HMO Property house planI’m sure that most of you would have seen the recent BBC News article on ‘How I took my landlord to court and won £15,000’. It focuses of 5 Leeds tenants who went viral online following a visit from a local council officer to the HMO in May 2018. The visit revealed their (now ex) landlord was unlawfully renting the property.

What went wrong?

It happened the landlord in question hadn’t attained a House in Multiple Occupation Licence (HMO). An HMO is vital. It authorises that the house has all the correct safety permits and that the person in charge of the house is correctly qualified. It’s needed for any house that houses 5 or more unrelated tenants that share some communal areas.

It certainly raised awareness amongst tenants that they could take their landlords to court. And how much they could win…

For landlords, the wake-up call from this story is that there wasn’t any complaint about the condition of the property. Nor was there any unreasonableness by the landlord (at least not reported here). It was triggered simply by the local authority correctly policing the HMO licensing requirements. But in the process, the housing officer stirred up the students to make a claim. Legally tenants can now benefit financially, despite apparently not suffering any detriment themselves.

So, tenants are now being energised by both the no-win, no-fee lawyers (to build a replacement stream of business for PPI) and local authorities (to get create a news story / PR to focus other landlords on being legal). The risks to a landlord of being ignorant of the full extent of their responsibilities are now huge. And extremely damaging financially…

What can I do?

Let's Shield help HMO owners too!It’s definitely time to get educated…

Are you questioning whether you are in fact fully compliant with the law? Sign up for our free webinar, where we’ll teach you the 4 elements of property health & safety that are required by law in all residential rentals.

Join us on our next webinar to make sure you’re not next up on a Landlord news feature…

 

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