It is an offence to operate a licensable HMO without a licence. You can be fined an unlimited amount (previously a maximum of £20,000). In addition the Council can take over the management of the property and take the costs of this from any rental income. If prosecuted, the tenants could also apply for a rent repayment order of up to one year’s rent.
What if I breach the terms of my licence?
If you operate a licensed HMO but do not comply with conditions of the licence or commit an offence under the Housing Act 2004 or The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 the Council can issue a civil penalty notice or prosecute.
If you operate an HMO (licensable or non-licensable) and commit an offence under the Housing Act 2004 or The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 the Council can issue a civil penalty notice or prosecute.
Civil Penalties under the Housing and Planning Act 2016
A civil penalty is a financial penalty imposed by the Council as an alternative to prosecution for certain housing offences under the Housing Act 2004 and a breach of a banning order under the Housing and Planning Act 2016. The maximum penalty is £30,000 and the amount of penalty is determined on a case by case basis.
The following offences are included:
Failure to comply with an Improvement Notice
Offences in relation to licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation
Offences in relation to licensing of houses under Part 3 of the Act (Selective licensing)
Offences of contravention of an overcrowding notice
Failure to comply with management regulations in respect of house in multiple occupation
Breach of a banning order
For further information please see the Kingston and Sutton Shared Environment Service Enforcement Policy.