A rogue Coventry landlord had been ordered to pay back £10,982 in rent for not having an HMO licence – the first case of its kind in the city.

The First Tier Property Tribunal has ordered Mrs Parvinjot Nagra to repay the cash after her seven tenants applied for the rebate, as part of a Rent Repayment Order.

A council investigation found that she had failed to licence the suburban detached house in Cannon Park near Warwick University between October 2018 and June 2019 and failed in her management of the property.

Councillor Tariq Khan, cabinet member for housing and communities at Coventry City Council, says: “It is not fair for landlords to evade compliance and benefit financially from operating illegally while most landlords are complying.

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“This first Rent Repayment Order should serve as a stark warning to the minority of landlords who continue to be unlicensed.

“They face not only prosecution for non-compliance, which if successful will result in a fine and a criminal record, but if convicted, they could also be handed a Rent Repayment Order to hit them in the pocket.”

Two years

John Stewart, deputy policy director for the National Residential Landlords Association, says the fact that it took Coventry Council two years to secure a successful Rent Repayment Order raises serious questions about how workable or effective they are. 

He adds: “While figures for such orders are not collated centrally, we would expect there to have been an uptake in their use across the country since the changes made in October 2018.

“It is vital however that funds raised are properly used to root out those criminal landlords wilfully ignoring their legal obligations, whilst much greater support is provide to the vast majority of landlords who are doing the right thing and providing safe and secure housing.” 

Read the tribunal documentation in full.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. This order is not lawful, it’s in conflict with common law for many reasons, and the order will not have been signed by the judge.
    It’s basically bullshit and this landlady needs to challenge it.

    • Hi Lynn

      What legislation in common law is it that you’re referring to?
      Non licensing of an HMO is a criminal offence & subject to an unlimited/uncapped fine, or a CPN of up to £30k, and on top of this, tenants can apply for an RRO of up to 12 months worth of paid rent back. If rent is paid via UC/HB it would be the Local Authority that applies for the RRO and only the ‘rent paying tenants’ would be considered for repayment. The rest goes back to the LA to cover rent paid benefits paid. RRO’s are not guaranteed to repay 12 months worth of rent, the decision is made by the tribunal and they have to consider a number of factors such as the landlords financial circumstances, the seriousness of the offence(s) and any mitigating circumstances etc.
      In regards to your comment “not signed by a Judge” a First Tier Tribunal is a combined panel of 3/4 professionals who are barristers, solicitors, magistrates, registered housing bodies etc. therefore, an RRO doesn’t require the approval of a Circuit or District Judge. The whole point of FTT is so cases can be reviewed by a panel of housing/building/property experts who are individuals that do not belong to any one company/group or the justice system. This means cases are properly looked into by experts, an unbiased approach & a fairer case in all ways.
      The Housing Act 2004 introduced RRO’s but these were only open to local authorities who had been successful in a prosecution for an offence committed under this Act only. Offences such as s72 Non licensing of a licensable property.
      The introduction of the Housing & Planning Act 2016, removes the LA’s limitation and the need for a successful prosecution prior to applying for an RRO. It allows for Tenants to make an application & includes offences under Criminal Law Act 1977 and the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 also. And just for your info, the burden of ‘proof beyond any reasonable doubt’ is on the applicant(s) to prove themselves. Applying for an RRO is not a straightforward or an easy process for experienced officers, so for those who are not aware of, or already involved in, an enforcement or legal environment as a profession will be an exceptional challenge.

  2. Who is the person replying to Lynn regarding RRO ? whats an RRO. Why are there teams of parasotic tribunals taking over renting property the Government and the Council where incapable of looking after Council Houses that had been paid for in rent many times over. Yet sold off for a penny to some tribunal who are still out there raping society. The Law in all quaters has become far too complicated for the ordinary person and this should not be allowed. Law is possible without it being too complicated. However, there should not be a tirade of laws to keep parasites in highly paid jobs.
    I am a Landlord and i hate the word. It should be Home letting or leaseing agent or bussiness not lord anything!
    Everyone now wants to hate the Landlord and there needs to be a redress. Councils and Government should be much much less involved. They failed in the past and proved they could not do the job! So how in hells name can they be allowed to dictate to this bussiness now. Its a disgrace. I no londer want to rent property. I want an organisation like this one to start protecting landlords from further dictatorship. Home letting is a bussiness like any other and should not be so dictated to. A house contract is between two parties and should not be controlled by Council and government parasites. You are making a Nation of peaple who expect to be looked after by the state and be allowed to brake their contracts instead of being made to look after the property they rent. This would put them in better stead to prepare them to look after their own home when i hope they could but many cant and many would choose not to have the burden of costs it takes to look after property! No they just want it for free!!!

  3. Mr Croft.

    Statuary legislation is a fact of life and has been since the Middle Ages. At election time we elect members of Parliament who legislate. The laws are published and we obey them. This woman had an HMO and did not register it as the law demands. If she had, checks on her and inspection of the property would have been undertaken. I can only assume, in the absence of anything to the contrary, that she had issues to hide.

    Tribunals are composed of people with specialist knowledge. The chairman is a solicitor and although they follow a standard format, are fairly easy for someone with a very average education to cope with and everyone has a chance to put their case. It’s very informal.

    EverythingPRS made very good points in a sound and well reasoned way. You responded with a tirade and failed to use a dictionary. I appreciate that ex-public schoolboys are thin on the ground, but even comprehensive pupils who have hot showers can often spell correctly.

    Toby Madrigal is a freelance writer, observer and commentator. He is neither a tenant nor a landlord.

  4. Toby Madrigal

    Thank-you… your reply to Mr Croft is most appreciated. I struggled to put a tactful response together myself, hence why I remained silent.

    Mr Croft FYI..
    An RRO is a ‘Rent Repayment Order’. I find it rather odd that as a PRS landlord you’re unaware of what these are.
    It may benefit you to educate yourself on the subject!
    Otherwise, there’s plenty of accredited courses for landlords which usually only last one day and incorporate lots of extremely useful information including RRO’s.
    Or, I’d be happy to share a link to my profile where you can reserve a time slot to discuss options.

  5. EverythingPRS is a freelance –
    Landlord, Tenant & Property Consultant. Experienced in multiple disciplines relating to the PRS & Housing.
    I am neither a tenant nor a landlord.

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