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Landlord to repay tenants £21,500 after Tribunal probe

rent repayment order london

Four tenants are to share a £21,515 rent repayment order after they took their landlord to court for repeatedly failing to licence his HMO.

A First Tier Property Tribunal heard that Russel Haque had no excuse for not getting a licence for the four-bedroom house in Wynan Road (pictured), under Tower Hamlets’ additional scheme. The tenants had signed a 12-month tenancy at £2,650 a month in August 2021, followed by a further 12 months at £2,850.

Haque admitted that he had received letters from the council in December 2020 and January 2021 asking him to get an HMO licence. However, he only tried to dispute the need for the licensing scheme, made various criticisms of it and raised issues about the public register kept by the council and how this violated his privacy.

The court heard how he deliberately ignored the council’s instruction to obtain a licence for the previous tenants, then proceeded to relet the property as an HMO rather than getting a licence or re-letting to a single-family unit.

He did not apply for an HMO licence until May 2023 and the tenants made a joint rent repayment order for the 11-month period to March 2023 for £33,400, of which they were awarded 70%.


The judge said he was satisfied this was a deliberate act by Haque for financial reasons and that he attached, “a high level of culpability” to this.

He added: “No disclosure was made by him about his financial circumstances, save for assertions about his strained finances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the increase in mortgage costs which resulted in a small profit being made by him from the rental income. However, the complete lack of financial disclosure by the respondent meant that his assertions could not be substantiated.”

Read the judgement in full.

What is licensing - and do I need a landlord licence to let my property?


Rent repayment orders