If you fail to comply with regulations you may be faced with enforcement action such as penalty charges and prosecution in the Magistrates Court.
Sometimes landlords are able to negotiate with Local Authorities to hold off from action – for example, to give them more time to submit an application for their HMO license.
However, this is a dangerous thing to do as it will not give any protection against the other penalty for non-compliance – a Rent Repayment Order. In many cases, a claim for this can be brought by your tenants direct.
A rent repayment order is an order made by the First-Tier Tribunal after an application has been made either your
for an order that rent paid to you over the past 12 months be repaid.
If the order is made, it will order you to pay up to 12 months rent (or benefit) to either your tenants or the Local Authority as appropriate.
An application can be made for a rent repayment order in respect of a number of offences including:
If a rent repayment order is made, it is enforceable as if it were a County Court Judgment – so your tenants will be able to use all the CCJ enforcement procedures including obtaining a charging order and then applying for an order for sale of your property.
Although penalty charges and Magistrates Court fines can be high, they often pale into insignificance beside a rent repayment order made in respect of the same offence.
Say you have an HMO with seven tenants and you have failed to obtain an HMO license. If a rent repayment order is made for the full 12 months rent in respect of all 7 tenants this could be a huge sum.
So it is really important that landlords faced with an application or who are threatened by an application, get legal advice as soon as possible.
Anthony Gold have great experience in rent repayment order claims and understand the law and the procedure very well.
Our new service is for the usual 30 minutes telephone advice call, but you can be sure that the person you are talking to really understands this area of law and has practical experience.
If you need further help they will also be able to represent you in any proceedings.