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Council's civil penalty fine is slashed by First Tier Tribunal

Warwick district council has issued its first civil penalty to the landlord of an HMO.

Glenn Gamblin, the landlord of the property in Leamington Spa, received the penalty for failing to license his property as an HMO under new legislation and for breaching management regulations.

When council officers inspected the property it was generally of a high standard. 


However, they found that the means of escape from one of the bedrooms in the event of fire was unsatisfactory. In addition the landlord had failed to license the property following the extension of mandatory HMO licensing on October 1 last year. 

Initially the council issued a civil penalty for £6,500 but Gamblin made an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal; it determined that the offences were proven but took into account mitigating circumstances and revised the penalty to £4,500.

A council spokesperson says: “This case sends a clear message to all landlords that they must keep up to date with legislation which affects them. If a property is let to five or more sharers they must apply for an HMO license and ensure they have the appropriate certification to ensure the safety of their tenants.”

  • S l
    • S l
    • 25 July 2019 07:34 AM

    5 or more to warrant a hmo licence? In Avon, the council loves their money and power and if you have more than 2, wham, here they comes

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    Do the same rules apply to the council as an HMO LL?

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    • 25 July 2019 09:21 AM

    Easy response is to reduce sharers to 4.
    However a guest may be permitted under certain circumstances.
    That means the guest can have no connection with the address.
    Now it maybe that the 'guest' happens to be the same person as the Fifth sharer.
    It maybe that the 'guest' chooses to pay the other sharers for the guest facilities.
    Obviously the LL will permit guests which do not have to be in a HMO Licence size room.
    So a new AST will be required with the former sharer having to sign a surrender document.
    I believe there are other types of occupant which would mean a property is not an Mandatory Licensed HMO if there are 5 or more occupiers.
    Now if the former Fifth tenant doesn't want to play the game then they will have to permanently vacate and not even stay as a guest.
    The LL would just have to increase the rent by Fourth for the existing tenants which may be done when the new AST is produced.
    With many of the new Mandatory HMO compliant properties failing to meet the new regulations it won't be easy for the tenants to move to another shared property.
    There have been very few 4 bed HMO so it will just mean the non-compliant fifth bedroom can't be used so tenants will be effectively paying for its non-use.
    It will mean a rent increase for each of the remaining 4 occupiers of about £150pcm!
    I'm sure the remaining tenants will be delighted to be paying for an empty room which used to be let saving them £150pcm each in rent!!
    Very few LL would be prepared to accept the same rent each from 4 occupiers with no rent from a now absent Fifth occupier.
    The viability of many of these properties will be called into question.
    It should be the case that only self-managing LL might chance it as I'm sure no LA would let a property when it should have an HMO licence and actually DOESN'T!!!?


    There you go again encouraging fraud. What planet are you from PB. Get your act together properly.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Mmm, - risky
    I think if you 'constructed' that from the start and tenants 'played ball' it might work, - But
    Get a disgrunted tenant who either spills the beans to the L.A, or Claims a RRO and landlord could be in trouble.

    • 25 July 2019 16:04 PM

    Providing a 'guest' has no connection to the property there is no linkage between the LL and the 'guest'
    All and any financial transactions occur between occupiers and the guest.
    The tenants are just charged s fourth extra.
    LL are required to allow guests.
    Obviously the easiest solution is to lock up the 5th bedroom.
    Not sure if this would be viable.
    Prices of 5 bed properties will decline as few LL will want them anymore.
    4 bed properties will be in much demand.

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    • 26 July 2019 23:46 PM

    @ Paul Robinson
    The information I have given is available in the public domain from official Govt sources.
    Are you suggesting that Govt is encouraging fraud!?
    It is only if the Govt parameters are exceeded that fraud may then occur.
    If someone wishes to exceed those parameters then that is their lookout.
    You must understand that disseminating correct information is not fraud.
    However where such information is used to effectively game the system then fraud does occur.
    But it first has to be detected.
    There are millions of fraudulent tenancies where LL game the system.
    Making publicly available information on this site is hardly encouraging fraud!
    In the example I quote there is nothing to stop an investigator sitting outside a property to detect whether a 'guest' is not exceeding the Govt parameters of a 'guest' situation.
    There are other types of occupier which would also mean a LL is not breaching the new Mandatory HMO Licensing requirements.
    Before you start bandying round accusations of encouraging fraud you really should research the subject as clearly by your responses you haven't a clue what you are talking about!


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