Friday, November 21, 2008

HMO licensing – tenants entitled to rent refund

I was interested to read the report here about a landlord in Liverpool who was convicted of operating a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) without a license, and fined £3,000 plus costs. The Council then wrote to all his tenants, who successfully claimed back a part of their rent.

The rent refund application must be made to the Residential Property Tribunal (RPT) who can order the landlord to pay back up to 12 months rent to his tenants. In this case the RPT ordered the landlord to refund three months rent. This totalled £3,900, so in total this landlords failure to obtain a license for his property has cost him over £7,000 (if the costs order is taken into account).

Tenants wanting to make a similar application will find a pdf giving guidance and other information linked from the right hand margin of this page on my web-site www.landlordlaw.co.uk.

Landlords who are worried that their property might need a license, should contact their Local Authority asap. For contact details see the Landlord-Law Local Authority Directory.

Note that we are still compiling our list of HMO licence fees charged by different Local Authorities.

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2 comments:

valerie said...

My 20 year old son rented a purpose built flat with a friend. After 3 months they realised that the bedrooms were infested with bed bugs. The contractor who was sent by the Letting Agency said they had definitely been there before my son started the tenancy. Although the Letting Agency have let him out of the lease one month early and refunded his deposit in full(I should think so!!). I feel that they are fobbing him off about getting part of his rent refunded. Both lads ended up sleeping in the living room for months. He also had to throw away an expensive duvet, speakers & a computer chair. He doesn't want me to get involved with the Letting Agency. Can anyone point him in the right direction to getting some money back? Many thanks

Tessa Shepperson said...

Your son won't be able to use the procedure described in this post. However he will be entitled to at least some compensation.

It may be that a local firm of solicitors will be prepared to take the case on, on a 'no win no fee' basis. You will want a firm that does landlord and tenant/housing work. Many firms do an initial free interview where you can talk to them about it. Its worth a try!