Housing Services Enforcement and Licensing Policy provides the detail on when and how we will take enforcement action.
Failure to apply for a licence when required is an offence punishable on summary conviction to an unlimited fine. Alternative sanctions include offering a Simple Caution or issuing a Civil Penalty Notice of up to £30,000.
Repayment of rent
Tenants including former tenants living at the property whilst it was unlicensed or the Local Authority may apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) (FTT) for a Rent Repayment Order (RRO) to reclaim up to 12 months’ rent from the landlord. Apply for an RRO.
Duration of a licence
The duration of a licence when issued may be shortened where the Council has reasonable evidence that the property should have already been licensed. Full fee will be payable.
Exceeding maximum permitted numbers
Letting a licensed HMO to more than the maximum number of occupants and households as stated on the licence is an offence punishable on summary conviction to an unlimited fine. A Civil Penalty Notice of up to £30,000 is an alternative sanction available to the local authority.
Failing to comply with licence conditions
Anyone failing to comply with licence conditions commits an offence punishable on summary conviction to an unlimited fine per offence. A Civil Penalty Notice of up to £30,000 is an alternative sanction available to the local authority.
Fit and proper person status
A person’s fit and proper person status may be reviewed if they are prosecuted or sanctioned for an offence; they consistently breach licensing conditions; there is evidence of poor management, or; for any other factors deemed relevant by this Authority.
If an individual’s fit and proper person status is removed, they will be prevented from being involved in the management of a licensed property. If this happens then either, alternative satisfactory management arrangements will have to be put in place, or, an Interim Management Order (IMO) can be made which will result in the Local Authority taken over full management control of the property for up to 12 months. This can then be extended for a further 5 years if a Final Management Order (FMO) is made. An IMO can also be made where there is no realistic property of a licensable HMO being licensed or the health safety and welfare conditions are met.
Appeals against formal decisions made by the Council are made to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) (FTT) or in the Magistrates Court if a prosecution is taken.