by her local council for failing to licence a HMO. Tracey Davies of Bath was found guilty in her absence when the case came before magistrates in the city. The local authority - which says it was “acting on information received that the property was likely to be operating as an illegal HMO” - was inspected back in February of last year.  The...
What is a selective licence? 

Many Council Housing Authorities have used their powers under the Housing Act 2004 Part 3 to bring in Selective Licensing Schemes. A scheme can cover specific areas of the Council’s area or in many instances it covers the entire area or borough.

In theory, these Selective Licensing Schemes are introduced to combat low demand in an area (because the area is not desirable) and to combat anti-social behaviour in an area where other methods have failed.

In practice, there is a large body of opinion that Councils have introduced these schemes as a way to raise local taxation revenue from licence application fees. Plus it gives councils the ability to impose civil financial penalties in the £thousands on landlords and owners who either fail to licence their properties or commit criminal offences by failing to adhere to Selective Licence Conditions imposed by the council and which most landlords don’t know how to challenge

What is a selective licence? 

Many Council Housing Authorities have used their powers under the Housing Act 2004 Part 3 to bring in Selective Licensing Schemes. A scheme can cover specific areas of the Council’s area or in many instances it covers the entire area or borough.

In theory, these Selective Licensing Schemes are introduced to combat low demand in an area (because the area is not desirable) and to combat anti-social behaviour in an area where other methods have failed.

In practice, there is a large body of opinion that Councils have introduced these schemes as a way to raise local taxation revenue from licence application fees. Plus it gives councils the ability to impose civil financial penalties in the £thousands on landlords and owners who either fail to licence their properties or commit criminal offences by failing to adhere to Selective Licence Conditions imposed by the council and which most landlords don’t know how to challenge

Get help to apply for selective license

Do I need a selective licence for my property?

 

If your Buy-to-Let or rental property is within a Selective Licensing Scheme area then 99.9% YES.

Whether it is a flat, house or bungalow, every single rental property in that area must have a Selective Licence with a very few exceptions.

Hint: Do not think you can get away with trying to claim your property is an exception unless it absolutely is. The average civil penalty fine for not having a Selective Licence is between £5,000 and £12,000. By the time the council has added fines by ‘finding’ things that are wrong with your property you can expect the total fine to be at least £10,000 up to £20,000 or more. It really isn’t worth the risk!

The main exceptions are that your property needs a different type of licence such as:

  • A Mandatory HMO Licence

    If it houses 5 or more persons (NB persons, not bedrooms) where they are not all one ‘household.’

    In practice this means that if any single person in the house of them is not related to all the others by blood or marriage/sexual union – such as a friend or they are sharers – then the law says it is an HMO that requires a mandatory licence.

  • An Additional Licence for HMOs

    In many council areas, they have introduced Additional Licensing schemes to make HMOs of 3 persons (where they are not all related) require an Additional HMO licence.

  • (There are also some other very minor exceptions.)

So for 99.9% of Buy-to-Let or rental properties in a Selective Licensing Scheme area, unless it requires an HMO license
Your Property REQUIRES A SELECTIVE LICENCE.

NB In Selective Licensing Scheme areas where smaller HMOs of 3 or 4 persons are not covered by and Additional HMO Licensing scheme these properties MUST have a selective licence.

There is sadly no national database of which areas are covered by Selective Licensing Schemes. We can help you to determine this and undertake the application process for you.

 

Get help to apply for selective license

What are the requirements for a Selective Licence?

You must pass the council’s tests for:

  • Property management competence
  • The suitability of your management structures
  • You must be a ‘Fit and Proper Person[link]’ to hold a licence
  • You must inform ‘Relevant Persons’ that you are applying for a Selective Licence, (for example your mortgage provider, freeholder, insurers, managing agents, etc.)
  • You will be required to state that your property fully complies with all the relevant legislation, regulations and health and safety standards. (There are hundreds of them.)

Get help to apply for selective license

I’ve just realised my property should already have a Selective Licence, but I didn’t apply for one.

This is very serious. You have committed a Criminal Offence and the Council can take you to court or issue you with a Civil Penalty Fine of up to £30,000.

We strongly advise you NOT to talk to your council – as they are now your Prosecutor and their only interest will be to ‘enforce’ against you by way of criminal prosecution in the courts or very large Civil Financial Penalty fine.

We also strongly advise you to seek professional help from us or other specialists. 

Get safe help with Failure to Apply for Selective Licence

    How do I apply for a Selective Licence?

    While it is possible to undertake the application process yourself, we would advise against this because of the many pitfalls.  

    If you do choose to apply on your own, it is essential that you familiarise yourself with all of the standards such as the Housing Health and Safety Rating System and your council’s specific selective licensing standards before applying for a licence.

    Our Local Authority Selective Licensing Compliance Check can help you determine how compliant your property is in relation to your council’s guidelines and national legislation.

    Please be aware that if you accept Selective Licence Conditions (and most landlords do without questioning them) you become liable as a Criminal Offence if at any point during the licence (usually 5 years) if you fail to comply with any Condition – not matter how unreasonable – even if you would not have been criminally liable in law! So be very, very careful or get expert help.

    Landlord Licensing & Defence offers a complete hand-holding service for landlordsincluding compliance checks, licence application preparation and submission, progression and also fighting against over-bearing licence conditions by way of ‘Representations’ on your behalf against the draft licence. 

    Get help to apply for selective license

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      Success Stories

      Epsom Emergency Licence Application

      It was 30th September 2018 at 4pm. This is highly significant because it was just 8 hours before new HMO licensing deadline of 1st October 2018. If an HMO application was not properly lodged by that deadline, significant Civil Penalty fines could apply. While the team was doing a HMO licence application on another property for this Landlord, he suddenly had the realisation that a house he was...

      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...

      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...

      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. *...

      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...

      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...

      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...

      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...

      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...

      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...

      West London Company Let

      The client was renting the residential property to a Company who help vulnerable young adults and was trying to ascertain if the property needed a licence. His tenant was a corporate company which was providing an immigrant orientation service and also providing their living accommodation.  On contacting us he had attempted to connect with the local Council a number of times to no response. ...

      Solihull HMO

      The property owner had owned the property for 20 years or so and two years previously had rented it to a corporation that had put 5 occupants into the property. From the 1st October 2018, all properties with 5 occupants, not all related, were required to have a Mandatory HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) Licence applied for by that date.  The corporation had agreed that it would carry out the...

      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...

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