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Landlords forced to refund rents after HMO convictions


By Simon Thompson
 
     
Judges and tribunals are cracking down on wayward shared house landlords who fail to licence their properties with record fines. One landlord has just been ordered to pay £39,000 in rent back to six student tenants in what is believed to be the largest penalty handed down by a residential property tribunal. But another case overlooked by many may lead to even bigger pay outs for tenants. Parker v Waller & Ors [2012] UKUT 301 (LC) [Click link for full judgment in new window] is a binding ruling on lower tribunals, like the residential property tribunal, and details exactly how tribunals should penalise landlords. The case revolves around a letting agent running a shared house in multiple occupation (HMO) without a licence. The law says that if a landlord is convicted of this offence, the tenants can take the case to a residential payment tribunal and request the refund of any rent paid in the 12 months to the date of the conviction. The Upper Tribunal hearing Parker v Waller decided five points must be considered before awarding rent payments to tenants: • The landlord had committed an offence – generally proved by conviction in court • The refund dates fall within the licence application dates and the offence dates – for example the landlord should have applied for a HMO licence to cover the 12 months before the conviction, not just part of the time • The seriousness of the offence • The appropriate amount to award taking in to account the landlords financial means, any fines and costs imposed and the rent any tenants paid • Whether the tenant’s conduct should result in reducing the award In the Parker case, the Upper Tribunal confirmed the lower tribunal decision that the landlord should refund £15,423 to his tenants – even though the fine for the HMO offence was just £525 plus costs.
 
 
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London's Landlords Are Increasingly Buying Outside Of The Capital
 

London's Landlords Are Increasingly Buying Outside Of The Capital

London's landlords are increasingly buying outside of the capital

London's landlords are increasingly buying investment property outside of the capital, one lettings index has reveale

     
Posted by on 17/04/2019 14:12:11
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Manual Underwriting Call From Professional Landlords
 

Manual Underwriting Call From Professional Landlords

More than one in three property investors are calling for buy to let lenders to apply a manual underwriting process aimed at professional landlords, a new survey reveals.

The findings from MT Fina

     
Posted by on 17/04/2019 12:56:43
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Section 21 Notices To Be Scrapped
 

Section 21 Notices To Be Scrapped

In a bid to protect tenants from 'rogue' landlords, Section 21 notices for eviction are to be scrapped, the government has announced.

In the announcement, the government says that Section 8 evictions will also be r

     
Posted by on 17/04/2019 12:26:46
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The UK's buy to let hotspots revealed
 

The UK's buy to let hotspots revealed

The UK's best buy to let hotspots have been revealed with the news that average rents grew in the year to March by 0.96%.

According to the research from Landbay, the best city for rental growth in that period w

     
Posted by on 10/04/2019 15:09:49
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Eu Tenants ‘Will Struggle To Rent Post-Brexit’
 

Eu Tenants ‘Will Struggle To Rent Post-Brexit’

Tenants from the European Union will struggle to rent private accommodation once the UK leaves the EU, one landlords’ organisation is warning.

The Residential Landlords' Association (RLA) says the UK go

     
Posted by on 10/04/2019 15:04:51
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Buy To Let Landlord Exodus Fears Over Tax Blow
 

Buy To Let Landlord Exodus Fears Over Tax Blow

Fears of a new buy to let landlord exodus have been raised over a new tax blow.

It's been revealed that the government is looking to reform lettings relief, which currently sees a landlord earning up t

     
Posted by on 10/04/2019 15:01:34
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Rent Hikes ‘Fuelled By Landlord Exodus’
 

Rent Hikes ‘Fuelled By Landlord Exodus’

The growing exodus of landlords leaving the buy to let market has led to the highest number of tenants experiencing rent hikes since August, figures reveal.

According to Arla Propertymark, 34% of letting agent

     
Posted by on 02/04/2019 14:27:02
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Areas With The Highest Rental Demand Revealed
 

Areas With The Highest Rental Demand Revealed

The areas that have the highest rental demand from tenants in the UK have been revealed.

Verismart, a property compliance specialist, says it has analysed rental data from property portals to find where

     
Posted by on 02/04/2019 14:14:52
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Landlords Can't Afford New Energy Efficiency Upgrades
 

Landlords Can't Afford New Energy Efficiency Upgrades

The introduction of tough new laws covering energy efficiency for rental properties means one in three landlords cannot afford to upgrade, one organisation warns.

The Residential Landlords Associ

     
Posted by on 02/04/2019 13:49:55
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Buy To Let Outperforming Most Asset Classes
 

Buy To Let Outperforming Most Asset Classes

Research has revealed that an investment in a buy to let property has outperformed just about every other major asset class over the past 10 years.

Most of this performance is down to increasing rental yie

     
Posted by on 27/03/2019 11:15:44
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'No Sign' Of Rising Rents Abating
 

'No Sign' Of Rising Rents Abating

Private rents rose by 1.1% in the year to February across the UK, the Office for National Statistics says.

The data reveals that, on a monthly basis, rents grew by 1%.

In England and Wales, rents rose by

     
Posted by on 27/03/2019 11:04:51
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Rogue Landlords Warned Not To Exploit Students
 

Rogue Landlords Warned Not To Exploit Students

Rogue landlords have been warned that they face legal action if they are found to be exploiting students, one government minister warns.

As new regulations to give tenants more power come into force, r

     
Posted by on 27/03/2019 10:55:36
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Buy To Let Investors Are Getting Younger
 

Buy To Let Investors Are Getting Younger

The average age of buy to let investors in the UK has fallen by 3.5 years over the past 12 months, one online estate agency says.

According to yieldit, the average age of a BTL investor using their services h

     
Posted by on 22/03/2019 14:33:55
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Tenant Issues Revealed In A New Poll
 

Tenant Issues Revealed In A New Poll

Around half of tenants say they have fallen ill or been injured by their rental property's condition, one survey reveals.

The findings have been published by Aspect to coincide with the new Fit for Habitation rul

     
Posted by on 20/03/2019 16:54:51
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HMRC Urges 'Accidental' Landlords To Pay Tax
 

HMRC Urges 'Accidental' Landlords To Pay Tax

A campaign launched by HM Revenue and Customs aimed at accidental landlords urging them to pay tax might be failing, one accountancy firm says.

The Let Property Campaign was launched in 2013 to encourage

     
Posted by on 20/03/2019 14:38:05
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Rents Are Increasing Quicker Than Inflation
 

Rents Are Increasing Quicker Than Inflation

Average monthly rents have increased by 3.8% over the past year, which means rents are increasing at a rate quicker than inflation, one index reveals.

The figures from HomeLet highlight that the average re

     
Posted by on 13/03/2019 12:13:47
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What Tenants Want From A Home
 

What Tenants Want From A Home

A survey of what tenants are looking for from their rental property has been revealed.

The findings from Zoopla found that when looking for rental properties in England, Wales and Scotland, the most coveted feature want

     
Posted by on 13/03/2019 12:07:11
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Rising Costs Lead Landlords To Cut Spending
 

Rising Costs Lead Landlords To Cut Spending

Higher taxes and rising running costs have led to 36% of landlords reducing their expenditure, research reveals.

The data has been published by Kent Reliance, a specialist mortgage lender, who say that the

     
Posted by on 13/03/2019 12:02:30
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Government Plans DSS Advert Crackdown On Landlords
 

Government Plans DSS Advert Crackdown On Landlords

The Government has announced that it will start cracking down on those landlords who refuse to let a property to tenants receiving benefits.

Plans have been revealed that will end discrimination ag

     
Posted by on 08/03/2019 12:06:47
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BTL Tax Reforms Are 'Misguided'
 

BTL Tax Reforms Are 'Misguided'

The government is being urged to reconsider its BTL tax reforms as rents begin to soar and the number of landlords begins to fall, one firm of estate agents say.

According to data from haart, the number of landlords r

     
Posted by on 08/03/2019 11:58:39
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Rent To Rent 'Breaches Human Rights
 

Rent To Rent 'Breaches Human Rights

The Government's controversial Right to Rent scheme has been ruled by the High Court to breach human rights.

The scheme demands that landlords check the immigration position of a potential tenant before they are a

     
Posted by on 08/03/2019 11:46:50
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Btl Investors Look To The North West
 

Btl Investors Look To The North West

Growing numbers of buy to let investors are looking to the North West of England in the search for better returns than can be enjoyed in London, one real estate firm says.

According to Savills, the North West has

     
Posted by on 27/02/2019 15:22:00
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Btl Confidence Remains High Despite Market Challenges
 

Btl Confidence Remains High Despite Market Challenges

Investors remain confident in the buy to let sector and there's little sign of a market slowdown, says one online agency.

In an analysis from yieldit, the firm says that the number of new listing

     
Posted by on 27/02/2019 15:15:01
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Highest Rent Rises Since September Are Recorded
 

Highest Rent Rises Since September Are Recorded

Growing numbers of landlords put up rents in January to record the first rises since September 2018, according to data.

ARLA Propertymark has crunched the numbers and found that the number of letting

     
Posted by on 27/02/2019 15:02:39
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Landlords Could Be Illegally Letting Energy Inefficient Properties
 

Landlords Could Be Illegally Letting Energy Inefficient Properties

There could be tens of thousands of landlords who are unwittingly renting out a property illegally because they do not have an energy performance certificate of at least an 'E', one technology f

     
Posted by on 21/02/2019 12:28:18
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Buy To Let Lending Suffers A Slump
 

Buy To Let Lending Suffers A Slump

Fewer landlord investors took out a new BTL mortgage in December, leading to the continuing slump in mortgage activity, one organisation reports.

According to UK Finance, just 5,100 new buy to let mortgages were ag

     
Posted by on 21/02/2019 12:21:25
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Students Call For The End Of 'Landlord Exploitation'
 

Students Call For The End Of 'Landlord Exploitation'

The National Union of Students is calling for an enquiry into the way landlords and agents are letting homes to students after a survey found many have adopted 'unfair practices'.

The organisation

     
Posted by on 21/02/2019 12:07:40
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Average Tenancy Deposit Cost Revealed
 

Average Tenancy Deposit Cost Revealed

The average tenancy deposit value across the UK has risen over the past year, according to The Dispute Service (TDS).

In a report, the organisation says that the average value of tenancy deposits and the number

     
Posted by on 14/02/2019 12:28:59
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Economic Uncertainty Boosts Rental Home Demand
 

Economic Uncertainty Boosts Rental Home Demand

Economic and political uncertainty is boosting demand for rental properties, one index reveals.

According to HomeLet, the private rental sector is offering greater security and certainty for those who a

     
Posted by on 14/02/2019 12:23:15
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Landlords Hit By A Decline In Tenant Numbers
 

Landlords Hit By A Decline In Tenant Numbers

For the first time in more than 10 years, the total amount of rent being handed to landlords has fallen, a survey reveals.

The findings from real estate firm Hamptons International reveals that fewer peop

     
Posted by on 14/02/2019 12:05:11
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Property Professionals Looking To Expand Portfolios
 

Property Professionals Looking To Expand Portfolios

Most property professionals in the UK are looking to expand their portfolios this year, one survey reveals.

The survey was carried out by MT Finance which found that affordability issues and politi

     
Posted by on 08/02/2019 09:59:06
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Big Rise In Landlord Numbers Leaving The Sector
 

Big Rise In Landlord Numbers Leaving The Sector

Along with rent rises for tenants, there's been a big jump in the number of landlords who are leaving the rental market, according to a report.

The findings from Arla Propertmark are based on December

     
Posted by on 08/02/2019 09:53:32
Read More

     
The PRS Trends That Will Dominate The Sector Revealed
 

The PRS Trends That Will Dominate The Sector Revealed

A new report reveals the trends that will dominate the UK's private rental sector over the next few years.

The report has been compiled by real estate firm Knight Frank and it makes for interest

     
Posted by on 08/02/2019 09:45:33
Read More

     
What Student Tenants Are Looking For
 

What Student Tenants Are Looking For

Landlords looking to exploit the student tenant market need to understand what students are looking for in a property, one organisation says.

To help those buy to let landlords who have bought properties close

     
Posted by on 01/02/2019 10:17:57
Read More

     
Landlords Claim Billions In Tax Relief
 

Landlords Claim Billions In Tax Relief

The UK's landlords claimed a record amount in tax relief last year despite new fiscal regulations, one lettings agency says.

According to ludlowthompson, landlords claimed £17.7 billion in relief, which is up

     
Posted by on 01/02/2019 10:13:45
Read More

     
Most Prs Landlords 'Still Make A Profit'
 

Most Prs Landlords 'Still Make A Profit'

Despite regulatory changes, most landlords in the private rental sector are making a profit, a new report claims.

The report has been published by BM Solutions who say that 88% of those landlords it surveye

     
Posted by on 01/02/2019 10:05:40
Read More

     
Landlords Are Facing A 'Watershed' With Tax Bills
 

Landlords Are Facing A 'Watershed' With Tax Bills

Landlords are facing a 'watershed' this month because of tax changes being reflected in their tax bills for the first time, one trade association warns.

The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders' Associatio

     
Posted by on 24/01/2019 14:44:32
Read More

     
Landlords Opting For 5-Year Btl Fixes
 

Landlords Opting For 5-Year Btl Fixes

Landlords are increasingly opting for five-year fixed rate buy to let products, one index has revealed.

The data from Mortgages for Business highlights that in the last quarter of 2018, 84% of landlords had opt

     
Posted by on 24/01/2019 14:39:40
Read More

     
The Number One Location For Property Investment
 

The Number One Location For Property Investment

A unique algorithm has ranked 172 BTL locations in the UK to find out where the best area is for buy to let property investment.

The analysis by One and Only Pro, a property investment portal, utilised

     
Posted by on 24/01/2019 14:30:52
Read More

     
UK Property Investment Remains Positive
 

UK Property Investment Remains Positive

The sustained demand for property and growing rents means UK property investment 'remains positive' for investors, according to one index.

The findings from Homelet reveal that in the year to December 2018, ave

     
Posted by on 16/01/2019 13:43:51
Read More

     
London's Landlords Worse Off Because Of Brexit
 

London's Landlords Worse Off Because Of Brexit

Since the vote to leave the European Union in June 2016, London's landlords have been left worse off, says one index.

The data from Landbay highlights that landlords may have seen rent growth being 2.

     
Posted by on 16/01/2019 13:39:04
Read More

     
How Long To Sell A Btl Property?
 

How Long To Sell A Btl Property?

For those buy to let landlords in the UK looking to offload their property, a new report highlights how long it will take to sell it.

The findings have been published by a specialist online agency that has looked at

     
Posted by on 16/01/2019 13:32:19
Read More

     
Fewer Tenants See Rent Rises
 

Fewer Tenants See Rent Rises

Fewer tenants saw their rents rise in November, the lowest level since February, new data reveals.

The findings from Arla Propertymark highlights that November was the third consecutive month in which the number of rent

     
Posted by on 09/01/2019 16:28:32
Read More

     
Property Investment In The North Picks Up Speed
 

Property Investment In The North Picks Up Speed

Property investors in the north of England are enjoying some of the highest percentage returns in the UK for their investment, an analysis reveals.

The findings from Your Move highlights that the hig

     
Posted by on 09/01/2019 16:21:50
Read More

     
Big Rise In Middle Age Tenant Numbers
 

Big Rise In Middle Age Tenant Numbers

There has been a big rise in the number of middle age tenants renting a home in the UK, a survey has revealed.

Intus Lettings has found that many middle-aged workers cannot afford to buy their first home or hav

     
Posted by on 09/01/2019 16:17:04
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New Guidance On Hmo Room Size Regulations Unveiled
 

New Guidance On Hmo Room Size Regulations Unveiled

The new guidance covering minimum room size regulations for HMOs has been welcomed by one landlords' association.

The guidance is aimed at councils and has been published by the Ministry of Housing

     
Posted by on 07/01/2019 10:22:43
Read More

     
2019 Will Be 'Difficult' For Landlords
 

2019 Will Be 'Difficult' For Landlords

The UK's letting agents say that 2019 will be 'difficult' for landlords, according to a survey.

The findings from ARLA Propertymark highlight that the next 12 months could be a mixed year for property investor

     
Posted by on 07/01/2019 10:03:40
Read More

     
What 2019 Has In Store For Landlords
 

What 2019 Has In Store For Landlords

After a year that saw a flurry of regulatory and tax changes, 2019 will offer landlords little respite from more upcoming changes, experts say.

Among the moves to affect the buy to let sector will be new client m

     
Posted by on 07/01/2019 09:55:21
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Most Students Get On With Their Landlord
 

Most Students Get On With Their Landlord

Despite the commonly held view that landlords exploit student tenants, a survey highlights that students are happy with the services and living conditions being provided by landlords.

The research from a stud

     
Posted by on 02/01/2019 14:55:17
Read More

     
Areas for the UK's fastest growing rents revealed
 

Areas for the UK's fastest growing rents revealed

The areas for the UK's fastest-growing rents have been revealed in a survey with Edinburgh topping the list.

According to Landbay, the average annual rent in the Scottish city rose by 4.63% this year

     
Posted by on 02/01/2019 14:49:07
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