Posts with tag: Housing Act 2004

Landlord that Failed to License HMO Fined £20,000

Published On: November 6, 2015 at 2:11 pm

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Landlord that Failed to License HMO Fined £20,000

Landlord that Failed to License HMO Fined £20,000

A landlord in Plymouth has been fined over £20,000 for renting out substandard properties to 30 tenants, without obtaining a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) license.

John Mayer pleaded guilty to four cases of failing to apply for a license to operate an HMO, as required by the Housing Act 2004. He also failed to comply with improvement notices that were served under the Housing Act, meaning that around 12 renters did not have adequate heating in their homes.

Mayer was fined a total of £23,000 and ordered to pay court costs of £1,554.38, to be paid at a rate of £2,000 per calendar month. Mayer pleaded guilty on 16th October 2015, but was sentenced on 30th October.

He was prosecuted by Plymouth City Council, as part of its ongoing campaign to combat rogue landlords in the city.

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Co-operatives and Housing at Plymouth City Council, comments: “We welcome this large fine, which sends a clear message that we will not tolerate rogue landlords here in Plymouth.

“We have some excellent landlords in Plymouth, but cases like this bring landlords into disrepute.”

He concludes: “Our plan for private rented housing aims to drive up standards in rented housing in the city, and this type of court case is just one of the tools we intend to use.”1

1 https://www.landlordtoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2015/11/plymouth-hmo-landlord-fined-20-000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Landlord Who Required Admin Fee Could Have Broken the Law

A landlord demanded their tenant pay an admin fee of £30 to have their tenancy deposit protected. They then requested £50 when the tenancy was renewed after six months.

Landlord Who Required Admin Fee Could Have Broken the Law

Landlord Who Required Admin Fee Could Have Broken the Law

The landlord’s six-month renewal letter reads: “As discussed, if you want your deposit protected, please forward payment of £50. Alternatively, I’ll just leave it as it is.”1

However, it seems that the deposit was never protected at all.

The tenant, who is due to move out, is worried about getting her deposit back. But it appears that landlord has broken the Housing Act 2004 twice.

Property law expert, David Smith, says the landlord “cannot make the protection conditional.

“Also, as this is a non-optional fee, it should have been advertised at the point of advertising the rent. If it has been paid it can probably be recovered under the new civil recovery powers linked to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations [CPRs].”1 

Smith believes that the tenant could make a double claim against the landlord for two breaches of the law, and advises the tenant to report the landlord to Trading Standards.

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) has given its view on the matter: “It’s very clear cut. The landlord must protect the deposit within 30 days and provide the tenant with written details of their protection [prescribed information], also within 30 days of receipt.

“The Housing Act is silent on administration charges to tenants for deposit protection, but this has no bearing on the landlord’s responsibility to protect.

“At TDS, we regularly get well-meaning but ill-informed landlords contacting us because they find out too late that deposit protection regulations exist.

“We advise them to protect as quickly as possible, and should it come to court, a judge may look favourably upon this when deciding the amount of the penalty.”1

It has been over eight years since tenancy deposit protection became compulsory, so landlords should definitely be aware of the rules.

1 http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/landlord-who-demanded-admin-fee-for-tenancy-deposit-may-have-broken-law/

Landlord in Hitchin Fined for No Heating

Published On: May 21, 2015 at 4:03 pm

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Categories: Landlord News

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A landlord in Hitchin, Hertfordshire has been fined £1,344.57 by Stevenage Magistrates’ Court for leaving tenants without heating.

Landlord in Hitchin Fined for No Heating

Landlord in Hitchin Fined for No Heating

Last week, Jane Cleverly pleaded guilty to not taking the adequate steps to provide her tenants with a fixed heating system. The case regards a property in Heathfield Road, Hitchin.

Cleverly’s tenants included a young couple renting for the first time and a woman recovering from surgery. Cleverly claimed she was having financial difficulty as the reason for her negligence.

The landlord was given an improvement notice under section 11 of the Housing Act 2004 that required the work to be conducted. However, Cleverly did not complete the work in the timeframe and was later prosecuted and fined by North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC).

Stevenage Magistrates’ Court issued a £500 fine, and ordered Cleverly to pay a £50 victim surcharge and £794.57 towards the Council’s legal fees.

NHDC’s portfolio holder for housing and environmental health, Councillor Bernard Lovewell, comments: “Landlords have a responsibility to keep their properties safe and free from health hazards, and tenants have a right to live in a property that is safe and in a good state of repair.

“We hope this prosecution sends a clear message to private landlords in North Hertfordshire; that the Council will use enforcement powers whenever necessary to ensure the welfare and safety of our residents.”1

1 http://www.landlordtoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2015/5/hitchin-landlord-fined-for-not-providing-heating

Landlord Handed £1,600 Bill for Not Making Improvements

A landlord has been issued a £1,600 bill for ignoring an improvement notice over the course of four years on his buy-to-let property in Market Deeping.

South Kesteven District Council (SKDC) prosecuted Michael Lovett for not making the required improvements to the interior and exterior of his rental property, located on High Street. He then re-let the home to tenants.

Landlord Handed £1,600 Bill for Not Making Improvements

Landlord Handed £1,600 Bill for Not Making Improvements

In September 2010, Environmental Health inspectors uncovered several problems with the property, including: excess cold; faulty kitchen units; defective gas central heating system; electrical hazards; and an untidy garden.

Successive tenants complained to SKDC of leaks from the roof, damp, mould in the property, faulty central heating and hot water gas boiler, and fire safety defects.

Despite Lovett receiving an improvement notice, he did not conduct the work and stated that this was down to tenants refusing him access to the property in 2011.

Although the Council encouraged Lovett to make the improvements during a void period, he did not complete the work and a new tenant moved into the property in April 2014 when the jobs were still incomplete.

He admitted an offence under section 30 of the Housing Act 2004 when interviewed, and later pleaded guilty at a hearing at Grantham Magistrates’ Court on 23rd April where he was ordered to pay a £1,000 fine.

Lovett was also given a £100 surcharge and had £500 to pay in costs.

Mrs J Foster, presiding magistrate, said: “We are going to impose a fine. This was a serious matter where people occupied and lived in the property. This was over a lengthy period of time when matters could have been addressed.”1 

Anne-Marie Coulthard, SKDC’s Business Manager for Environmental Health, commented: “We know the vast majority of landlords provide a great service for their tenants in South Kesteven.

“However, this fine shows that landlords cannot simply ignore problems and orders such as improvement notices, so they leave properties in a safe and habitable condition.

“Our officers will always persist in ensuring housing law is strictly adhered to in rented properties to protect tenants in the district.”1

1 http://www.southkesteven.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=8631