Get your Own
HHSRS Risk Assessment

If a tenant reports your property to the Council, the Council is duly bound by law to inspect your property for all 29 Hazards in the HHSRS (Housing Health & Safety Rating System).

If the Council finds any Category 1 risks, they are duty bound, by law, to start enforcement action against the Landlord and any Agents.

If you do not fully comply with any Enforcement Notice, Probation Order or Penalty Order, etc. within the allotted time (or successfully challenge it) then the Council will either issue a Civil Penalty fine of up to £30,00 per breach or commence criminal proceedings against you in Court.

In many cases, the Council will then persuade your tenants to make a Rent Repayment Order against you for up to 12 months rent!

Protect Yourself

It’s much simpler and safer to be ale to prove that your HMO or rental property is fully compliant with HHSRS.

Why do Councils do HHSRS inspections? 
The Council can inspect at random whenever they want.

If one of your tenants report your property on any basis the Council will do a full HHSRS inspection without your knowledge.  The first you’ll know is when you receive the Enforcement Notice or Council Penalty fine.

If your property should have been licensed but isn’t, you need to apply for a licence ASAP 



BUT

….

You’d better make sure even faster that it’s compliant with HHSRS or you’re looking at two fines One for unlicenced property and another for running a sub-standard property 

How can you protect yourself?

Get a 3rd party professional HHSRS inspection and risk assessment audit done by a certified HHSRS practitioner who has had the same training as Council HHSRS inspectors.

A Landlord Licensing & Defence certified HHSRS practitioner will report on every item within your property that the Council could claim to be ‘non-compliant’ or a Category 1 / 2 hazard.

What’s more, we’ll tell you what you need to do to rectify the issue ASAP to avoid being exposed to potential fines and prosecution.

What Does an HHSRS  Inspection and Report Cost?
The cost of an HHSRS audit is a tiny, tiny percentage of the fines you face. 
The actual cost depends on the building size. It’s similar in cost to a buyer’s survey. 

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How does it work? 
Book a HHSRS survey with Landlords Licencing and Defence and one of our certified HHSRS practitioners will attend your property.
They will survey every room plus the external elevations and gardens.  This is a very thorough inspection and takes usually 1 – 2 hours.
The surveyor will then produce two reports for you:

A full inspection report showing everything they inspected with condition report commentary, or the HHSRS ‘hazard’ relating to any defects seen and the severity of the hazard seen.

An ACTION report – detailing room-by-room exactly what action you must urgently take to avoid being at risk of prosecution.  We will also make suggestions for the other actions it would be wise for you to consider.
The report will include sections for you to annotate and sign off when the remedial actions have been taken.

DON’T BECOME ONE OF THESE PROSECUTED OR FINED LANDLORDS

Criminal sentences after rental property carried “risk of death”

11 Sep 2020 Two suspended sentences, community service, a fine and disqualification from being a director - those form the penalty for a rogue landlord guilty of letting out a property as a dangerous and illegal hostel. After three years of serving prohibition notices and bringing the case through the courts, Kent Fire and Rescue Service and the Health and Safety Executive jointly brought legal...

Property Owner faces Confiscation for ignoring planning enforcement

30 Jun 2020 Two joint property owners have been found guilty of illegally sub-dividing a building into seven substandard flats in a prosecution brought by the London Borough of Camden. They now face confiscation of the property under the proceeds of crime act which planners can use to claw back all the rental monies gained from the illegally altered building. The case dates back to 2010 when...

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...

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...

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 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...

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...

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)...

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...

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...

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...

Oxford landlord convicted of repeat HMO offences

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

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 £87,000 for putting tenants in ‘serious danger’

11 Mar 2020 A private landlord has been prosecuted by Bristol City Council for providing private rented accommodation that posed a “serious risk to life”.  Nine people were found living in cramped conditions in a small flat rented out by rogue landlord Deepak Singh Sachdeva on Avonmouth Road in Bristol, BS11, with two children forced to sleep in cupboards. Bristol City Council said the...

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...

Stoke-on-Trent landlords fined almost £1,800 & more will be prosecuted

Two landlords have been told to pay almost £1,800 - after failing to apply for a relevant licence. Both Sarah Machin and Mohammed Ashraf failed to apply for the licence within a selecting licensing areas in Stoke-on-Trent. The initiative had previously been rolled out by Stoke-on-Trent City Council with leaders claiming the scheme is aimed at raising the condition of rental properties. And the...

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 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...

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...

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,...

£10,000 Civil Penalty Fine – Landlord loses appeal

29 Nov 2019 The First Tier Property Tribunal has thrown out an appeal by Islington Landlord Iqbal Ahmad. The property, a flat in Holloway Road London N7 was inspects as part of the licence application process and he accepted a licence with conditions pertaining to amongst other things not having adequate fire protection measures.  When the council re-inspected the property in April 2019 -...

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...

Dawn raid finds 17 tenants crammed into sub-let HMO

29 Nov 2019 A dawn raid by enforcement officers from a London council has discovered 17 men sleeping on mattresses in a three bedroom Home in Multiple Occupation. The raid followed a tip-off about a suspected unlicensed HMO. A statement from Brent council says the men were paying £50 a week to a head tenant in exchange for accommodation which was described by the local authority as “overcrowded,...

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 £90,000 for faultless properties

06 Feb 2020 A landlord has been ordered to pay just over £90,000 for repeatedly ignoring selective licensing laws in Brent, north London. Said Phil Turtle a director of Landlord Licensing and Defence, "The Council admits that there were 'no serious concerns' with this landlord’s properties. This fine is not for being a bad landlord - it is purely about the landlord failing to obey the law 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...

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...

Angry landlord chucks council safety inspector down the stairs in bid to thwart property inspection

13 Jun 2019 He also grabbed him in a bear hug. A landlord in Lincoln grabbed a council worker and pushed him down the stairs in a bid to stop him inspecting his property, a court heard. Brian Goodwin was unhappy after two City of Lincoln Council private housing officers called to carry out a safety inspection on the home he owns in Union Road in July 2018. The two workers were doing the checks...

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...

Issuing 2,500 Civil and legal Landlord Penalty Notices puts £7/month on every Liverpool Rent

Overall, 70 per cent of inspected properties in Liverpool have been found to be in breach of their licence condition claims Liverpool City Council since their now defunct selective licensing scheme was launched in 2015, uncovering, say the council, serious hazards such as fire risks, poor electrics and excess cold. Liverpool City Council has carried out over 37,000 compliance actions, issued...

Landlord faces jail unless she pays back £140k

A landlord in Hayes, west London, has been ordered to pay back more than £140,000 in rent she received unlawfully after converting a house into two separate flats without planning consent. The council's planning enforcement officers discovered Surinder Kaur Sethi, 61, had converted a three-bedroom house in Balmoral Drive, worth in the region £400,000, into two self contained flats without...

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...

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...

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,...

I would have sent you to prison if I could – Judge tells Landlord

10 Dec 2019 A landlord has been ordered to pay almost £20,000 and has been told by a judge that he was meaner than Scrooge. George Lindsay, from Birmingham, has pleaded guilty of failing to obtain an HMO licence and to 13 breaches of HMO Management Regulations. He has been ordered to pay a fine of £19,970. When issuing the sentence, the district judge commented that Scrooge was a philanthropist...

Success! We bat 5 over zealous council court summonses into the long grass – defending older landlord

20 Nov 2020 A LONG READ – Well Worth it. Especially if you were born between 1950 and 1980 and, you are a LANDLORD. A client Of Landlord Licensing & Defence who has lived in abject terror for months due to bullying and ridiculous Local Council action had a Happy Outcome at Court today! Terrified by Council Enforcement; a client who had been summoned to court by an overly aggressive local...

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,...

Council Demolishes illegally occupied outbuilding. Issues £16,000 fine

25 Jun 2020 A property built without planning consent and then illegally let to a family has been knocked down by Ealing council in West London - and the owner has been sent the bill for the demolition job. Rapinder Kaur Sehajpal has been sent an invoice for £16,000 after ignoring requests to demolish it himself.  The council says the 45 square metre outbuilding had been built without...

Somerset Council warns Landlords could be hit with financial penalties of up to £30,000

9 MAR 2019 North Somerset council is cracking down on rogue landlords Landlords are being warned they face financial penalties of up to £30,000 if they fail to keep their rented properties in good condition. North Somerset Council bosses have issued the warning as the authority steps up its efforts to tackle poor rented accommodation in the area. Officers from the private rented sector housing...

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...

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...

From our Barrister’s Desk: Civil Penalties, HMOs and The Housing Act – a Brief Guide

By Julian Hunt, Barrister at Law & specialist in HMOs and the Housing Acts I have advised on many Housing Act Civil Penalty Notices (CPNs) since their inception. There is no set format for these notices which arrive with that ominous thud on the doorstep. I have seen notices vary from a few lines via which the recipient must discern the exact particulars of the offence, to detailed notices...

Birmingham launches city-wide Article 4 Direction for HMOs

07 Jan 2020 Birmingham’s Labour-led council is to introduce a city-wide Article 4 Direction from June, which means a planning application must be submitted for proposals to convert family houses to small HMOs. Specifically this means consent is required to change a family house (C3 use class) to a small House in Multiple Occupation accommodating between three and six people (C4 use class). Last...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Landlord fined £50,000, for failing to licence 2 HMOs

Following a trawl of Letting Agents Web sites properties for let were discovered for rent and had no house in multiple occupation Licences. Harmesh Bagga, landlord of 3 properties let through Ignite Properties to students in Royal Leamington Spa has been fined £50,000 plus costs for failing to properly manage and obtain licences for each of his properties let in multiple occupation Magistrates...

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...

Landlord who refused to pay for legal assistance gets stung for £28,000 in Rent Repayment Orders

19 Oct 2020 A Landlord who told our firm that he’d rather go out alone than pay £450 in fees for legal assistance has ended up with the inevitable DIY result of a massive Rent Repayment Order for £28,000. "Landlords who think they have the skills that they can handle their own case in the Property Tribunal are for the most part deluded and heading for disaster”, said Phil Turtle compliance...

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