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Sefton landlord ordered to pay back money after operating premises without a licence

A Sefton Landlord who had been previously prosecuted in 2019 for operating a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) without the required licence and fined £5,000.00,  has now been ordered to pay back the housing benefit and universal credit that they received for a year whilst the premises was operating without the licence under a “Rent Repayment Order”. This equates to a further £13,293.27 . This follows an unsuccessful appeal by the landlord, against the “Order”, to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) in February 2021.

Landlords who fail to licence their properties in line with the relevant legal requirements will be at risk of prosecution or receiving a Civil Penalty Notice (up to a maximum of £30,000) and potentially a Rent Repayment Order.

68 Civil Penalty Notices have so far been issued on Landlords, for failure to licence houses that are privately rented, since Sefton’s licensing schemes began. The average level of fine for each has been £3,500.00

Sefton’s Housing Standards team are actively seeking out any properties that do not have the required licence and enforcement action is being stepped up by the team. To check if your property requires a licence visit Sefton’s website https://www.sefton.gov.uk/housing/private-housing/

Anyone can check if their property has the required licence by visiting the Council’s public register of housing licences https://housinglicensing.sefton.gov.uk/online-application/public-register/

Licensing schemes aim to improve the conditions and management of privately rented properties across the designated areas of Sefton. A well-managed privately rented sector plays an important role in meeting the Borough’s housing needs.