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

BTL landlord ordered to pay £9,500 for failing to maintain property

02 Mar 2020 A buy-to-let landlord in Liverpool has been ordered to pay almost £9.500 after failing to provide acceptable living conditions for his tenant. John William Kildare was found guilty of failing to comply with an Improvement Notice after allowing his tenant to live in dangerous conditions. According to Liverpool City Council, the Hanford Avenue property, in Orrel Park, had a long list...

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...

Council to crack down on Dorset Landlords in Dorset

04 Nov 2020 PRIVATE landlords who fail to stick to regulations and treat tenants unfairly can expect a tougher approach from Dorset Council. Senior council officers told a committee this week that they now had the backing, and funding, to adopt a tougher stance where needed, although will always try to work with property owners in the first instance. The new proactive approach is currently being...

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

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

Landlord 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...

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

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

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...

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...

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...

Property manager hit with £10,500 fine for unlicensed HMO

Property manager hit with £10,500 fine for unlicensed HMO A company and the manager of a house of multiple occupation (HMO) in South Hampstead, north-west London, have been hit with a hefty fine following legal proceedings brought by the Camden Council. Manager of the property, Benjamin George Wilson, aged 40 from Barnet, having earlier pleaded guilty to operating an HMO without an HMO licence,...

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...

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...

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...

University acts Criminally putting Landlords in Danger of Prosecution

23 Oct 2020 Following the recent revelation that the University of Warwick is dumping hundreds of private landlords in favour of its own student accommodation , it has today come to light that as part of this strategy it appears to have deliberately put landlords subject to Coventry City Council’s controversial Additional Licensing scheme at risk of prosecution and massive fines. These landlords...

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)...

Council with Most Prosecutions of Agents and Landlords is Named

Camden has been revealed as the local authority with the highest number of prosecutions of agents and landlords in London. According to the Mayor of London’s rogue landlord and agent checker, launched last December to assist Londoners in securing affordable homes with the knowledge that their agent or landlord has not committed previous offences, Camden has prosecuted on 59 occasions and put 35...

Fine of up to £30,000 for failing to comply as Slough introduces 3 person HMO and Selective Licensing

06 Jun 2019 Slough Borough Council approved the implementation of two discretionary licensing schemes for residential property in Slough. Therefore from 1 July 2019 there will be three property licensing schemes in operation in Slough: Additional licensing for all HMOs (not covered by mandatory scheme, i.e. smaller HMOs)Selective licensing of all privately rented property covering most of...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 £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...

Landlady fined £18k over unauthorised shared house

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

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

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

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...

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....

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...

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...

Fourth conviction for rogue Beeston landlord

25 Nov 2019 Landlord Jack Collins of Woodlea Road, Yeadon, has been hit with court fines for a fourth time for failing to properly manage his rental properties. On 18 November 2019, Mr Collins was found guilty and ordered to pay £25,324.60 within two months for failing to maintain a property on Sefton Terrace, Beeston. Mr Collins had denied exposing vulnerable tenants to sub-standard housing...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 fined for failing to make safety improvements

A landlord who failed to comply with an Improvement Notice and carry out essential repairs to his property was ordered to pay fines and costs of almost £800 following an investigation by Harrogate Borough Council. Private landlord Damian John Green, of Heather Lea Avenue in Sheffield, failed to carry out the required works to his rental property on Robert Street, Harrogate, within the agreed...

Landlord handed two-year ban and £41k bill for putting tenants’ lives at risk

A man who rented out rooms above a town centre bar has been banned from being a landlord after putting the lives of his tenants at risk. Dean Dunkley, 41, of Dunchurch Road in Rugby, has also been ordered to pay more than £41,000 in legal costs by the magistrates after he was found guilty of a number of offences. The prosecution was brought by Rugby Borough Council after several inspections 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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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 convicted of unlawfully evicting tenant now fined for running unlicensed HMO in Telford

Feb 21, 2019 A landlord from Telford who had previously been convicted of unlawfully evicting a tenant has now been fined for running an unlicensed house in multiple occupation. In March 2017, David Beattie admitted threatening violence against a tenant in his property in Dudmaston, Hollinswood. Shropshire Magistrates Court sitting in Telford on Monday heard that Beattie, of Priorslee, was not...

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...

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...

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,...

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

Get in touch if you have had a PACE or Interview Under Caution ‘invitation’…

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Success Stories

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...

West London Company Let

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

Fire Alarm Manufacturer tells engineer to put tenants lives at risk

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

Putney – An Unexpected Solution

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

Letting agent gives illegal HMO advice

16 May 2019 PLEASE SHARE WIDELY Des Taylor here.  I’ve just been working with a letting agent for a client and found the letting agent had a clear misunderstanding of what constitutes a HMO (House in Multiple Occupation). HMO is formed "when two or more households* occupy a dwelling and the number of occupants is three or more, then a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is formed. *...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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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