Selective Licensing…

Do I need a Selective Licence?

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

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

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...

Landlord ordered to pay more than £20k

A buy-to-let landlord has been convicted of nine counts of breaching regulations for a house in multiple occupation (HMO) that he owned in Colchester and ordered to pay in excess of £20,000. Poor heating and mould in the four-bedroom property were among the issues flagged up by the disgruntled tenant as he issued a complaint to Colchester Council in December 2015. Thomas supplied portable...

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...

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...

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

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,...

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 Beware: Accidental Landlord Punished More for Harmless Error Than Criminals Are Punished For Assaulting Police Officers!

27 May 2019 Sometimes the law seems grotesque, says ex-deputy chief constable – Tom Wood. A friend who made an honest mistake as a new landlord received a greater punishment that a criminal who assaulted a police officer, writes Tom Wood. I was reminded of the famous verse from The Crocodile Song when I attended a recent sitting of the First Tier Housing and Property Tribunal for Scotland. In a...

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...

Record fine highlights importance of HMO licences and compliance

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

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...

Speed cameras being used by Councils to create revenue new report – just like property licensing & Landlord Fines

16 Jul 2020 In a report by the Inspectorate of Police and Fire Services they accuse Safety Camera Partnerships (dominated by local authorities) of being cynical and putting cameras to generate revenue and not to save lives. What landlords need to know is that this is exactly what Local Authorities are doing in the housing sector with Licensing and...

Co-operative HMO Landlord has fine reduced to £2,000 as Birmingham starts Civil Penalty Regime

30 Aug 2019 A landlord has been hit with a £2,000 penalty for fire safety breaches at a two-storey property housing nine people in a landmark case for Birmingham City Council. Officers visited the house in multiple occupation (HMO) in Small Heath in November and found there to be no interlinked fire alarm, fire doors or fire blanket, and a lack of fire separation in the building. The council...

Landlord fined £29k for putting tenants’ lives ‘at risk’

Dangerous electrical mains installation, ‘defective’ sanitary fitments in both the bathroom and kitchen, and a ‘lack of automatic fire detection’, were among just some of the issues uncovered during an inspection of a rental home in Derby that led to the property’s owner being fined just over £29,000. Buy-to-let landlord Adrian Ernest Dart was described by the prosecution as an ‘absentee...

Now Council Licensing are doing Dawn Raids just like the Drug Squad

22 Jan 2020 An investigation was launched this morning into the safety of residents in 10 rented properties operating without landlord licences. Officers from Slough Borough Council knocked on the doors of the 10 properties simultaneously at 5am to examine the living conditions in the houses on Alexandra Road, Chalvey. All the terraced homes are owned by the same people who have not obtained a...

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...

Landlord fined for failure to comply

21 Jan 2020 A buy-to-let landlord has been ordered to pay more than £2,000 after ignoring several requests to carry out important repairs to a property in Bridlington, Yorkshire.  David Christlow, of Prospect Street in Bridlington, was fined a total of £2,000, and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £170 and full costs of £2,282.93 after pleading guilty at Beverley Magistrates’ Court to...

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)...

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...

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

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

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...

Unlicensed landlord ordered to pay over £2,600

A private landlord has been fined £2,000 for renting out two properties in Peterborough without a licence which he was legally obliged to obtain under the city council’s selective licensing scheme. Kevin Wagstaff, who lives in Eye, was found guilty in his absence at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court last week for letting two properties on Atkinson Street and Saltmarsh without a licence, despite it...

Airbnb host fined £100,000 for letting council flat

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

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,...

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...

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...

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...

Mandatory Electrical Test (EICR) before you can let any property will be Law very soon

14 Jan 2020 By Giles Parker of Nearly Legal. The draft of The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 has been laid in Parliament. The regs require a resolution of each house, so this will not be an immediate approval, but should be soon – it looks like the intention is for the Regs to be in force from 1 April 2020. From the draft, there will be a...

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

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

Yet another landlord gets £14,000 fine for not having HMO licence

17 Dec 2020 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Letting agency hit with £10,000-plus fine for smoke alarm failings

Letting agency hit with £10,000-plus fine for smoke alarm failings A London council has fined a letting agency over £10,000 for failing to install smoke alarms in a rental property. Waltham Forest council has prosecuted Just Move Estates, located in Walthamstow, using powers under the Housing and Planning Act. The agency claimed that tenants had removed three smoke alarms from a rental property...

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....

“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...

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...

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...

Rogue landlord fined £7,000 for not having an HMO licence

A landlord who failed to apply for an HMO licence despite being interviewed on the subject under caution has now been fined £7,000. Frank Scanlon appeared before Worthing magistrates accused of breaching the Housing Act 2004 (Section 72 (1)) after failing to licence his property correctly to ensure the safety of its occupants. When Scanlon’s property was inspected by Worthing council officers,...

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...

Reading Borough Council fine landlord £66k for failing to meet fire safety requirements

13 Jan 2021 A LANDLORD has been slapped with a £66,000 fine over 'serious' safety breaches including plug sockets next to the shower, and repairs that risked residents being trapped in a fire. In a record attempt by Reading Borough Council (RBC) to clamp down on landlords of HMOs (Houses of Multiple Occupation) failing to reach required standards, it is hoped that last month's prosecution will...

Landlord Fined £2000 for substandard property

07 Oct 2019 A buy-to-let landlord in Sutton has been ordered to pay more than £2,000 after failing to provide acceptable living conditions for his tenants. Jonathan Patrick Hoey was found guilty of breaching an emergency prohibition order by the district council issued two months earlier. The action was taken in relation to a property he owned on Seagate Farm in Long Sutton, Spalding,...

Landlord fined £7,400 as council secures 125th prosecution against rogue operators

A buy-to-let landlord has been ordered to pay £7,400 after failing to obtain a license to rent out a property in North West London. The unlicensed two-bedroom flat in Tunley Road, Harlesden, which would have cost £340 for a five-year selective licence, came to the attention of enforcement officers after the family complained to the council about their broken boiler. The landlord, Errol Roy...

Three rogue lettings agents expelled by The Property Ombudsman

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

      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...

      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...

      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...

      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. ...

      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...

      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...

      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...

      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...

      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...

      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. *...

      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...

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