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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17:44 PM, 21st March 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Appalled Landlord" at "21/03/2017 - 16:25":

Sorry appalled Landlord

Just read your post and see I drew the same opinion.

Jamie M

17:45 PM, 21st March 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dr Rosalind Beck" at "21/03/2017 - 17:38":

Keep you informed Ros

Tobias Nightingale

19:03 PM, 21st March 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jamie Moodie" at "21/03/2017 - 17:35":

I recomend you mention to Paul that the majority of evictions are also done by social landlords. You should also mention social landlords (HA) do not even pay tax while they grab 2/3rd of the housing benefit(normally people think its private taking it all) ALso you should lay out how many regulations there are such as HMO licencing is required over a certain amount just by virtue people are unrelated oppose to a household with more people no licence is required if they are related. You could also say most LL would be happy to have longer tenancies if it was easier to evict for arrears or damage. As at present even if they are wrecking a property you have to go through the long process of eviction. More LL would accept benefit claimants if that was cleared up.

Keep me posted also.

Jamie M

21:26 PM, 21st March 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Tobias Nightingale" at "21/03/2017 - 19:03":

I will try to cover all the bases


0:03 AM, 22nd March 2017, About 7 years ago

Well said Tobias, take an example, in an HMO they require an FD30 half hour Fire Door between Kitchen and the rest of the dwelling, so does that mean the life of HMO tenants is far more important than those of non-HMO tenants? and generally speaking is the life of Tenants more valuable than those of families owning their own homes where no such restrictions are imposed, or mandatory, like smoke detectors, etc, everyone's life is valuable....and big fines like £30,000 is definitely madness, they think landlords are multinational companies. Stupidity at its best is all our MPs can deliver!

Tobias Nightingale

9:37 AM, 22nd March 2017, About 7 years ago

Plus it is not even a legal requirment for social landlords to have smoke detectors!! But I do find the HMO licence onerous to say the least. I mean for starters HMO's are cheaper than flats but do they compel flats to get a licence? Nope, but lets make providers of cheaper accommodation get a stupid licence. Plus you could in theory have a household of 3 (, 4 grown up kids working, and 2 parents of the kids also working) but not have to any such HMO requirement yet to the outside eye it would be indivisible to a HMO.


8:52 AM, 25th March 2017, About 7 years ago

The Council or whatever will have exactly the same quality of qualification as Liz Truss MP has to be Lord Chancellor. The kids have the keys to the playground.

Dr Rosalind Beck

9:04 AM, 25th March 2017, About 7 years ago

There's a discussion of this on the HMO FB page in case anyone is interested. Personally, I am very sceptical about reassurances that other landlords and landlord organisations are giving. Since when was it the job of decent landlords to help the Government and councils introduce new draconian legislation allegedly aimed at rogue landlords but quite capable of catching loads of innocent (and certainly not 'criminal') landlords in its net? We should be campaigning to protect our sector.

Philip Savva

10:32 AM, 25th March 2017, About 7 years ago

Outrageous, it's getting worse, it's just another farce for the council & government to squeeze more money out hardworking, tax paying landlords!

Michael Barnes

12:47 PM, 25th March 2017, About 7 years ago

Whilst councils do not have to "prosecute", they still have to get it past a court (First Tier Tribunal), unless the landlord decides not to appeal as per the process laid down in the legislation (or "rolls over" as some here might put it).

I suggest that one reads the post by Ben Reeve-Lewis on The Landlord Law Blog at AND particularly the associated comments to get an enforcement officer's view of things and why they are extremely unlikely to go down this route unless they are sure it will stand up in court (Tribunal has to be sure beyond a reasonable doubt - criminal law standard).

This is available only for breaches of law that could be prosecuted, so it only affects naughty boys and girls, not law-abiding landlords.

It also means that guilty landlords can avoid prosecution (and a criminal record) by paying the imposed penalty.

The article at suggest that "this may make local authorities re-consider the value of licensing schemes as the new abilities to seek financial penalties may be more effective in tackling bad landlords", which would be good news for us 'good' landlords.

Also, see for what the Act actually says, for the statements that a penalty notice removes the ability to prosecute, and the offences for which the penalties may be applied.

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