From April 6th Landlords could be fined £30,000 without a court prosecutionMake Text Bigger
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.
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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