HMO landlords Wrongly Charged Licensing Fees By Local Authorities
The National Landlords Association (NLA) has demanded that landlords affected by the outcomes from three specific judgments involving English local authorities and HMO landlords.
The NLA have written to all local authorities in England asking them to contact any affected HMO landlords, informing them of their right to the appropriate refunds and providing details of how they may make a claim, after recent court judgements clarified some issues surrounding the mandatory licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and how local authorities determine HMO licensing fees.NLA Chief Executive, Richard Lambert, said: “The private-rented sector is a valuable and growing part of local housing provision and it is essential that landlords are able to work with their local authorities constructively to meet housing need. However, this has been made difficult by some councils indeterminate wording regarding Houses of Multiple Occupation licensing fees. In light of these recent court rulings we have asked local authorities to come clean about the level of fees they have charged private rented sector landlords, if they were entitled to make these charges, and when they will refund any money unjustly demanded. In writing to all local authorities in England the NLA are acknowledging the good working partnership many private rental sector landlords have with local authorities and their town halls, but making clear they should not be absorbing the costs of overcharging to support other council functions”.
The NLA took action after the court judgements determined that many landlords may have been wrongly charged licensing fees and could be entitled to refunds.
Mandatory and discretionary HMO licensing was introduced in an attempt to reduce the number of rogue landlords operating in the private rented sector and is supposed to be helping to improve the standard of living in rented accommodation, especially in Houses of Multiple Occupation or multi-let properties.
Click Here to read a copy of the NLA’s letter to UK local authorities.
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