Humber Landlords Association lose High Court battle

by Property 118

10:42 AM, 13th March 2019
About A week ago

Humber Landlords Association lose High Court battle

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Humber Landlords Association lose High Court battle

The Humber Landlords’ Association (HLA) supported by the RLA and NLA has unfortunately lost its High Court battle with Hull City Council.

Hull City Council is the only authority in the UK to implement a policy scrapping an informal improvement notice procedure, replacing it with a formal notice which means that should a tenant report an issue at their property, the landlord will immediately be charged a minimum fee of around £250, for minor issues which would usually be managed quickly and easily.

Before the case was heard, Danny Gough, HLA chairman said: “The reasons given by the council for this change, which ignores national guidance applicable to all types of enforcement action by councils, is to protect tenants from eviction in retaliation for them requesting repairs.

“The council produced no evidence to justify their claim that this is a problem in Hull. They do not even keep records of cases where this happens. In any case, HLA told the council that if there are real concerns in a particular case that a landlord might evict a tenant, then taking formal enforcement action is appropriate.

“Penalising responsible landlords is bad practice on the part of the council. Trying to generate a fee income hurts the tenants of responsible landlords. Inevitably the cost is passed on as part of the rent or money that will now have to go to the council, could be spent on improving properties in the city.”

Hull Council’s portfolio holder neighbourhoods and housing, Cllr John Black, said: “We see the misery caused on a daily basis by bad landlords. Inadequate housing conditions have a huge impact on the health of families and children living in this city.

“Whilst the vast majority of private landlords provide good quality properties that are safe, legal and decent we have a duty to protect residents from those that do not and welcome that the High Court has today ruled in our favour to enable us to do this.”

Click Here to see the original article “Humber Landlords’ Association taking Hull City Council to the High Court”



Comments

Rob Crawford

11:04 AM, 13th March 2019
About A week ago

I need to get this straight. Does the landlord get any warning whatsoever before or after the tenant complains? Most LA's would expect the tenant to have reported the issue in writing to the landlord with time to address the issue before escalation to the LA? Also, what sort of issue magnitude are we discussing here?

Luke P

11:35 AM, 13th March 2019
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 13/03/2019 - 11:04No. If the council have cause to inspect (providing the tenant is compliant), they will make the inspection. If they find a hazard, whether Cat. 1 or 2 and whether it was part of the reason they were initially making the inspection or not, they will make the charge - usually £300. It is in stark contrast to what was, until relatively recently, a good working relationship with Hull City Council and against central government's guidelines. Expect other local authorities to now follow suit.

Rob Crawford

11:44 AM, 13th March 2019
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 13/03/2019 - 11:35
Yes, bad precedence to make. I met HSide team at the Axe the Tenant Tax conference. Good guys. I hope the National LL Associations help with funding an appeal!

Luke P

12:38 PM, 13th March 2019
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 13/03/2019 - 11:44
We have dug deep to fund the JR and will soon be launching a CrowdFunder page for any (very welcome) donations towards the appeal.

Larry Sweeney

12:51 PM, 13th March 2019
About A week ago

Hi Luke.
If it is going to appeal, which it should ,the Alliance would like to make a contribution. The regulatory regime is crazy. We have a house full of idiots who cannot sort Brexit, and pen pushers in councils making it impossible to do business. The UK is in a sorry state.

Neil Patterson

13:48 PM, 13th March 2019
About A week ago

Hi Luke,

Let us know when the crowdfunder page is up 🙂

Dave Richmond

14:25 PM, 13th March 2019
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 13/03/2019 - 11:35
Unfortunately this article along with last August's article significantly misrepresents the policy of Hull City Council, and perhaps therein tests part of the reason the HLA lost this case. If property118 wishes to contact the council we will give you a proper interpretation of the policy. Best wishes Dave

Dave Richmond

14:27 PM, 13th March 2019
About A week ago

I think you will find that the HLAs request to have a right of appeal against the judgement was also dismissed in the High Court.

Mark Alexander

16:22 PM, 13th March 2019
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Dave Richmond at 13/03/2019 - 14:25
Clearly you already have the 'right of reply' because you have used it by posting your comment. Rather than waiting to Property118 to contact you, why not issue a statement in this comments section?

Chris Daniel

20:35 PM, 13th March 2019
About A week ago

Going to be more vulnerable households turning to Hull Council for Housing because Landlords won't want to take a chance on them.
For every Action there is a reaction.
I hope it comes back to bite Hull CC in the ar*e
HLA need to reciprocate, No more housing vulnerable tenants from the emergency list, no 'so-called "Paper" bonds etc etc.

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