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Private tenants urged to check if they can get a rent rebate

A London council is telling its private rental sector residents to use a new tool to check whether they may be entitled to a rent rebate.

Westminster says its ‘checker’ is designed to help the council identify rogue landlords who are letting unlicensed Houses in Multiple Occupancy. 

If residents find they are living in an unlicensed HMO, they could be entitled to a rent repayment of up to 12 months’ rent. 


If they give consent, tenants who use the checker and find they could be living in an unlicensed property will be contacted by the council to discuss their case. 

The authority says: “If we believe they may be entitled to apply for a Rent Repayment Order, tenants will be put in contact with the Safer Renting organisation, who will guide them through the process of applying to the Property Tribunal for an RRO.”

The checker has been created to support a council task force which comprises trading standards, city inspectors and environmental health officers.

The council says it was set up to protect vulnerable residents by investigating landlords and letting agents who flout the rules or provide tenants with sub-standard homes. 

A spokeswoman says: “Our goal is to make Westminster a place where high quality housing is available to all. A good home is at the centre of people's lives and we hope this new online tool will help tenants to be aware of their rights and check whether their landlords are abiding by the rules.

“We would encourage all landlords letting homes of multiple occupation to ensure they are being responsible and meeting their full legal obligations or face the consequences.”

  • girish mehta

    Council get their property to same standard as PRS,Let’s see how many RRO Order are them issued to social sector . What standard was Grenfell Came under when hundreds of people got homeless and 90 people got killed and still waiting for justice.
    No one in private sector as far as o am aware has suffered that scale in recent years. And the councillor were profiting and lining their pockets.

    The council needs to get their house in order and not concentrate on hounding landlords to make money for themselves and ask talents to do their dirty work.
    If they did their job correctly then they should know what is going in their back yard

    On other money grabbing scheme for council and tenants.
    Would love to see landlords pull out of unprofitable hmo and make people homeless.ans spend millions on rehousing one hotels.
    And come back begging landloards to help them take these people in to reduce their budgets.
    All of these rules is designed for short term policies for the jobs worth and scheming the system

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    • 27 August 2020 08:42 AM

    So in a case of Additional Licensing.
    The LL lets to a couple and 1 unrelated person.
    So no licence required.
    The property has 3 bedrooms.
    Then after a domestic tiff the couple separate using the 3rd bedroom.
    They don't advise the LL that they are now 3 unrelated tenants.
    They then advise the Council that they are now 3 unrelated occupants.
    No licence so the occupants claim rent repayment for as many months as the household has been 3 people.

    How is the LL supposed to know when relationship breakdown occurs which will need Additional licencing?


    They want Private Landlords to fix their rented ex council homes ( on leasehold) to a very high standard which is good but only benefits the council yet Council homes in disgusting conditions, over crowded and unsafe, to an extent that the flats don't even require a mandatory hard wired smoke alarm fitted.

    why don't all the private landlords get together and challenge this rogue councils ( spent supposedly £10m on Glenfell Tower yet innocent lives were lost and nothing happened to them, head of council should have been charged for manslaughter and for money laundering.

    Mark Wilson

    It always strikes as down right wrong in the first place that ex local authority properties are sub let by private landlords.


    Councils are staffed by people completely inept at business. They have no skin in the game and are playing with multimillion pound budgets of money that’s not their own, usually through the eyes of jealousy of those that have done for themselves. They couldn’t manage not afford council housing, which is why it was sold off/passed to business partners.

    Serge Ali

    Absolutely disgusting that the council is doing this. Most landlords are good and adear to the rules. This is a clear example of the council passing the buck. While their housing stock is in tatters and the state of the accommodation is in poor condition. Just want landlords to pick up the bills while they them selves get away with it. 😡😡😡

  • icon

    Councils staffed by people that can’t cut it in a normal business or corporate driven by the politics of envy

  • icon
    • 27 August 2020 20:00 PM


    So yet another idiotic comment from you.

    So let us take apart how ridiculous your comment is.

    Firstly we come to the situation where Council Housing was even available for RTB.

    Now perhaps we might agree on this that Council Housing should NEVER have been available at discounted prices to tenants.
    It was outrageous that feckless council tenants as most of them are were able to receive for free massive amounts of taxpayer monies to be able to buy their Council property substantially BMV.

    I have no objection to any numbers of Council housing being sold off providing it is at FULL MARKET VALUE and that ALL sale proceeds are reinvested in social housing though NOT necessarily in the same area of the properties that have been sold.

    Now we come to your ridiculous contention that LL are sub-letting ex-council housing.

    For a start it isn't possible to sub-let council housing

    To do so is a criminal offence.

    Though of course many Council TENANTS do illegally sub-let their properties

    So now we come to the issue that you are highlighting.
    Your contention that LL should not be letting former council properties.

    Now I'm sure you are aware of this but it is NOT possible apart from CP for an owner to be forced to sell a property to another.

    So we have about 2 million former council tenants who took advantage of RTB legislation.

    The properties were then the now owners to do with as they wished.
    Many decided to sell them.

    These sales were on the open market.
    At no time were such sales restricted to those that weren't LL.
    As such LL competed on the open market with other potential buyers.
    Many LL became successful in buying these properties.
    The vendors could have chosen not to sell to LL.

    The fact that many former council properties are now owned and let out by LL is no fault of the LL.

    They didn't force the former owners to sell to them.
    LL aren't to blame for buying former council properties.
    If they weren't put up for sale then LL wouldn't have the opportunity to buy them.

    Perhaps the RTB legislation should have included covenants that precluded such properties ever being let out to tenants.
    That wouldn't be unreasonable and would ensure that the original intention of RTB essentially for OO would be maintained.

    Such a covenant would surely have a material effect on the property value.
    But that is not the point.
    It should be the case that no RTB is allowed to be let out.
    But we are where we are.
    Personally I contend that RTB should be banned unless at full market value.

    But you really need to withdraw your ridiculous comment that LL are sub-letting council properties.


    Paul, we should all know by know that Mark Wilson only comes on here to make silly comments and attack landlords. At what point does a property stop being ex-LA? I bought one such property many years ago from the bformer tenant who npurchased it from the LA. I lived in it for three years and objected when the agent described it as ex-LA. I told them that if they wanted to be technically correct it waas ex-ex-LA.

    Conversely my parents and I moved into a council house in 1954 when it was newly built. They exercised their Right to Buy in early 1980s and lived there until their deaths in 2010 and 2012. I then rented it out after refurbishing it. No doubt MW would like me to have sold it back to the council for what they paid for it.


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