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A Coventry landlord had been ordered to pay back just under £11,000 in rent that she received while letting an HMO without a licence.
The Council said the case was the first of its kind in the city.
A repayment order was made by the First Tier Property Tribunal after seven tenants claimed against landlord Parviniot Nagra. Council housing enforcement officers had found that Mrs Nagra had rented the property without a licence for eight months between October 2018 and June 2019.
‘We are working with landlords to raise property standards’, said Councillor Tariq Khan, cabinet member for housing and communities at Coventry City Council.
‘It is not fair for landlords to evade compliance and benefit financially from operating illegally, while the vast majority of landlords are complying.
‘This first rent repayment order should serve as a stark warning to the minority of landlords who continue to be unlicensed.
‘The legislation gives tenants a right to reclaim rent where landlords have significantly failed to comply with housing law and the Council will support them to do this.
‘Landlords 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.
Coventry’s HMO licensing regulations were changed in October 2018 when mandatory licensing was extended to cover properties two storey as well as three storey properties. At the time the council estimated that an additional 1,200 HMO’s would require licences, bringing the total in the city to 2,400.