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Landlord Fight Back: legal threat to council licensing proposals

A well-organised group of local landlords is threatening a city council with legal action over plans to expand a licensing scheme.

The media in York report that the city’s Residential Landlords Association the council’s proposals to extend the HMO licensing scheme are "unlawful and irrational".

A consultation is currently running on plans to extend the licensing scheme.


The York Press reports that the council claims the proposals "ensure our city has a safe, well-managed and professionally run private rented sector".

But well known property solicitor David Smith has sent a letter to the council on behalf of York Residential Landlords Association.

He says three areas of concern are that the consultation is unlikely to meet the requirements of a lawful consultation, that the documents accompanying the consultation fail to make a "clearly evidenced case" for the scheme to be rolled out, and that parts of the proposed scheme are unlawful.

The letter adds: "For these reasons, we consider that any decision to proceed with an additional HMO licensing scheme on the basis of the consultation as it stands is likely to be irrational, unlawful, and ultra vires [beyond the legal authority of] the powers of the council.



"If a decision is made on this basis we will advise our client to challenge it by way of judicial review in the administrative division of the High Court."

You can see the full York Press story here.

The council consultation ends on June 27 and the authority says it will publish its eventual decision on the proposals in the autumn. 

You can see its consultation document here.

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  • icon

    Good for them! Consultation over licensing is a tick box affair with Councils just riding roughshod over LLs to introduce licensing and the tenants end up paying the cost in extra rent. LAs already have the powers they need to deal with rogue LLs - licensing is just a way to fund their Housing Dept because they are short of funds.

  • icon

    Well done. At last a group of Landlords fed up of being kicked and dealing with it. I take my hat off to you 👍

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    It took a local group of Landlords to fight back against Licensing -
    The silence of the NRLA is deafening
    Shame on them.


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