By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Landlord told to repay £28,000 rent after tribunal backs tenants

A landlord in Winchester has been ordered to pay nearly £30,000 in rent after a tribunal backed his tenants in a dispute over an HMO licence.

The Hampshire Chronicle reports that Gurjiven Singh Chhokran had let a seven bedroom property to students without the appropriate licence between October 1 2018 and December 2 2019. 

The tribunal findings, reproduced in part by the paper, state: "The respondent relied on two pieces of evidence to substantiate his belief that a valid application was made for a licence in September/October 2018. The first is that the respondent said he contacted the city council about the progress of his application in January 2019.


"The respondent’s assertion is undermined by his failure to give the City Council the number of the mobile that he said he used to phone the city council which would have enabled the council to have checked whether such a phone call had been made.

"The implausibility of the Respondent’s assertion is compounded by the fact that he apparently used a Pay to Go mobile rather than his regular phone, the number of which appeared on the tenancy agreement and the other documentation."

Winchester council has denied the Chhokran's claims saying: “We have received no evidence to substantiate this despite giving Mr Chhokran multiple opportunities to provide evidence. The council will actively seek to hold landlords who fail in their statutory duty to licence their properties to account.”



Chhokran must pay each of seven students £2,571.43, totalling £18,000. He must also pay each of a second set of applicants £1,428.57, totalling £10,000. Both sets will also be paid £200 to cover the hearing costs

You can see the full story here.

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

  • icon

    Why doesn't this fine go into the public purse?

    While it seems deserved it contrasts with community service order recently given to a thug who beat up his landlord.

    Susanna Bora

    This seems to be wrong ...



    Can you please clarify what you mean?

    Do you mean the size of the penalty, the fact it's paid to the tenant and not the public purse or something else?

  • icon
    • 20 October 2020 09:55 AM

    Lifetime ban and he should NEVER be allowed to operate in any form in the housing business.
    Also, the financial penalty is nowhere near enough.
    Otherwise, it will just happen again.

  • girish mehta

    Bring property mot where all certificates and safety certificates must be given to tanents . Bring landlords licensing tied to properties and council can inspect properties every 6 years using HHSRS.
    Get rid of money making schemes for councils and . Tanent there are no free rides for anyone landlords will move out of market if it’s is not financially viable. With pressure on new regulation and Yelds on downward trend.this will only lead to more homeless people and rents going up. Can’t see government building low cost house in near future as the have failed to do so over decades and this will not change

  • icon
    • 20 October 2020 13:29 PM

    Bad LL are a scourge on society plus they keep rents lower than they otherwise would be for good LL.

    We know that most of these bad LL tend to operate in diverse areas.

    Perhaps a bit of racial profiling of the bad LL type might see more of them put out of business!?

    It is time for a National LL and Rental Property Register.
    If a LL lets without being registered and having a property licence then RRO and POCA enforced.

    A property and LL licence need only be £100 each over 5 years.
    Across 4 million private rented properties.

    That would currently cost me £500.
    I wouldn't object to that if it meant bad LL being prevented from trading.
    No doubt increases in rent would occur with all the bad LL put out of business.

    More than enough to pay for the licences


    Paul, do you seriously think that any government body would keep the price at £20 per year for a single property? It might start low but they'd add a few noughts on to the cost in very short order. Plus, I already use a property management service - for a hefty fee of course - and they check my certificates and advise on property condition. Why should I pay a second time to be added to this register when I am already doing everything right?

    Now you could require that every property be checked by an approved person (condition and certificates), which could either be a certified management firm or a government scheme. The choice would be the LL's. That keeps the quality up but costs down by not duplicatng work and leaves the private sector (who generally want to make things work) to lead the way in good practice.

    Supporting a LL/property register is basically giving local councils permission to soak LL further....and they will because they know that LL are way down the sympathy list for most people. It's an open goal for them.

  • icon

    There will always be that element out there that consider our laws don't apply to them, or that they are above the law.

    • 20 October 2020 14:05 PM

    Yep and we all know who 'they' are!!

  • icon
    • 20 October 2020 21:06 PM


    Yep I totally agree with your contentions.

    However we are where we are!

    You may well operate in a highly efficacious way.

    However that doesn't matter to Councils.
    They would ideally like to licence every LL.

    I don't have a problem with that.

    Remember when the Property Redress Scheme is eventually introduced EVERY LL will be required to join.

    So that will be a de facto LL register.

    Few LL would object to being licensed for each property and a licence for them.

    I get what you say about licence costs increasing.

    However Govt could restrict this.
    The cost of a driving licence rarely increases and it isn't prohibitively expensive.

    I suggest £100 per rental property for 5 years and the same for each LL.
    So Councils with 2.5 million LL and 4.5 million letting properties should have more than enough income to manage a licensing regime.

    All other licensing would be abolished.

    There is no altruism here on my part.
    Just hard nosed business logic.

    It is a fact that there are millions of fraudulent tenancies.

    Where for instance are the estimated 2 million illegal immigrants living?
    A LL is invariably illegally housing them.

    There are millions of fraudulent tenancies.
    These range from LL letting on resi mortgages without CTL to LL with BTL mortgages which prohibit DSS tenants but which fraudster LL ignore.
    There will be many LL who accidentally recently will have become fraudster LL.
    Their BTL mortgage conditions require them to remove DSS tenants.
    Govt is currently preventing this.

    Name me one LL in the UK who will be evicting because they are now breaching lender conditions.

    There won't be ANY!!

    Academic anyway as Govt is preventing eviction for whatever reason.

    However a lender could technically repossess a BTL property where a LL breaches mortgage conditions.
    Of course I can't see any Lender enforcing these mortgage conditions but they could!

    Licensing would reveal all these circumstances.
    It would cause mass homelessness as fraudster LL would be detected.
    Councils would be overwhelmed by homeless tenants.
    I totally welcome a robust and effective licensing system which would see millions of homeless.
    That would see the asset value of good LL properties massively increasing along with rents increasing to proper levels.

    Once all the fraudster LL have been found out by effective licensing then those good LL remaining can jack up their rents to recognise their rare asset value.

    As another example just consider all the fraudster LL letting on resi mortgages without CTL.

    There are reckoned to be about 300000 of these fraudster LL.
    The resi lenders if they discover illegal letting could call in the resi loans.
    That could mean about 1.3 million homeless tenants along with the 300000 now homeless former homeowners.

    So as you can see the minor cost of licensing for good LL would more than be made up by good LL being able to charge substantially more more for there good letting properties.

    Even better the 2.5 million illegal immigrants could be discovered and deported.

    Good LL have nothing to fear from an effective UK wide licensing system.

    However because of all I have mentioned there will NEVER be such a system introduced.

    Govt relies on fraudster LL to house millions of illegal tenants.
    An effective licensing system would detect all these issues.

    Govt wants to let sleeping dogs lie.

    Therefore it prefers to allow penny packet licensing schemes that won't cause too many issues with such fees as Councils can squeeze out of LL going to subsidise Council operations that aren't funded sufficiently by Central Govt.

    So no way will there ever be an effective National LL and rental property licensing scheme...........a real shame from my perspective as a very good LL!

  • icon

    Landlord Winchester Witch Hunt, terrible time to be a Landlord. Fantastic time to be a Student Tenant stay in a Property use all the facilities and get your money back and a couple of hundred for a day out, sure you wont be doing anything else anyhow, if it required as license the Tenants should have known this and not taking it, they were quiet happy to live there, what are they learning, they know everything else, avoid the three behind the desk.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up