An amateur landlord who ended up with a criminal conviction after illegally renting out his former home to multiple occupants has managed to escape the further sanction of having to repay a year’s worth of rent to his tenants.
The man had rented rooms in the building to five tenants without applying to the local authority to register it as a home in multiple occupation. Revealing his lack of experience as a landlord, he explained that ‘he had not got around’ to dealing with the matter and had not realised that it was important.
He pleaded guilty to an offence under Section 72 of the Housing Act 2004 and was fined £585. He was also hit with a £200 costs bill and a £15 victim surcharge. The Residential Property Tribunal (RPT) also subsequently directed him to repay more than £7,000 in rent that he had received from three tenants over a 12-month period.
In allowing his appeal against that decision, the Upper Tribunal found that the RPT had, amongst other things, failed to take into account his financial circumstances and the fact that he was not a professional landlord. His capital expenditure on the property also meant that he had made very little profit from its illegal use. In the circumstances, the rent repayment orders were overturned.