Councils using ‘Intelligence’ to track down low EPC properties and fine £5,00015:08 PM, 29th March 2021
About 2 weeks ago 36
Dear All, I have a HMO and I have complied with all regulations including Smoke Alarms, Fire Doors, Fire Extinguishers etc and I have completed Fire Risk Assessment. Based on Fire Risk assessment all minor actions have been dealt with. Accordingly, I have EICR, Gas Safety, Floor Plans, EPC in place.
In total, I have 4 Rooms and 2 Self Contained units. Currently, 2 of the rooms are vacant hence currently 2 rooms and 2 self-contained occupied. I was at the verge of applying for Licence and lady living in one of Self Contained units have been very obstructive with access, and we had several disagreements via emails, and she threatened to report for Unlicensed HMO.
I have received a letter from Council stating that I am running an Unlicensed HMO for which I could be fined up to £30000, and they have stated that they will be visiting the property on 1st Of October to ascertain any safety hazards. In addition, they have stated that if I do not apply for a licence by 20th Of October then they will proceed with the next level of investigation.
My questions are:
-Would I still be penalised, even if I make an application before his visit on 1st Of October and there are no hazards found?
-Only 2 of Rooms are occupied and 2 are vacant whilst 2 of Self contained units are occupied therefore in total 4 rooms including Self Contained units are currently LET. As I understand it is 5 rooms which qualify for mandatory licensing?
Do Self studios which form part of the same house still account towards the number of rooms as they have their own facilities?
I am somewhat confused with their contradiction as one hand they are inviting me to apply for a licence by a certain date and on other hand, they are threatening to impose a penalty. Any input will be greatly appreciated.
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