The importance of Multiple Occupancy Licenses

HM Courts & Tribunals Service

Image: HM Courts & Tribunals Service

Following on from our post where a court imposed the maximum penalty over ‘minor’ omission of prescribed information we bring another story of where a landlord oversight has cost them a substantial sum of money.

A record rent repayment of £39,000 has been awarded to 6 students living in Camden after their landlord allowed them to live in an unlicensed House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO).

The Landlords were fined and ordered to pay costs by Highbury Magistrates’ Court following a prosecution by Camden Council.

Following the conviction, the students were entitled to apply to the Residential Property Tribunal Service (RPTS) for repayment of their rent.

The sum awarded to the students is believed to be the largest made by the RPTS to date. The London Rent Assessment Panel of the RPTS decided to award the 6 students £6,500 each to cover the rent paid during the 2011-12 academic year.

The students occupied a four-bedroom home, in Kentish Town, which was not designed to be let in multiple occupation. The landlord failed to apply for a HMO license, which is needed to ensure that the property had adequate safety provision.

Councillor Julian Fulbrook, cabinet councillor and member for housing, said: “This is a clear case where the landlord had no concern for his tenants’ safety, and his only thought was lining his pockets with rent from the students. Camden Council will use all our available powers to continue to crack down on unscrupulous landlords and make accommodation in Camden safer for tenants.”

This case is another example of how an oversight on the part of the landlord can end up costing thousands. The issue in this case is a problem that a reputable agency would not have allowed to happen before letting out the property. Self managing investment property may seem like the cheapest option but it can turn out to not be that cheerful.

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