Published 31st August 2021
Keeping track of the ever changing licensing landscape is an ongoing struggle for many landlords and agents as councils all over the UK continue to introduce new schemes. This inevitably leads to expansion of enforcement. Our latest analysis of London council’s enforcement data was reported widely across the industry as we saw a 532% month-on-month increase in fines being handed out to landlords and agents across the summer period.
At Kamma, we understand that property licensing is complex, inconsistent, and ever changing. Our technology and software cuts through that complexity to keep you on top of all the changes with clear and accurate advice. We analyse and sort data to help agents, landlords and surveyors understand the impact of Property Licensing and Planning Permission on their properties and assets. We leverage technology and data to help agents and landlords stay on top of new property licensing schemes and avoid licensing fines.
A private landlord in London has been fined over £21,000 for operating an unlicensed and overcrowded property in Brent. The landlord had received numerous complaints from neighbours concerning anti-social behaviour of the tenants as well as several letters from the local council’s Private Housing Services Team demanding appropriate action to be taken.
Following visits to the property in 2019 officers advised the landlord to apply for the appropriate HMO licence, however, he failed to do so. During the court hearing, the landlord pleaded guilty to all five offences including failure to obtain a HMO licence. The court stated that the vulnerable people in the property, the failure to obtain a licence and the profit the landlord had made on the property were all aggravating factors for the conviction.
A landlord and the property company he is director of have been convicted and ordered to pay fines and legal costs of more than £17,000 following a trial in East Anglia. The offences were all related to the management of the HMO.
The Ipswich council established that the property was unlicensed and lacked adequate safety precautions including poor alarm system and no fire doors. The council investigation also revealed that the property was in overall poor condition with a damaged kitchen floor, a missing baluster to the staircase and poorly managed garden.
The court returned guilty verdicts on all 9 charges under the Housing Act 2004, covering the failure to obtain the correct HMO licence and failing to protect residents’ health and safety.
A landlord in Swindon was fined almost £6,000 made up of fines, investigation and legal costs, for failing to license his property. The landlord admitted to wrongfully leasing out his property and pleaded guilty to the offense.
A council cabinet member said: “HMO licences ensure that the buildings are safe and suitable so, for example, that they meet the requirements for appropriate fire detection, adequate heating, washing facilities and amenities and remain well managed.”
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