Published: Friday, 23rd November 2018
We are calling on landlords and tenants to get clued up on rental regulations - or risk losing out.
One landlord has just received a £15,000 fine - our first civil penalty notice of its kind - after failing to register their property as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) with us. At the same time, two of the property's tenants got back almost £2,500 in rent after being helped by us.
The tenants made a successful application for a rent repayment order (RRO) for £2,460. If the landlord does not pay the £15,000 HMO fine, we can recover the money through the courts, which could mean the landlord losing their property. We have also helped two tenants of another property operated by the same company recoup £1,525 in rent plus £300 costs.
Cllr Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Integrated Enforcement said: "We have brought a very undesirable and unprofessional landlord, who caused stress to tenants' lives for a year, to task.
"However, at the end of the day, it’s better for landlords and letting agents to work with us and cheaper to licence a HMO than pay fines which could total £30,000. So we advise them to get in touch to ensure that they are on the right side of the law."
Tenants who feel harassed or threatened with eviction should get in touch with our tenancy relations officer, not only to ensure that they keep a roof over their heads, but that their home is licensed and fit to live in.
Cllr Smith said: "One tenant who rented through a letting agency wrote to thank us for helping her and her partner when they were feeling powerless and distressed as they were living in terrible conditions. With our guidance and support they are now applying for a rent replacement order."