Westminster online tool encouraging HMO tenants to claim Rent Repayment Orders!

by Phil Turtle, Landlord Licensing & Defence

9:10 AM, 27th August 2020
About a month ago

Westminster online tool encouraging HMO tenants to claim Rent Repayment Orders!

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Westminster online tool encouraging HMO tenants to claim Rent Repayment Orders!

In a move designed to punish as many landlords as possible with crucifying Rent Repayment Orders of up to 12 months rent, the City of Westminster has launched a “Find out if you can screw your Landlord” tool on their website.

They are obviously using this ‘hook’ to get tenants to ‘grass-up’ landlords who have not paid their ‘licence tax’.

Cynically, It has everything to do with punishing landlords for not paying their licence tax and nothing to do with improving housing.
ALL LANDLORDS BEWARE. You can expect every council in the land to adopt this punitive measure to make sure you all pay your licence tax.

The new page on the City of Westminster website boasts:

“Tenants of some shared houses, known as ‘Houses in Multiple Occupation’ (or HMOs) are entitled to apply for a rent repayment order if their landlord does not have an HMO licence.”

We have created an online rent repayment tool so you can quickly and easily see if you are owed a rent repayment order. 

A rent repayment order is a financial award decided by a tribunal, requiring a landlord to pay back up to 12 months rent to a tenant.

Payments are not guaranteed, but the amounts can be substantial.

Use our rent repayment tool to see if you can apply for a rent repayment order.

This will also verify if the property has a licence. If you are eligible, we will ask for your details in order to arrange a confidential conversation to discuss your situation and give you advice on how to apply for a rent repayment order.

Rent repayment tool – check your eligibility

We cannot take action directly on your behalf. Once you have spoken to a member of the team, we can refer you to a charity partner who specialise in helping tenants apply for rent repayment orders.

Affected by this? Landlord Licensing & Defence is here to help you

We help landlords every week who are being pursued for Rent Repayment Orders. Always £10,000s sometimes £50,000 or more.

Sometimes we are able to prove – against the Council – that they are wrong and the property did not need an HMO license sot here is no guilt.

Other times although the landlord is guilty of not having a licence, there are mitigating circumstances that we can use to negotiate the Rent Repayment down from 12 months’ rent to a far lower figure.

If you have this problem get in touch at once. You have very little time to put together a defence.

Contact us for help here [https://landlordsdefence.co.uk/contact]


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Comments

Luke P

20:20 PM, 27th August 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by colette at 27/08/2020 - 19:21
Taken from the comments section of a different forum…

“In a case of Additional Licensing, the landlord lets to a couple and 1 unrelated person - no licence required.

The property has 3 bedrooms and after a domestic tiff the couple separate using the 3rd bedroom.

They don't advise the landlord they are now 3 unrelated tenants, but then advise the Council that they are now 3 unrelated occupants.

No licence so the occupants claim rent repayment for as many months as the household has been 3 people.

How is the LL supposed to know when relationship breakdown occurs which will need Additional Licensing?”

Penny Lyon

22:05 PM, 27th August 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 27/08/2020 - 20:20
I presume the tenants are breaking the contract if they use a third bedroom without the landlords permission. Usually the contract would specify how many people/households permitted. Even so you would hope that proof would have to be supplied by the tenants that they had separated and when they told the landlord. I would hope a rent repayment order could be successfully challenged in this situation.

Luke P

22:32 PM, 27th August 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Penny Lyon at 27/08/2020 - 22:05
They always were able to use the third bedroom and the property was rented to three individuals in the first instance. If one of the tenants were under pressure, they could deny ever having been in a relationship with another and it may be back to the LL to prove how he knew they *were* ever a couple…

Old Mrs Landlord

22:54 PM, 27th August 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by LaLo at 27/08/2020 - 12:08Yes, well, that's the side of Dylan Morris's tongue-in-cheek post that really doesn't make perfect sense, but hey, who cares about landlords going bankrupt and being made homeless? Most people think we are parasite scum and deserve all that's coming to us. Of course it suits the government to go along with that narrative because it diverts attention from their failure to provide social housing and simultaneously garners brownie points from tenants.

Lindsay Keith

9:47 AM, 28th August 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Martin Roberts at 27/08/2020 - 11:55
Tame ambulance chaser?

Ian Narbeth

10:48 AM, 28th August 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 27/08/2020 - 20:20
Hi Luke
You raise an interesting (I hope hypothetical) case. One would hope the Councils/courts would apply common sense in such a case. It would be like a tenant illegally subletting and creating an HNO and then claiming an RRO from his landlord because the HMO is unlicensed!
There might be a way to draft protective provisions but the average non-property lawyer landlord would never work it out in advance. Trouble is Parliament isn't listening or if they are, the more they hear landlords shouting in pain the happier the bastards are.

LaLo

11:02 AM, 28th August 2020
About 4 weeks ago

I should have mentioned in my previous comment re £30k - unlimited fines etc is if they find fault with a property eg a draughty window you're fined! Councils are strapped for cash and use any excuse to get it. License zones are popping up all over the place and we're not informed! I constantly check, I advise all to do the same. I've always ........ Councils!

Binks

11:03 AM, 28th August 2020
About 4 weeks ago

I’m not entirely sure why some people are so outraged. Licence your HMOs and you have no problem. I personally wouldn’t touch HMOs, but it’s a choice and if you make a decision to be in that business, surely you should know and abide by the rules? If that doesn’t sound attractive, rent to a family and accept lower returns.

Penny Lyon

11:56 AM, 28th August 2020
About 4 weeks ago

I wonder what the position is if the tenant illegally creates an HMO by default due to separating from his/her partner in the scenario mentioned above and the landlord had this situation covered in the contract. i.e. no change to tenants circumstances that affect the property status, is permitted etc. However because they have not informed the landlord and are now claiming it's an unlicensed HMO the landlord wants to evict, but is unable to due to Govt regulations and has to give the tenant 6 months notice and possibly longer if the tenant refuses to go. So the landlord is left with a situation where he will need to defend himself legally for as long as it takes to evict the tenant.

Paul Essex

13:02 PM, 28th August 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Those at risk also include those victims or R2R scammers. The LL believes that they have rented legally to a family or a third party who then go on to create an illegal HMO, the scammers will either walk away scott free - or be in the queue for free money from the LL.

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