Landlord fined £3057 in HMO case
- 3rd December 2007
- Landlord Property News
Two groups of Warwick students have won a landmark decision against the landlord of unlicensed house in multiple occupation.
The HMO properties that were occupied by the students remained unlicensed for over a year after the mandatory licensing of HMOs began on 6tth April, 2006.
The landlord was prosecuted and fined £3,057.80, in June 2007 for failing to register his HMOs. Following the successful prosecution, the students applied to the Residential Property Tribunal for a rent repayment order that covered the duration of the tenancy that was unlicensed. Though the students claimed a “poor experience” while living in the properties the tribunal was more concerned with a professional landlord, with a property portfolio estimated at £2.5m, not registering for HMO licenses. It was judged that there was “nothing to excuse his failure to apply”. The tribunal agreed that the accommodation was generally of an above average standard, but still awarded a repayment of 50% of the relevant payments amounting to £18,450.
Landlords should be aware that HMO Licenses apply to properties that consist of three or more storeys and occupied by five or more tenants in two or more households. Local housing authorities also have discretionary powers to widen the remit of licensing to include other smaller HMOs if they believe enough of them in one area are badly managed. It is advisable to check with the local housing authority of you are unsure whether or not you need a license.
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