Four tenants in Leeds won their rent back after successfully taking their landlord to court for not having the correct licence.
The landlord had failed to acquire a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) License, which any rented property in England and Wales with five or more unrelated occupants who share a toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities are required to have, as a result, letting the property unlawfully.
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Landlords are granted an HMO licence if the property is a suitable size for the number of tenants, has gas and electrical certificates and is deemed to be fit and proper.
The tenants were helped in their bid by the local authority after a Leeds City Council housing officer informed them the property was being unlawfully let and advised them on the procedures available to them.
The landlord pleaded guilty at the Magistrate’s Court and was ordered to reimburse a years’ rent, minus bills and a 30 percent reduction due to their financial situation.
The tenants were also supported by the fledgling community-based, housing-focused union, ACORN, which currently has branches in South Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Brighton, Manchester, Sheffield and Newcastle.