Selective Licensing…

Do I need a Selective Licence?

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...

London landlord gets eye-watering £450,000 fine

Beds in Sheds: Samina Nadeem, of Malborough Road, Southall who had refused to demolish her “beds in sheds” after repeated warnings from the council, now faces a record fine of nearly £450,000 or 4 years in prison. An Ealing councillor described Nadeem as “obstructive and aggressive” and housing her tenants in “Dickensian” conditions. Nadeem had had repeated warnings from the council but still...

Repayment and banning orders may be applied to landlord

06 Dec 2019 A council says it is considering seeking a banning order and a rent repayment order against a landlord already fined over £150,000. The landlord’s offences included failing to rectify safety hazards in a property to let. Latif Rehman of Birmingham, was fined a total of £151,070 by Wolverhampton Magistrates Court for three breaches of an Emergency Prohibition Order served in relation...

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...

Landlord gets £90,000 Fines for Inadequate Fire Precautions at 2 properties

14 Apr 2021 A landlord and a property company have a total of over £90,000 to pay after being found guilty of 27 charges relating to two properties in Hertfordshire. Landlord Faraz Bucha and the property management firm Captain Solutions were each found guilty of 27 charges at St Alban's Magistrates Court relating to the management of two premises at Hatfield. Issues at the properties related to...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Conviction of rogue landlord upheld

01 Jul 2021 The conviction of a rogue Dudley landlord who failed to rectify safety hazards in a property he let has been upheld. In November 2019 Latif Rehman, of Bank Street, Brierley Hill was fined a total of £151,070 by Wolverhampton Magistrates Court for three breaches of an Emergency Prohibition Order served in relation to a house of multiple occupation in Cole Street, Netherton. Rehman...

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

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

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...

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

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

Lettings agent jailed after £182,000 fraud

20 Sep 2021 A lettings agent has been jailed for three years for defrauding tenants and landlords out of more than £182,000.  Lee Clarke, 42, of Park Corner, Windsor, was director of Berkshire Estate Agents in Slough.  He disappeared in 2019 after being investigated by Slough Trading Standards and was expelled from The Property Ombudsman for failing to pay money back to complainants as...

Landlady fined £18k over unauthorised shared house

19 Oct 2020 A landlady has been landed with a court bill of more than £18,000 for continuing to rent out a student house after being denied planning permission. Shirley White, of Southgate, London, applied for planning permission to turn 41 Bevendean Crescent, Brighton, into a house in multiple occupation (HMO) in September 2017. Permission was refused because there were already more than the...

Rogue landlord in Harrow faces jail if he doesn’t pay £1.5m fine

Vispasp Sarkari convicted after being caught cramming families into squalid properties A rogue landlord who illegally carved up family homes to create cramped bedsits and charged tenants hundreds of pounds a month is facing prison unless he pays what is believed to be a record £1.5m penalty for breaking planning laws. Vispasp Sarkari, 56, from Harrow, north-west London, has been ordered to pay...

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...

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...

£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...

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...

Court fines Landlord £26,000 for rats and cockroaches in un-declared HMO

22 Jul 2020 A pregnant woman was among nine people put “at risk” by their landlords, who allowed their tenants’ home to become infested with rats and cockroaches. Barnet Council says its enforcement officers found a “severe cockroach infestation” at 80 Highfield Avenue in Golders Green, Barnet, while the stairs and flooring had been “partially eaten by rats”. Officers also...

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 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...

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...

£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 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...

Two Staffordshire landlords fines for health and safety breaches

11 Jun 2019 Two landlords in Staffordshire have been ordered to pay more £5,000 after allowing their tenants to live in poor conditions Brian Kite was fined £256 and ordered to also pay £2,378 in costs and a victim surcharge of £30, while Beryl Kite was fined £207 and ordered to also pay £2,378.88 in costs and a victim surcharge of £30 – a total of £5,279.88, after pleading guilty at North...

Bristol Council Starts Cynical campaign to bankrupt Landlords

13 Jul 2020 In another cynical move by landlord-hating councils, Bristol Council is encouraging tenants in the town who believe they have been mistreated by landlords to seek punitive rent repayment orders. Said Phil Turtle, director of Landlord Licensing & Defence “The only conclusion one can draw is that this is purely vindictive.”  The main reason for the grant of Rent Repayment Orders is...

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,...

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...

Yet another Landlord fined for unlicensed (but faultless?) HMO. Spalding

06 Nov 2019 Landlords need to be fully aware that failure to have the necessary licence will result in prosecution or fines by the Council or Local Authority even if there is nothing wrong with the property. South Holland Council in Lincolnshire made this press release recently where Councillor Christine Lawton, South Holland District Council portfolio holder for housing and health said: "This...

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

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

£50,000 fines for Landlord and his company

19 Apr 2021 A property company and its sole director landlord have been convicted and ordered to pay more than £50,000 in fines and legal costs. Francis Investments (East Anglia) Limited, based in Ipswich, and the company’s sole director and owner of the property, Ralph Bernard, were both convicted on 10 charges. An investigation was started into the property by Ipswich council in June 2019...

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

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

Two landlords have been fined for letting out a flat that had no heating or windows.

01 May 2019 Two buy to let investors in Chester have been ordered to pay more than £5,000 for renting out a flat without windows or any form of heating. Following our recent article reporting the Slough landlord who was hiding tenants in their rental property by boarding up the windows, two Chester landlords have been found to be renting out a buy to let property with no windows. The property is...

£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...

Landlord fined for ‘extremely dangerous’ rental property

A private landlord has been ordered to pay just over £1,000 after being found guilty of providing an ‘extremely dangerous’ rental property that was in a poor state of repair. Lincoln Magistrates’ Court heard that landlord Joe Burgess, of Newark Road, Lincoln, had failed to comply with housing regulations for his rental property in Newtoft, which consisted of unsafe electrics, no heating, severe...

Nowhere for HMO landlords to hide as Councils turn to Artificial Intelligence

21 Jul 2021 How long does it take for your Council to work out you’re running an unlicensed HMO? Less than one day! This was confirmed for us this week when a worried landlord got in touch with our landlords defence consultancy team. Here’s the situation: Landlord completes on an HMO purchase on the 30th June.  On the 1st July one of the London Borough Councils sends the new owner a letter...

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...

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...

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,...

£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...

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....

Sefton Council entraps Hotel Landlord into providing Free Emergency Accommodation to their Homeless

08 Mar 2021 Sefton council has reached a new low in cynical entrapment in its relentless war against landlords. Like many councils waging war against landlords, they do this in the single-minded pursuit of raising revenue from Landlords’ investments and pensions. So here is how it happened, blow by blow: Michelle Ball, owner of the Cresta Hotel in Southport, understood that she owned a hotel or...

Rent-to-renter fined £20,000 for illegally sub-letting HMO

04 Oct 2019 In an unusual and possibly unique case Brent council in London has prosecuted a tenant who sub-let property without agent's knowledge. A tenant in London has been fined £16,000 for sub-letting a house illegally as an HMO in a move that many in the industry will welcome as councils have begun to bear down heavily on agents and landlords who break the rules. The tenant, who has been...

Property prohibited from use. Landlord and house both unfit

25 Nov 2021 A landlord in Newcastle has been barred from letting out his property and could face a fine after allowing the house to dramatically fall into disrepair. Rats had gnawed through electrical cabling, meaning the electricity was unsafe. The heating system was knocked out, so there was no heating or hot water. Meanwhile the house had defective double glazing, missing balusters on the...

“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 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...

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...

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...
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

      Putney – An Unexpected Solution

      A Landlord had purchased a property and wanted to know how to turn it into a HMO and operate it legally as serviced accommodation. It was an ex-council terraced property.   Turning it into a HMO had not been an issue, however the quality of works which had been undertaken to do so was incredibly bad and would not pass regulations under any circumstances. This owner had not been paying proper...

      Letting agent 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. *...

      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...

      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. ...

      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...

      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...

      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...

      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...

      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...

      Newark and Sherwood

      Prepared contractual agreement for the lease of residential property to be used for serviced accommodation. Defending landlord against Planning Contravention Notice issued by the Council for alleged change of use from C3 to Sui Generis without permission. Defended landlord against council allegation that Building Regulations had been contravened. Defended landlord against Environmental Health...

      Battle of Hastings: Upper Tribunal Decision underlines end of Magic Money Tree for Rogue Tenants and their No Win/NoFee allies

      17 Mar 2021 In a landmark decision, the Upper Tribunal (Lands) has confirmed that the judgement of the First Tier Tribunal that “Rent Arrears must be accounted for BEFORE rent is eligible to be reclaimed under a Rent Repayment Order (RRO).” This Judgement of the First-Tier Tribunal (in a case defended by Des Taylor of Landlord Licensing & Defence), and now upheld by the Upper Tribunal,...

      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...

      Judge tears into Northampton Council’s Samantha Ling and her department

      14 Jun 2021 In a shocking, and embarrassing for Northampton Borough Council (NBC),  determination by Judge Wayte of the First Tier Tribunal property, he went so far as to suggest that the landlord should make a claim for costs against the Council.  A move that is almost unheard of, such was his condemnation of Samantha Ling and her department. Ling’s department is well known as priding...

      Fire Alarm Manufacturer tells engineer to put tenants lives at risk

      By Des Taylor 15 May 2019 One of Landlords Defence’s clients had an inconceivable situation yesterday with a major manufacturer of interconnected smoke and heat detector fire alarm units. Our client had found problems some days ago with the units not working properly on test and had the manufacturer sent some replacements via the post, (reassuring the client that although the faulty ones were...

      Rent Repayment Order Magic Money Tree is pretty much dead!

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

      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...

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