From April 6th Landlords could be fined £30,000 without a court prosecution

From April 6th Landlords could be fined £30,000 without a court prosecution

8:58 AM, 21st March 2017, About 7 years ago 30

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Two Changes under the Housing and Planning act will come into force from April 6th with the widening of Rent Repayment Orders and new Fixed Penalty notices.

The concern is landlords could be fined £30,000 without a court prosecution, be made to repay rent without a prosecution, but still have to wait to evict while tenants may be in arrears or causing damage to the property.

Rent Repayment orders:

These can now be applied for under a more streamlined process for the following reasons

  • Failure to apply for a HMO licence
  • Breach of a local authority licence condition
  • Use of unlawful force to evict a tenant
  • Noncompliance of HMO management regulation
  • Breach of an HHSRS enforcement notice

Rent Repayment Orders are produced by the First Tier Tribunal on the application of a local authority or tenant against a landlord.

The Tribunal must have clear evidence that a landlord that one of the above conditions has occurred, but a landlord does not have to be prosecuted through the courts. Therefore, a local authority or tenant can request a Rent Repayment Order even though a landlord has not been prosecuted for any offence.

Fixed Penalties:

This gives Local authorities the power to apply fines of up to £30,000 for any offence under the Housing Act 2004 or one of the above without the need to prosecute.

A Landlord could be fined up to £30,000 for each offence if there are multiple, but they cannot all be for the maximum amount.

Landlords will have 28 days to appeal the fixed penalty which the Local authority will have to consider and then issue a final decision notice. Following this final decision notice landlords will then have a further 28 days to appeal to the first tier tribunal.

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Dr Rosalind Beck

9:15 AM, 21st March 2017, About 7 years ago

So the council is judge and jury. I wonder what legal expertise these council officials will have. Will they be QCs for example?


9:33 AM, 21st March 2017, About 7 years ago

Ros I like your sense of humour. My local council does not even have office space, staff are expected to work from home, there is no chance of a QC.
I fear that this is just another step towards state confiscation of assets.


9:36 AM, 21st March 2017, About 7 years ago

Looks like decent landlords can be caught by this .

We will be paying twice for rogue landlords one by all the legistration being brought in the hope it will deter rogue landlords. But as they operate under radar it will probably only affect the decent landlords
and two now they will try and sqeeze money out of any landlord to fill the council coffers due to cuts and then say its for helping to tackle the rogues.

And of course they offer no help to the landlord for all the trashed properties and rent arrears.

I think it will be like the police with speeding tickets and the council with parking tickets.

Dr Rosalind Beck

9:50 AM, 21st March 2017, About 7 years ago

Yes, Kathy. And also like tuition fees - if they can charge £30,000, why wouldn't they go for the maximum even for a trivial issue?


10:14 AM, 21st March 2017, About 7 years ago

In Scotland the First Tier Tribunal or whatever it is being called is part of the court system, so it has the power of the law behind it, only it is supposed to be faster, simpler, less costly and fairer than the current system. This remains to be seen of course. I don't know if it's different in England.

Chris Clare

10:32 AM, 21st March 2017, About 7 years ago

If you really want to have an idea how this will play out have a look at council run parking enforcement.

You only have to look at the amount of people that have to appeal that to understand how this process will be managed... badly I guess.

Peter Fredericks

10:42 AM, 21st March 2017, About 7 years ago

They can be judge jury AND executioner because our near worthless established political class has virtually no respect at all for our civil rights and we have very backward constitutional arrangements.

Jonathan Clarke

10:54 AM, 21st March 2017, About 7 years ago

Yes their legal training is lamentable . Their attitude is often uncompromising .And they are so often just plain wrong.

I had an HHSRS dispute with one official . They thought carbon monoxide detectors had to be in every property and insisted on an electrical report for a single let . Not required

Tried to also get me to spend about an extra 5K once on `nice to have` stuff but not `legally need to have` stuff. Wanted an upgraded kitchen - the old one was fine just not pretty . Their letter to me was clinical and worded in such a way that I should do it or enforcement action would be considered . They treat you as their subordinate and as guilty from the outset. A weaker inexperienced LL would have just rolled over and done it because they quoted a few Acts and Sections at me

One was removed from the case following a complaint by me and I discovered later she didn't even had the relevant qualification to do an HHSRS report just a vague working knowledge of what was needed. Then tried to cover up her inexperience rather just holding her hands up and saying sorry

They have a difficult job to do but their adversarial attitude rather than a collaborative one is a real barrier to working effectively with LL`s I find. Many just do not know how to handle the power that comes with their position. Some individuals within are great and I get on fine but as an organisation i fear they should have permanent L plates on their letterhead logo

Gary Dully

11:23 AM, 21st March 2017, About 7 years ago

So your 1 prosecution from bankruptcy and oblivion?

Why bother anymore?

Do you think that Councils take a balanced view with their powers?.

Its the equivalent of moving a single dog poo with a JCB bulldozer.


11:59 AM, 21st March 2017, About 7 years ago

Two things you can do to tackle this menace,
1. Get rid off all tenants and keep the property empty (as long as it hasn't got an outstanding mortgage)
2. Take to the streets, like the French do, and do a revolt at this stupid madness which is not less than perfect dictatorship.

You saw how the chancellor reversed the hike on self employed NIC,

We need a mini Brexit within Brexit to get rid of the most unfair law, like what Mr Trump is doing in America, repealing hundreds of stupid laws, and he will be sending all coal miners back to the pits, which is a great news really!
So I think time is getting ever so closer to us taking it out on to the streets.

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