Selective Licensing…

Do I need a Selective Licence?

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 gets £200k fine for planning offence, proceeds of crime and confiscation order

11 Mar 2021 A landlord who illegally turned a London property into 13 flats has been hit by nearly £200,000 in fines, costs and a confiscation order. Inanc Elitok pleaded guilty to ignoring two previous notices at a hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court, in a case brought by Waltham Forest council. Clyde Loakes, the council deputy leader, says: “Even after being given two enforcement notices for...

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...

Brent Council raise almost £100,000 in landlord fines in just four weeks

Four weeks of prosecutions by Brent Council in north London has seen six successful results with total court fines for rogue landlords of £97,727, the highest amount recorded by Brent in such a short period. One private landlord, Bernard Patrick McGowan, was ordered by Willesden Magistrates Court to pay more than £40,000 last week for failing to licence a flat in Craven Park, Harlesden, which...

Landlord without HMO licence fined £20,000

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

Landlord fined for keeping tenant’s deposit in a tin

15 Oct 2020 A landlord has been ordered to pay his ex-tenant £1,500 after failing to protect her deposit with an approved scheme. The Housing and Property Chamber First-tier tribunal for Scotland found that Mark Bradley of Gourock had not protected his tenant’s deposit for five and a half years, when he should have protected it within 30 working days of the start of the tenancy. In April 2014,...

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...

Mandatory Professional Qualification to be a Landlord says Commission

05 May 2020 A commission investigating affordable homes in the UK has called for annual private sector rent increases to be limited to a new index of income growth and for landlords to pay tenants’ removal costs in some circumstances. The Affordable Housing Commission also recommends that “charging more than the permitted rent increase would be an offence, with the landlord facing a fine...

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...

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...

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...

Rogue Birmingham landlord endangering lives successfully prosecuted

George Lindsay, 55, from Erdington, has been successfully prosecuted and ordered to pay close to £20,000 for breaching housing regulations. The rogue landlord pleaded guilty for failing to obtain a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence and to 13 breaches of HMO Management Regulations and has been ordered to pay a fine of £19,970. When issuing the sentence, the district judge commented that...

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...

Slum landlord family must pay £250k under crime proceeds act

Harsha, Chandni and Sanjay Shah crammed 31 tenants into four-bedroom Wembley house A family of slum landlords who crammed 31 people into a suburban four-bedroom house has been ordered to pay back almost £250,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The landlords were earning more than £100,000 a year from the enterprise, which involved squeezing tenants on “sleeping shifts” into rooms fitted with up...

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...

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,...

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...

The true Cost of Unlicensed HMOs

30 Jan 2020 A landlord in bath was fined £10,000 plus £4,000 costs and given a criminal record in Bath this month for not licensing her HMO. We see cases of this every week and the "going rate" is around £12,000 for not licensing an HMO.  But that is only the start. To 'obtain proof' that you are operating an unlicensed HMO, the councils often effect dawn raids turning up 6 or 8 of them at...

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....

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 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...

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...

Council boasts of issuing 133 penalty notices and 23 improvement notices

02 Jul 2019 A London council wants to extend its private rental sector licensing scheme - and in doing so is boasting of the number of notices it’s so far issued against landlords. Havering council has begun a consultation looking at extending its scheme, launched initially in March 2018. As part of the publicity promoting its extension, the council says it has issued 133 financial penalty...

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...

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,...

Landlords: Protect Yourself against 10 Million New Housing Inspectors

Seminar: What EVERY Landlord needs to know about avoiding massive fines and 'ambulance chasers'. Full day in-depth seminar. Thursday, 5 September '19   12pm - 6pm London SW1 Book tickets here On 20th March this year the Government appointed 10 MILLION new housing inspectors. They are not employed. They are on commission for getting Landlords sued. Which means they are highly...

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...

Councils teaching tenants how to reclaim rent from landlords

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

Tenant in arrears? Text them! New research finds phone calls are too intimidating…

12 Oct 2020 Most tenants claim they are “intimidated” when agents or landlords telephone them about arrears - and they would much prefer a text. Warned Phil Turtle, compliance director with Landlord Licensing & Defence “Thus is potentially scary for landlords as “Intimidation or harassment is one of the reasons that tenants are persuaded to apply for Rent Repayment Orders claiming...

Landlord fined three times over for “poorly converted” HMO

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

Criminal record for buy to let investor who didn’t have the right paperwork

3 May 2019 A buy to let investor has been left with a £2,000 bill and a criminal conviction after letting out his property without the appropriate licence. Anthony Bellingham was prosecuted by a council in County Durham us for breaching the requirements of a licensing scheme in the Easington Colliery area. Local magistrates heard the council received information last May suggesting that a...

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...

Northampton Council takes Landlords house

29 Oct 2020 Northampton council is seeking a so-called Charging Order against a landlord who failed to carry out improvements to her property and then ignored the resulting £12,400 civil penalty. In December 2018, council officers carried out an inspection of the property in the town, owned by Mrs Alle Sabboth. They found multiple category one hazards such as faulty door locks...

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

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

Landlord fined £6,000 for not having HMO licenses

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

“Screw your Landlord” Westminster City Council launches online tool encouraging HMO Tenants to claim Rent Repayment Orders

In a move designed to punish as many landlords as possible with crucifying Rent Repayment Orders of up to 12 months rent, City of Westminster has launched a "find out of you can screw your landlord" tool on their website. They are obviously using this 'hook' to get tenants to grass-up landlords who have not paid their 'licence tax'. Cynically, It has everything to do with punishing landlords for...

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...

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...

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...

Stevenage BTL investor fined for attic room

A Stevenage buy to let investment landlord has been prosecuted for letting out an unsuitable attic room ignoring a council prohibition order. Stevenage Borough Council had made a prohibition order in November 2014 under the Housing Act 2004, prohibiting the occupation of the attic room at a property in The Noke, Stevenage. The council made the prohibition order due to the works completed to...

It’s Rubbish being a Landlord: 40 Landlords Prosecuted by One Council for Tenants’ Mess

18 Feb 2021 A landlord’s firm has been fined after waste accumulated in the rear yard of a tenanted property. Elahi Properties of Blackburn was ordered to pay £1,259 by a court, comprised of a £750 court fine and £500 costs. The firm was summonsed to appear in court earlier this month after ignoring repeated calls from the local council to take action.  In the past year, 40 waste...

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...

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...

HMO landlord fined after Barnet Council investigation

A landlord has been ordered to pay £2,650 in fines and costs after failing to licence a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO), following a successful prosecution by Barnet Council. Investigators discovered that the two-storey property in Hamonde Close, Edgware, was housing seven people during an evening inspection by the council’s Private Sector Housing Enforcement Team. They wrote to the owner,...

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 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...
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

      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...

      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...

      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...

      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...

      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...

      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...

      Kingston Prohibition Order

      Defending a Prohibition Notice for both the Owner and the Subletting Landlord and replacing the subletting Landlord with a more suitable fit and proper Landlord in order to have the prohibition order withdrawn The owner is an elderly man and his daughter was dealing with the property and had let it to a subletting Company who was the Subletting (Rent to Rent) Landlord. The Owner and Subletting...

      West London Company Let

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

      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 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. *...

      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...

      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...

      Liverpool Council hands out 2,000 legal notices, 154 cautions, 89 civil penalty notices and 159 prosecutions

      11 Apr 2019 A council has revealed the squalid conditions its inspectors have found when visiting rental properties as it looks to extend its landlord licensing scheme. Liverpool City Council has operated a city-wide selective licensing scheme since April 2015 but is now looking to extend it for five years when it expires in March 2020. Council officials say more rogue landlords have been...

      Brentford Developer

      A property developer had decided to change a three-bed semi-detached house into a 6 bedroom all en-suite HMO. Initially we inspected the property at purchase and contributed to best practice and design aspects to comply with planning use under permitted development and HMO Licensing.  As an expense saver and ongoing economy we suggested the removal of gas at the property and use of...

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