Humber Landlords Association lose High Court battle

by Property 118

10:42 AM, 13th March 2019
About 2 months 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”



6:45 AM, 14th March 2019
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris Daniel at 13/03/2019 - 20:35
I agree, if had property in Hull, I would evict, sell up and by elsewhere, private landlords are not a cash cow to keep milking.

Mick Roberts

8:27 AM, 14th March 2019
About 2 months ago

What this will do, providing the demand is there in Hull, Landlords will eventually evict the tenant, do the house up, & only pick the most squeakiest clean full deposit paid tenant going forward, those that don't wreck houses one bit.
Again another policy which may be seen as helping the tenant to start with (without giving the Landlord a chance to respond), but alienates more less desirable vulnerable tenants going forward. They socially cleansing them at the chance of a short term income.
Hear Hear Dave Richmond, let us hear your side of the story. Yes u r allowed a side of story, unlike many Landlords that are deemed Guilty Naughty Rogue Landlord without knowing his side of the story.
Eh & if u saying bad Landlord left this mess boiler not working this & that, we all behind u.
But then please explain innocent Landlord going forward knows nothing about a repair the tenant has asked him & he gets a whopping £250 bill for what may take the council 15 mins to inspect. I can buy a house with a 5 min viewing, so I'm sure a repair inspection don't cost £250.
And where did u pluck this £250 from anyway? If it was something like what it cost £50, we'd all might say Fair cop & the Landlords who ain't quick at repairs may up their game. But £250, they gonna' be saying I'm out of here. Which is what's happening in Nottingham with Landlords are just saying Had enough, I'm gone. And those tenants without £1500 to go to Letting Agent are stuffed. I wish mine would leave me (in the nicest way), so I can slow down, but because of Council & Govt Universal Credit policies, they just can't get anywhere. No Landlord is taking this lower end of market tenants any more. That's what u will do Hull.

Rob Crawford

9:00 AM, 14th March 2019
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dave Richmond at 13/03/2019 - 14:25
Still waiting for Hull Councils clarification on where their policy has been misrepresented on this forum Dave!

Luke P

9:16 AM, 14th March 2019
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 14/03/2019 - 09:00
I imagine any reply or statement will be wishy washy, political nothingness that doesn't really address their snake-like behaviour on the ground and something like...

"Hull City Council strives for the highest standards within the PRS. Part of our duty in protecting tenants is to identify and deal with HHSRS hazards. We reference Central Government guidance in consideration with the autonomy of local authorities to create procedures that best support the provision of housing in their individual boroughs. Hull is no exception and will continue to work with the tenants and the PRS to increase property safety and standards."

There is an assumption that LLs will both always be there and always continue to let their properties regardless of what is thrown at them.

Chris Daniel

9:54 AM, 14th March 2019
About 2 months ago

Hull Private Landlords - be more choosy - leave the Dross for the Local authority to handle. ( it'll cost them a lot more than £250 ! '-)

Rob Crawford

9:59 AM, 14th March 2019
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 14/03/2019 - 09:16
Hi Luke, yes. You missed the bit, "we value the service that landlords provide ..... etc etc" !

Dave Richmond

10:23 AM, 14th March 2019
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 14/03/2019 - 09:00
Hull is not saying we will always issue formal enforcement notices, not is it saying it will come with a fee of £250. Unfortunately the HLA persist in misunderstanding and misrepresenting the policy. For a proper understanding you may wish to follow this link :

Luke P

10:38 AM, 14th March 2019
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dave Richmond at 14/03/2019 - 10:23
I very nearly referenced Giles Peaker as an example, but felt it unfair as he wasn't really part of the debate. Giles is a clever man, but just a theory man. How things are on the ground, in reality, are very different that what is intended. For a start, council bods believe all LLs are bad, which doesn't exactly start relations on the best foot. Secondly, they have a superiority complex (not confined to just Hull), whereby they think they are always right and LLs should not question them. One particular row I recall with NELC was around fire doors (that weren't necessary), but they tried to stick to their guns hoping I would just 'do as I was told'. They even tried begging saying in the grand scheme of things it was only a few quid, but what they were missing was that I have a few hundred properties and it is purely a commercial decision. I don't argue with the council to be difficult, but if I am not required to put a fire door on somewhere they are incorrectly requesting, then of course I'm going to fight it because to do so across the whole portfolio would run to thousands, probably even tens of thousands. Start being better.

Mark Alexander

10:39 AM, 14th March 2019
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dave Richmond at 14/03/2019 - 10:23
Hi Dave

As an outsider looking in, it appears to me the problem is more of a trust issue.

What is more important to the Council, fixing the trust issue with landlords or ploughing on with the scheme which is the route cause of this mistrust and the consequences of doing that, which have been made very clear by many landlords on this discussion thread?

Mark Alexander

10:40 AM, 14th March 2019
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dave Richmond at 14/03/2019 - 10:23
PS - if I did have any properties in Hull I would be looking at an exit strategy too, for the same reasons as all other landlords in Hull.

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