Can a council behave in this way?

Can a council behave in this way?

15:54 PM, 16th June 2021, About 2 years ago 5

Text Size

An HMO licence application was submitted on 29th May 2020 on behalf of our landlord client and the 1st instalment of the licencing fee – £750 was paid.

On 5th January 2021, the tenants surrendered their tenancy and returned keys. To deal with the unwelcome void period, the landlord decided to let for a period of 1 year to a single family whose position was uncertain until they could get their situation back on track.

When the council inspected, they found the occupants to be a single family and immediately said that the wrong licence had been applied for. They said they intend to revoke the HMO application, keep the £750 already paid (no refund possible they say) and now insist on a brand-new application for a Selective Licence.

But when the family moves out in January 2022 and the property then reverts back to HMO use, they will revoke the Selective licence, keep the licence fee once again and then insist on payment of another £1500 for a new HMO licence.

That surely cannot be right. Can a council behave in this way?


Share This Article



17:03 PM, 16th June 2021, About 2 years ago

it clearly is not right and you should be able to provide evidence of all of this to them to show what you have explained. All seems viable to me. BUT Beware though they disregard most things so be prepared for a fight as they seem to make up their own rules about everything.
If in doubt raise an official complaint etc listing all this and asking for a response as soon as . That way it is on record as you asking for all this to be clarified but they wasted the time in getting back to you if they delay replying.

Bristol Landlord

20:17 PM, 16th June 2021, About 2 years ago

Their behaviour is unconscionable and possibly illegal, you may need to see a solicitor.
Also should think about a complaint to the local government Ombudsman. To do that you first need to go through the Council’s entire complaints procedure and assuming they don’t correct the situation you can then complain to the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman have a very strict procedure in that you need to make your complaint to them within 12 months of “first noticing the problem” and having exhausted the council complaint procedure, so you need to start soon as the clock is ticking.
Can you tell us which Council this is?

Des Taylor & Phil Turtle, Landlord Licensing & Defence

9:58 AM, 17th June 2021, About 2 years ago

Hello Jonathan.
It will depend on the council’s policies but this sounds like their usual bully-boy tactics when they often over-ride their own policies and the law. Please contact us at Landlord Licensing & Defence with the details (including the offending council details) and we can advise if there is a possibility to successfully contest thus nonsense.

Also, I don’t know if your property is in an Article 4 direction area as if so you may have jeopardised your c4 planning status - we can also assist on that if so.

Contact us via:


11:38 AM, 17th June 2021, About 2 years ago

Its like saying if you qualified as an HGV driver you can no longer drive cars! PATHETIC excuse! clearly the council is bent on milking Landlords.It is usually the other way around where a car drivers license cannot qualify for driving an HGV.

I remember discussing this very issue with my local council when they asked me to get a property license, I asked them which type of license should I get, a Selective License or an HMO Additional, the council official I spoke to seem to agree that if I get the more expensive HMO license then I could have a choice to house a family as well as unrelated occupiers, you have not committed a crime so I would challenge their irrational decision. The officer I spoke to said it was up to me which type of license I need but agreed that an HMO license would also cover a single household as long as maximum number of permitted people do not exceed the number permitted on the license.


12:19 PM, 17th June 2021, About 2 years ago

...and another reason why I left the HMO sector completely....
at the mercy of some idiot working for a non accountable public funded 'service' which you are helping house their own clients (that they cannot)

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now