We can make representations about proposed civil penalties by a local authority and /or appeal any civil penalty. A number of the civil penalties that we have come across have been excessive.
The situation has been made worse by some local authorities enacting their own local licensing scheme. Such local schemes are invariably more onerous the national provisions for licensing an HMO. As a matter of practice, a great many properties where there are friends or non-related occupants will come within a local scheme. There are attempts by the local authority to raise large civil penalties where such properties are not licensed.
We can also defend an application for rent repayment orders which is an application to require a repayment of rent already paid to a landlord.
We can also provide advice and assistance in relation to council tax assessments raised by local authorities. These will typically involve arguments as to whether the units in the property are self-contained and accordingly whether council tax assessments should be raised against the tenants of the flats in question as opposed to the landlord.
Local Authorities are relatively keen to assess the landlord for council tax for the whole of the building/property where there should be separate assessments upon the tenants of individual flats within the building.
Where relevant, we can apply to set aside liability orders acquired without any knowledge of the landlord and/or appeal the council tax assessments to the Valuation Tribunal.
It is also very common in this situation for us to defend bankruptcy petitions raised by the local authority against the relevant property owner.
Please contact Julian Hunt, Consultant Barrister or Michael Abraham, Partner.
There will be no charge for the initial telephone consultation.