- Further instalment on property licensing and financial penalties (AAHomes & Housing and Anabow Services Ltd v London Borough of Croydon)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Local Government analysis: This is a further examination from the Upper Tribunal (UT)of the system in place to penalise landlords operating rented property without a licence. It addresses the weight that should be given to factors that feed into the scoring matrix used by a local authority to set the appropriate level of penalty. A key feature of the case was that the breach of licensing had been exposed following a Fire Service inspection. The respondent Local Housing Authority (LHA) (and the First-tier Tribunal (FTT)) attributed additional weight to the fire safety issues in setting the penalty. The principal ground of appeal was that the assessment of harm caused by the failure to hold a licence had wrongly been based on an assessment of harm in relation to fire safety. The correct approach was to assess the harm caused by the offence—the offence was not holding a licence, rather than wider matters fire safety. The appeal was upheld. Written by Kevin Long, solicitor, at Hackney Community Law Centre.
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