Housing Act 2004 Section 249A and Schedule 13A  Financial Penalties

Landlord fined for operating illegally

Nasar Shaikh, of Coleshill Road, Birmingham, was fined £5,000 after failing to obtain a licence from Waltham Forest Council to rent out a two-bedroom flat on Theydon Street, Walthamstow. The landlord let the property to a young family who had been living at the house since 2010. The council identified the address in 2017 as one that needed a licence, but when officers contacted Shaikh, after...

Landlord jailed for illegally converted flats

29 Jun 2019 A rogue landlord who made almost £130,000 in illegal rent after converting his three-bedroom house in east London into two flats without planning consent has been jailed after failing to pay back the money. Akram Hussain, 57, converted the family home in Glenny Road, Barking, into a one-bedroom flat and two-bedroom flat without obtaining planning consent. Snaresbrook Crown Court last...

Oxford City Council has collected a total of £31,606 in penalties for housing offences from its first three cases since the introduction of new financial penalty powers

Oxford City Council has collected a total of £31,606 in penalties for housing offences from its first three cases since the introduction of new financial penalty powers to help crackdown on rogue landlords and improve safety for renters. In the biggest of the three fines, a landlord who owns a rented property on Garsington Road received financial penalties totalling £25,298 for failing to...

Fire risk assessor prosecuted brings serous doubt to DIY Fire Risk Assessments

09 Sep 2019 South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has welcomed the prosecution of a fire risk assessor, saying it proves that there are consequences for failing to comply with safety laws. David Thompson of Toftwood Health & Safety Solutions was fined £750 and ordered to pay a £170 surcharge and £1,000 costs at Sheffield Magistrates Court on Friday (23 August) for failing to provide a suitable...

Fine for landlord admitting failings

A property management company has been landed with a legal bill of almost £2,000 after admitting that it failed to keep a property in Nottingham in good repair. Nottingham City Council`s Housing Licensing and Compliance team secured a successful prosecution against ADKAM CIC (Community Interest Company) resulting in a fine of £1000 with costs of £836 and a £100 victim surcharge at Nottingham...

‘Landlord in Crisis’ Cases Last Week

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

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...

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...

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...

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. Regev Hazan, 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...

Countrywide chain Beresford Adams and landlord together fined £30,000 over HMO

23 Sep 2019 Wrexham council discovers that HMO is unlicensed and that conditions at the property include inadequate fire safety provision. A landlord and her letting agent, 28-branch Countrywide chain Beresford Adams, must pay a total of £32,300 in fines, costs and victim surcharge after an HMO visited by inspectors in Wrexham found it to be unlicensed. Landlord Jane Sabio, who had pleaded...

Landlord fined £340,000 in 2017 is now fined another £150,000

02 Dec 2019 A rogue landlord has been fined more than £150,000 after failing to rectify safety hazards in a property he let. Two years ago Rehman was ordered to pay in excess of £340,000 after illegally converting houses into bedsits. A rogue landlord has been fined more than £150,000 after failing to rectify safety hazards in a property he let. Latif Rehman of Birmingham was fined a total of...

Landlord fined for failure to comply

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

Unlicensed landlord ordered to pay over £2,600

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

‘Landlord in Crisis’ Cases This Week

23 Jun 2020 The last two weeks has been hectic and often people see what we publish and ask what exactly do we do? Well here are some of the things we have covered in the last two weeks, no day is ever boring and it is a long read and these cases are all landlords just like you: Breaking the Law If you drive at 90mph you will eventually get caught. If you break the law of the Housing Act 2004 or...

Government gives Councils £3.8million to increase Enforcement against Landlords

06 Nov 2019 Fresh funding for local councils in England to tackle landlords has been made available, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has announced. The government’s intention is that this money should be used to target true ‘rogue’ landlords - but in practice, it is likely to be used to target all landlords. Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said councils will be...

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...

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

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

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...

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,...

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...

Bristol housing charity tops list of UK’s most-prosecuted landlords

Charity set up to house homeless among landlords convicted of making money from substandard properties but still letting homes to tenants, research finds A Bristol-based charity that receives thousands of pounds in housing benefit to accommodate vulnerable people has topped a list of the UK’s most-prosecuted landlords compiled. Alternative Housing, which was established to provide accommodation...

Landlords fined £3,800 in council’s first rented homes licensing prosecution

A council’s first prosecution over HMO licenses cost two landlords nearly £4,000. Appearing at Worcester Magistrates Court, Bing Wang and Yan Shao, were both convicted of renting out an unlicensed HMO to students when the property did not meet key safety standards. Wang and Shao were ordered to pay over £3,800 in fines and costs. The case was the first prosecution brought by Worcester City...

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...

Landlords warned over housing rules as £16,000 fine dished out in Wolverhampton

Warnings have been issued to rogue landlords in Wolverhampton after council officers issued a £16,000 penalty to a homeowner flouting the rules. Wolverhampton council handed a Whitmore Reans landlord the huge financial penalty for running a house in multiple occupation (HMO) without a licence. It is the first time the council's housing team issued a civil penalty to a landlord for failing to...

Landlord ordered to pay £14,500 for unlicensed HMO

29 Jul 19 A buy-to-let landlord has been ordered to pay £14,500 for illegally renting out an overcrowded House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) without a licence in Evesham, Worcestershire. The landlord was issued with four civil penalty notices by Wychavon District Council after officers found 11 people occupying the property. It is the first time Wychavon, which did not name the landlord, has used...

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...

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...

Special Offer £71,600 – Rogue Landlord Special

A new case just in. A new slant on property investment: Here we have a landlord with a 6 Bed HMO in the Northern Home Counties.  This case is a cookie-cutter duplicate based on a pattern we are seeing on a week in, week out, basis. It starts with a Council realising that there is a property on their patch which might be an unlicensed HMO. They then go into overdrive. The format is usually a...

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

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

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,...

Leading council has so far fined rogue agents and landlords £100,000

Brent Council is one London's key boroughs leading the charge against poor housing standards. Brent Council, which says it has fined agents and landlords £100,000 since introducing civil penalties last year, revealed it had collected £63,500 of the fines levied and is waiting to collect the remainder under its 49-day payment rules. “When we start the process of issuing a Civil Penalty Notice...

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,...

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...

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...

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 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...

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,...

Agent claiming to be unaware property was HMO, loses appeal over £20k fine

A lettings agent that claimed that it was unaware a property was a house in multiple occupation (HMO) has lost its appeal over a £20,000 fine. In January this year Altavon property management ltd and the landlord of the property, Adrian Simion, 30, had been found guilty at Luton Magistrates court of a series of management regulations breaches relating to the safety and running of houses in...

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...

Brighton landlord prosecuted for unlicensed HMO

Brighton & Hove City Council’s planning enforcement team has prosecuted a landlord for letting a Brighton home as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) without a licence, in the first successful prosecution by the council regarding an unauthorised conversion of a house into a small HMO. James Trevor Ford of Maidstone Road, Horsmonden in Kent had made no attempt to secure permission for the...

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...

HMO landlord hit with £40k fine

04 Oct 2019 City of Lincoln Council has taken action against a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) landlord in Lincoln for failing to comply with a number of safety breaches under the Housing Act 2004. Julie Churchill who was responsible for an unlicensed HMO at 135 Monks Road, LN2, has been fined £40,000 for letting out a dangerous HMO that was also unlicensed. Lincoln Magistrates Court heard...

Council adopts ‘zero-tolerance approach’ to rogue landlords

A private landlord has been fined by Willesden Magistrates Court for poor and potentially dangerous housing conditions following a prosecution by Brent Council. The prosecution of Monojor Ali, of Cairnfield Avenue, NW2, is one of more than fifty already made this year by Brent Council, which councillor Harbi Farah, cabinet member for housing, says “sends a clear message that the council is...

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...

Bristol landlord £5000 Rent Repayment Order

24 Jun 2020 Two Bristol landlords have been ordered to repay nearly £5,000 following investigations by the council’s so called rogue landlord unit. One, Lucy Sherry, was found to have breached the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.  She was found to have harassed her tenants, and did so with reasonable cause to believe that her conduct would lead to the tenants giving up occupation of the...

Record fine for unregistered HMO landlord as two landlords prosecuted

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

Three rogue lettings agents expelled by The Property Ombudsman

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

Crackdown on unlicensed HMOs in Islington leads to five housing prosecutions

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

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)...

Housing Act 2004 Section 249A and Schedule 13A

If you’ve just searched for this term, then the chances are very high that you’ve received a letter from your Council’s Housing Enforcement Officer similar to the ones in the photo.

It means that your Council Housing department have already decided that you are guilty without trial of Criminal Acts in relation to The Housing Act 2004 and related Regulations. Often they do not have enough evidence. But most landlords don’t understand the danger they are in and happily give the Council more and more evidence with which to prosecute them.

**Do not attempt to discuss your letter on notice with anyone at the Council before you take professional advice.**

Why?

Because, just like the police when suspecting someone of a serious crime, their only interest now is to get you to self-incriminate so that they can substantiate their “Guilty” decision and can then proceed to extract many £1,000s from you by way of Civil Financial Penalty Fines or take you to Criminal Court.

You would not phone up the police for a bit of a chat to explain why you thought it was ok to drive at 105 miles per hour. You would not dream of giving them all the evidence thy need to prosecute you without having professional representation.  In exactly the same way, to avoid giving the Council all the evidence they need to prosecute or fine you.

And we hate to say it, but you probably are guilty. It is extremely easy to be guilty of offences under the Housing Act(s). 

Click here to get help ASAP

Failure to apply for an HMO or Selective Licence

Many councils’ favourite ‘crime’ is that of failing to apply for an HMO or Selective Licence.

They will raid a house that they think *might* be a licensable HMO of 5 persons under that Mandatory HMO Licensing legislation (or 3 if they have an Additional Licensing Scheme in operation) and they only have to suspect there could be a fifth person living there that you’re probably not even aware of.

Quite often it’s just a visiting girl or boyfriend – but that’s enough for them to throw the book at you.

And throwing the book at you is exactly what they will do because they will set out to find you in breach of ALL of these ‘relevant housing offences’ under Section 249A:

Many councils’ favourite ‘crime’ is that of failing to apply for an HMO or Selective Licence. They will raid a house that they think *might* be a licensable HMO of 5 persons under that Mandatory HMO Licensing legislation (or 3 if they have an Additional Licensing Scheme in operation) and they only have to *suspect* there could be a fifth person living there that you’re probably not even aware of. Quite often it’s just a visiting girl or boyfriend – but that’s enough for them to throw the book at you.

And throwing the book at you is exactly what they will do because they will set out to find you in breach of ALL of these ‘relevant housing offences’ under Section 249A:

  • Housing Act 2004 Section 30 – failure to comply with an improvement notice
  • Housing Act 2004 Section 72 – failure to licence an HMO
  • Housing Act 2004 Section 95 – failure to licence a house under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004 (i.e. failure to apply for a Selective Licence)
  • Housing Act 2004 Section 139(7) – failure to comply with an overcrowding notice
  • Housing Act 2004 Section 237 – failure under the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations (England) 2006 including (and they usually create a separate Civil Penalty for each of these that they can get you on):
    • Regulation 3 – failure to display the managers full details prominently in the HMO
    • Regulation 4 – failure of the manager to take safety measures
    • Regulation 5 – failure of the manager to maintain water supply and drainage
    • Regulation 6 – failure of the manager to supply and maintain gas and electricity
    • Regulation 7 – failure of the manager to maintain the common parts, fixtures fittings and appliances
    • Regulation 8 – failure of the manager to maintain living accommodation
    • Regulation 9 – failure to provide (adequate) waste disposal facilities

Usually by the time they have totted up all this lot, a Landlord of a single house can be staring £20,000 to £50,000 of Civil Penalty Fines in the face.

Click here to get help ASAP

Not Fit and Proper Person

 

 

But that is not all. The chances are very high that they will continue after issuing this letter to declare you to be a Not Fit and Proper Person to hold a licence – they will do this by refusing to grant a licence for your property in your name. If you have other licenced properties they will often issue a Notice to Revoke licences.

 

Councils can completely destroy your business.

 

And just for good measure, many councils’ not only make your tenants aware that they can reclaim up to 12 months’ rent from you because you didn’t have a licence when you should have had one. Many Councils even help tenants to fill in the forms.

 

Click here to get help ASAP

PACE inverview under caution

If you see ‘helpful’ words in the letter like

“If you would like a meeting to discuss the proposed financial penalty before making your representations,
then please contact the xxxxx team so arrangements can be made to meet at the Town/City Hall”

Do NOT make any such arrangements. This is a trick to get you to attend a PACE (Police And Criminal Evidence ACT) interview under caution.

The sole purpose of which is to trick you into self-incrimination 

Click here to get help ASAP

 Get Help ASAP

If you’ve received one of these Housing Act Section 249A and Schedule 13A: Financial Penalties letters you need to act fast because you have very little time before the fines are imposed.

 Click here to get help ASAP

Engage immediate help from experts in Housing Act Legislation and Regulation like ourselves at Landlord Licensing and Defence.

Don’t think that you will be able to get these fines dropped. There is a very low chance of that. As we said above, it’s very easy for a council enforcement officer to find you guilty and you are Guilty until Proven Innocent.

However, what can be done – and we achieve this on a weekly basis – is for us as your representative to negotiate the level of fines with your council. We can do this because we know the legislation and we know from experience HOW to negotiate.

And remember our discussions with the Council do not incriminate you. If you think you can negotiate with them yourself you are totally wrong. Because everything you say can and will be used against you in evidence.

If the is Council declaring you a Not Fit and Proper Person and refusing or withdrawing license we can find solutions that the council will accept  that can save your business from ruin.

Don’t delay – contact us immediately for the help you need.  Time is absolutely of the essence.

Click here to get help ASAP

Success Stories

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. *...

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...

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...

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...

Newark and Sherwood

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

West London Company Let

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

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

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

20 Properties. No selective Licences.

A Landlord in the North West had been very ill and hadn’t been able to deal with the requirements of a Selective Licencing scheme introduced by his Local Authority and which affected 20 properties in his portfolio. The deadline was looming and he was unable to take action. We negotiated an extension of the deadline because of his illness and the fact that he had now appointed us to organise and...

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...

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...

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...

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...

The Legal Stuff

 

 

Housing Act 2004 Section 249A Financial penalties for certain housing offences in England

(1) The local housing authority may impose a financial penalty on a person if satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, that the person’s conduct amounts to a relevant housing offence in respect of premises in England.

(2) In this section “relevant housing offence” means an offence under—

(a) section 30 (failure to comply with improvement notice),

(b) section 72 (licensing of HMOs),

(c) section 95 (licensing of houses under Part 3),

(d) section 139(7) (failure to comply with overcrowding notice), or

(e) section 234 (management regulations in respect of HMOs).

(3) Only one financial penalty under this section may be imposed on a person in respect of the same conduct.

(4) The amount of a financial penalty imposed under this section is to be determined by the local housing authority, but must not be more than £30,000.

(5) The local housing authority may not impose a financial penalty in respect of any conduct amounting to a relevant housing offence if—

(a) the person has been convicted of the offence in respect of that conduct, or

(b) criminal proceedings for the offence have been instituted against the person in respect of the conduct and the proceedings have not been concluded.

(6) Schedule 13A deals with—

(a) the procedure for imposing financial penalties,

(b) appeals against financial penalties,

(c) enforcement of financial penalties, and

(d) guidance in respect of financial penalties.

(7) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision about how local housing authorities are to deal with financial penalties recovered.

(8) The Secretary of State may by regulations amend the amount specified in subsection (4) to reflect changes in the value of money.

(9) For the purposes of this section a person’s conduct includes a failure to act.

 

Housing Act 2004 Schedule 13A Financial penalties under section 249A

Notice of intent

1 Before imposing a financial penalty on a person under section 249A the local housing authority must give the person notice of the authority’s proposal to do so (a “notice of intent”).

2(1) The notice of intent must be given before the end of the period of 6 months beginning with the first day on which the authority has sufficient evidence of the conduct to which the financial penalty relates.

2(2) But if the person is continuing to engage in the conduct on that day, and the conduct continues beyond the end of that day, the notice of intent may be given—

(a) at any time when the conduct is continuing, or

(b) within the period of 6 months beginning with the last day on which the conduct occurs.

2(3) For the purposes of this paragraph a person’s conduct includes a failure to act.

3 The notice of intent must set out—

(a) the amount of the proposed financial penalty,

(b) the reasons for proposing to impose the financial penalty, and

(c) information about the right to make representations under paragraph 4.

Right to make representations

4(1) A person who is given a notice of intent may make written representations to the local housing authority about the proposal to impose a financial penalty.

4(2) Any representations must be made within the period of 28 days beginning with the day after that on which the notice was given (“the period for representations”). 

Final notice

5 After the end of the period for representations the local housing authority must—

(a) decide whether to impose a financial penalty on the person, and

(b) if it decides to impose a financial penalty, decide the amount of the penalty.

6 If the authority decides to impose a financial penalty on the person, it must give the person a notice (a “final notice”) imposing that penalty.

7 The final notice must require the penalty to be paid within the period of 28 days beginning with the day after that on which the notice was given.

8 The final notice must set out—

(a) the amount of the financial penalty,

(b) the reasons for imposing the penalty,

(c) information about how to pay the penalty,

(d) the period for payment of the penalty,

(e) information about rights of appeal, and

(f) the consequences of failure to comply with the notice.

Withdrawal or amendment of notice

9(1) A local housing authority may at any time—

(a) withdraw a notice of intent or final notice, or

(b) reduce the amount specified in a notice of intent or final notice.

9(2) The power in sub-paragraph (1) is to be exercised by giving notice in writing to the person to whom the notice was given. 

Appeals

10(1) A person to whom a final notice is given may appeal to the First-tier Tribunal against—

(a) the decision to impose the penalty, or

(b) the amount of the penalty.

10(2) If a person appeals under this paragraph, the final notice is suspended until the appeal is finally determined or withdrawn.

10(3) An appeal under this paragraph—

(a) is to be a re-hearing of the local housing authority’s decision, but

(b) may be determined having regard to matters of which the authority was unaware.

10(4) On an appeal under this paragraph the First-tier Tribunal may confirm, vary or cancel the final notice.

10(5) The final notice may not be varied under sub-paragraph (4) so as to make it impose a financial penalty of more than the local housing authority could have imposed.

Recovery of financial penalty

11(1) This paragraph applies if a person fails to pay the whole or any part of a financial penalty which, in accordance with this Schedule, the person is liable to pay.

11(2) The local housing authority which imposed the financial penalty may recover the penalty or part on the order of the county court as if it were payable under an order of that court.

11(3) In proceedings before the county court for the recovery of a financial penalty or part of a financial penalty, a certificate which is—

(a) signed by the chief finance officer of the local housing authority which imposed the penalty, and

(b) states that the amount due has not been received by a date specified in the certificate,

is conclusive evidence of that fact.

11(4) A certificate to that effect and purporting to be so signed is to be treated as being so signed unless the contrary is proved.

11(5) In this paragraph “chief finance officer” has the same meaning as in section 5 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.

Guidance

12 A local housing authority must have regard to any guidance given by the Secretary of State about the exercise of its functions under this Schedule or section 249A.

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