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Landlord Insider
On the Landlord Insider blog, you’ll find some excellent resources for landlords of all sizes. From the latest landlord news, to professional advice, tips and guides for landlords, there’s something for everyone. Brought to you by the excellent team behind the Landlord Vision property management software.

Recent Court Case Could Affect HMO Landlords

The scales of justice statue

Selective licensing schemes are becoming increasingly popular. Local Authorities designate certain properties as subject to licencing. HMO licencing is common, as this area of the private rental sector is more likely to be blighted by anti-social behaviour and rogue landlords.

Not all local authorities charge HMO landlords a licence fee, but in the areas where selective licencing has come into effect, landlords often face significant extra costs, both for the licences they need and to pay for the extra work to bring properties up to the required standard.

The recent case of R (Gaskin) v LB Richmond Upon Thames (2018) EWHC 1996 (Admin) has thrown a spotlight on the issue of selective licencing fees.

Summary of Case

Mr Gaskin, an HMO landlord operating in Richmond Upon Thames applied for a licence renewal. He objected to the excessive amount of information requested by the local authority. He also objected to the excessive fees and refused to pay the full amount requested, which included an element to cover the cost of administering the scheme.

The Judgement

The local authority took him to court for failing to have a valid licence. The case progressed to the High Court and two judges overturned the original decision. They decided, based on EU legislation, that the smaller fee he had paid was enough.

Local councils are expected to appeal the decision, which means many selective licencing schemes could cease functioning while the issue is hammered out in the legal system.

Experts say the case could have far-reaching effects on the private rental sector.

Kat Black

Kat Black

Kat oversees marketing for Landlord Vision and so she curates, writes and edits posts for the blog, she has a wealth of experience in business and project management. Kat has plenty of hands on property experience too, she has worked in property insurance for 8 years and has helped her parents to grow a profitable portfolio.