A Nottingham landlord who failed to licence his property has been ordered to pay back over £5,000 in rent.
Mr Michael Convery, from Belfast, Northern Ireland, has been told he has to repay Nottingham City Council the sum of £5,644.98 for Housing Benefits he was paid in rent for a property in Berridge that was operating without a Selective Licence.
On 25 January 2021, the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) ordered Mr Convery to repay £5,644.98 by way of a rent repayment order, pursuant to section 43 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016.
A rent repayment orders (RRO) is an order made by the First-tier Tribunal requiring a landlord to repay a specified amount of rent to either the tenant or local housing authority. If the tenant paid their rent themselves, then the rent must be paid to the tenant. If the rent was paid through housing benefit or through the housing element of Universal Credit, then the rent must be repaid to the local housing authority.
The Housing Act 2004 introduced RRO’s to cover situations where the landlord of a property had failed to obtain a license for a property that was required to be licenced. RRO’s were extended through the Housing and Planning Act 2016 to cover a much wider range of offences.
Councillor Linda Woodings, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Heritage at Nottingham City Council, said: “It is a legal requirement for a property to be licensed if it’s in an area covered by Selective Licensing. We will try to work with landlords to make sure they are licensed, but sometimes landlords don’t engage and we have to take the appropriate action.
“Mr Convery took Housing Benefit money, which is benefit money we give to tenants to pay their rent. He was not entitled to this as his property was not licenced. I would encourage all landlords and agents to make sure their properties are licensed. It is better to work with us, than for us to have to come and find you.”