Humber Landlords’ Association taking Hull City Council to the High Court

by Property118.com News Team

10:56 AM, 22nd August 2018
About 3 months ago

Humber Landlords’ Association taking Hull City Council to the High Court

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Humber Landlords’ Association taking Hull City Council to the High Court

A new policy from Hull City Council will affect landlords’ operations and could spark a homeless crisis through repossessions and significant rent increases in any of Hull’s twenty-six thousand rental properties.

The Humber Landlords’ Association (HLA) is taking Hull City Council to the High Court with support from two national associations – the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and National Landlords Association (NLA). Legal experts have been instructed and confirm this policy change undertaken by Hull City Council is illegal.

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.

The HLA has consulted with both the RLA and NLA who have confirmed Hull Council will be the first local authority to go against government guidance and both national associations share the HLA’s fear that this policy could put at risk both tenants and landlords in Hull.

Danny Gough, Chair of the Humber Landlords’ Association (North Bank) says:

“The HLA is concerned for tenants who risk losing their homes due to this policy change set out in Hull City Council’s proposal.”

“The most concerning aspect is at least sixty-five per cent of landlords in Hull are governed by the banks with mortgages on their properties. Many of these banks are looking for any reason to increase lending rates and to protect their assets. Receiving a formal notice could trigger concern for the banks who can, in-turn recall the loans, forcing landlords to sell their property portfolio, making tenants homeless.”

“Following discussions, Hull City Council is refusing to recognise any other local or national accreditation scheme. Instead offering landlords a way to avoid formal enforcement notices by joining an exclusive Council-run accreditation scheme called HALS. It requires landlords to pay an annual fee and they must also enhance safety measures in their rental properties beyond the legally required standard – in-line with Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO). This will include: full re-wiring of older properties, mains powered smoke alarms, escape windows and fire protection between each floor. Not only will this cause major upheaval for tenants living in the properties while improvements are carried out, it will also create costs starting at £2,000 per property, which could increase rents.”

“The HLA fully understands that Hull City Council aims to protect tenancies but it already has powers to prosecute rogue landlords and agrees that any landlord failing to manage their property correctly should be dealt with accordingly.”

“The Government has given ALL local authorities powers to issue private landlords with penalty charge notices of up to £30,000. This assures tenants that if their landlord is not fit and proper, they can be dealt with by the local authority quickly and easily.”

“We feel that Hull City Council is simply looking to raise revenue rather than to protect the tenants and we have sent several Freedom of Information requests asking about this policy change. Unfortunately to date, no sensible reason has been supplied.”

“The HLA is urging Hull City Council to allow other professional organisations to be allowed the same exception as the landlord registered under the HALS scheme, but our request has been denied. This means professional landlords who provide good quality properties that are safe, legal and decent will be treated in the same way as the small minority of rogue landlords.”

“Our Barrister is preparing paperwork for the Judicial Review and has confirmed this policy change undertaken by Hull City Council is illegal and against government guidance. This means that the only way to stop this policy change is to take it to the High Court. The HLA has the full support from the RLA and NLA and we are prepared to pay the costs of up to £100,000 to fight this case. Hull City Council has confirmed the Judicial Review will be defended and they are prepared to waste tax payers’ money. When Hull City Council lose this case, they could incur costs of around £60,000 and will need to re pay the HLA for its legal representatives of a similar amount.”

For further information, please visit:

 Humber Landlords Association – http://www.greatmovehull.co.uk/landlords.php

 Hull City Council – http://www.hull.gov.uk/business/private-landlords



Comments

AA

20:57 PM, 22nd August 2018
About 3 months ago

Now this is an example of insanity personified. Abuse of governance if there ever was a case. In times past I would have said it can never happen - then s24 happened, and now I am not so sure. Local government watched central government fleece landlords - so its only natural they would follow suit.

Andy

21:22 PM, 22nd August 2018
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by AA at 22/08/2018 - 20:57
Too right If Hull Council win this case it will not be long before other councils follow suite

It must be stopped in Hull because the consequences of this madness being copied throughout the country will do significant damage to a sector already under significant duress

It must be wrong in law and common sense to be penalised when you might have absolutely no idea what's wrong with your house . Some tenants do go straight to the council EH dept and some tenants are vindictive enought to create hazards especially if they know it will mean their landlord will be fined

Hazards / repairs do occur . Its just a fact of life . Properties do deteriorate . It's wholly wrong to make repairs an absolute offence . You must be aware of them and you must be given an opportunity to put them right . Of course if you don't you deserve to be penalised .

Paul Shears

21:44 PM, 22nd August 2018
About 3 months ago

I was watching a lecture earlier today wherein Jordan Peterson stated that there is well established scientific research which concludes that anyone with an IQ below 84 simply cannot function in a first world country as it is simply to difficult for them to cope with everyday complexity. Such people are a net burden on any establishment. The American military reject applicants on the same basis.
10% of people are below this.
The public sector in the UK is larger than any private company here.

Andy

22:03 PM, 22nd August 2018
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Shears at 22/08/2018 - 21:44
When one considers that 1 in 4 work for the state and 1 in 4 are reliant on Benifits from it that's a scary thought

Going back to Hull the real issue is that the Housing act that imposes a duty on requiring councils to issue notices on Cat 1 hazards is wrong . Every one knows that but it's never been dealt with . In fact even councils know it's wrong hence they have never ever done it. Hull are the only council in the country trying this on to help fill a financial black hole . If flies in the face off all ministerial guidance and all natural concepts of justice . You must know what the problem is and be given time to put it right. Manageing a deteriorating assett like property is not like driving a car in excess of the speeding limit

Luke P

23:07 PM, 22nd August 2018
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Andy at 22/08/2018 - 22:03
Does anyone know if, when they lose, Hull CC will have to pay costs from their own budget or will Central Funds foot the bill of this?

Andy

23:19 PM, 22nd August 2018
About 3 months ago

Their own budget. But are they bothered. ?

It's not their personal money

It's just another ideological attack on the PRS by a socialist authority who see no value in the private sector

Mick Roberts

9:26 AM, 23rd August 2018
About 3 months ago

That's disgusting, what next.

Landlords will be selling in their droves, & Landlords won't be taking any less than perfect tenant.
Is Shelter listening? Another load of people not taking HB who by statistics, call out Env Health more. Note to with the fact that they wreck the house though.

It will increase rents, Selective Licensing in Nottingham Labour Council has increased rents.

Dr Rosalind Beck

9:46 AM, 23rd August 2018
About 3 months ago

I wonder how Humber Landlords Association is raising the funds for the case. I am sure many of us would like to contribute if they set up a funding page. It could be any of us next. In fact, well done to them for standing up to this abuse of power.

George Harrison

10:03 AM, 23rd August 2018
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dr Rosalind Beck at 23/08/2018 - 09:46
Are Hull City Council upgrading their own properties in line with this

Miascot

10:19 AM, 23rd August 2018
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by George Harrison at 23/08/2018 - 10:03
Different rules for council properties, surely this is discrimination!

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