Council's fine on landlord upheld at two tribunals
A Civil Penalty Notice (CPN) served by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council on a Hatfield landlord has been upheld following two appeals.
The £5,000 fine had been handed to Mr Pinto for not having an HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) licence. He appealed this at a First Tier Tribunal, which agreed with the council's action but reduced the fine to £2,500.
The landlord then appealed at the Upper Tribunal (lands chamber) in London on the grounds that the council had served the notice out of time and did not have sufficient evidence. The Upper Tribunal Judge Elizabeth Cooke agreed with the First Tier Tribunal decision and rejected the appeal on both counts.
This is the first time that one of the council's cases has been tested at both the First Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal. It also comes after the council's Private Sector Housing team had the fine for another landlord, given for not having a valid Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), upheld at appeal.
Councillor Fiona Thomson, Executive Member, Housing, said:
These tribunal decisions have vindicated the decision of our officers to fine a landlord who was not acting lawfully and continued to operate without the correct licence.
I'd like to thank the Private Sector Housing and Legal Services teams for their hard work and diligence in presenting their evidence at both tribunals. We want to reassure private sector tenants that they can find good quality, fully vetted tenancies by going through our landlord accreditation scheme, the details of which can be found through the council's website.