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Landlord ordered to repay former tenants almost £47,000

A landlord has been fined £24,750 and told to repay his tenants almost £47,000 in rent.

In December 2018, Preston council responded to a tenant's complaint about the living conditions at a student HMO in the town. 

As a result of an inspection, the owner and landlord of the property, - Michael Gibbons, trading as Student Accommodation Preston - was served an Improvement Notice requiring repairs to be completed no later than February 17 2019. 


Gibbons was also operating this property without holding the necessary HMO licence. 

A council statement says that despite its attempts to work with Gibbons to improve a number of student houses in Preston, he did not engage and in June 2019 a decision was made to refuse his belated HMO licence applications.

In September 2019 he was fined for failing to carry out improvements at one particular property and for failing to apply for an HMO licence: the fine for each offence was £12,375.

Gibbons appealed these actions at the First Tier Tribunal - due to the pandemic the hearing of the appeals was delayed until October 2020 when the Tribunal threw out the appeal and confirmed the fines. 

As these fines remain unpaid, the council is now in the process of enforcing them through the courts.

At a further appeal by Gibbons on the decision of the council that he was not a fit and proper person to run licensed HMOs, in April 2021 the First Tier Tribunal dismissed his appeal, preventing him from operating any licensed HMO properties in Preston.

The council has now adding Gibbons’ name to the rogue landlord list, allowing all local authorities in England to become aware of his past conduct.

During this investigation, a total of 13 former tenants have brought rent repayment applications before the First Tier Tribunal in respect of Gibbons' failings - these have now resulted in an order to pay back rent to those tenants, an amount totalling £46,908.

A council spokeswoman says: “Whilst most landlords are responsible and provide good accommodation, our dedicated and conscientious team of officers…work hard to ensure the residents of Preston are protected from poor landlords such as Mr Gibbons, and that justice is served.”

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  • icon

    Not defending this guy but surely it would be better for such sums to go into a national fund to compensate decent landlords with unrecoverable rent arrears from rogue tenants aided and abetted by Shelter etc ?

    Perhaps Shelter can kick off the fund with some of the millions which it gets from the taxpayer for supposedly helping the homeless?


    Why when it was the tenant whom suffered from the landlords illegal activities?


    The tenants didn't need to accept the accommodation on offer. Not sure what suffering was involved.

    Andrew Adnell

    True but you know they'll never do that.

  • icon

    I last let to students in the 90s, it is now my policy to avoid students and anyone under 25 , proper working people over 25, has to be.

  • Andrew Adnell

    It always beggars believe why these rogue landlords won't engage with the council and carry out needed repairs which are in their own strategic interests so they and their tenants can live in peace. Rather they allow matters to escalate to a point where they are having to pay restitution and fines. Tiny brain comes to mind here.


    I agree, repairs need to be carried out swiftly, no good sweeping things under the carpet they are not going to go away until they are dealt with


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