The Penalties For Breaking Landlord Laws

Penalties For Breaking Landlord Laws

Landlord law can be an astonishingly grey area from what I’ve noticed over the years. As in, penalties always seem to vary, even if the crimes being committed seem similar to one another. However, because in almost every legal battle, the circumstances, particularly the nuances, are usually always unique.

I’ve been digging through the archives and I found a list of common offenses committed by landlords and the consequential penalties they faced. The list is a friendly reminder of why it’s important why every landlord should comply with their legal obligations.

In a lot of cases, laws are broken due to ignorance, where landlords aren’t even familiar with the law. Unfortunately, as every legal boff will preach, “ignorance of the law is not a defence”

The landlord that broke four separate gas safety laws

This particular showcase dives into a situation where a landlord broke four separate gas safety laws. The landlord not only had ten defects with gas appliances, but three of those defects were classified as “immediately dangerous” and three were classified as “at risk”. The defects included two gas leaks and a very poorly maintained open-flued gas fire in a room where a young couple and a baby slept. In an attempt to save his bacon, the idiot obtained a bogus, back-dated certificate from a local gas engineer. But as most blubbering idiots do, he got caught.

Charges: the landlord was charged under Section 33(1)(g) for failing to comply with an Improvement Notice the HSE had earlier served on the landlord, requiring gas safety checks to be carried out. He was also charged with three breaches of Section 33(1)(c), regarding failing to maintain gas appliances, failing to carry out annual safety checks and failing to remove gas appliances from a room used for sleeping.

Penalty: 16 months prison sentence.

Source: Landlord Zone (update: since publishing this blog post, the article has been removed from Landlord Zone’s website)

The landlord that didn’t get gas appliances checked

A Preston Landlord has been given a suspended prison sentence after failing to ensure gas appliances in one of her properties were checked for safety. School girl error.

Charges: the landlord pleaded guilty to breaching section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act, 1974 and to one breach of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (36 (3)).

Penalty: She was sentenced to a 26 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months and was ordered to pay £1,000.00 costs. And to think, it costs approx £60 per year to get a proper gas safety check. Fool.

Source: HSE

The landlord that failed to maintain his property

This tight-fisted landlord couldn’t be bothered to provide a proper service, so he deemed it appropriate to provide his tenants with damp rooms, damaged fire doors, maggot infested ceilings, and a lack of central heating and hot water.

Charges: the landlord was found guilty of failing to comply with licence conditions, failing to comply with management regulations and failing to comply with an improvement notice at a previous court hearing.

Penalty: the maggot was fined £4,850 and ordered to pay costs of £8,477. Ouch.

Source: Simple Landlords Insurance (update: since publishing this blog post, the article has been removed from their website)

The landlord that evicted his tenant illegally

This cowboy landlord was ordered not to evict his tenants by the Council. However, believing he was above the law he ‘forcibly removed’ his tenants from the property.

Penalty: this self-proclaimed sheriff was fined £10,000 for illegal eviction

Source: Ludlow Thompson

The landlord that failed to act on 12 improvement notices

This landlord had previously been prosecuted by the Council for failing to comply with 12 improvement notices, which cost him £2,500 plus costs. Unfortunately 2 years wasn’t long enough for this landlord to make the required amendments to the property, consequently he was prosecuted again for the exact same reasons.

The Improvement Notices were served on the landlord following an inspection of the property. Council officers identified a number of repairs which were required to bring the property up to a safe standard

Penalty: this goldfish fined £3,600 and ordered to pay £551 costs.

Source: Rugby Gov

The landlord that didn’t bother licensing a House of Multiple Occupancy

This landlord filled up his property like Noah’s arch. He had nine tenants who shared the same kitchen and bathroom facilities, but zero license.

The Improvement Notices were served on the landlord following an inspection of the property. Council officers identified a number of repairs which were required to bring the property up to a safe standard

Charges: It is a requirement of the Housing Act 2004 for landlords to license properties that have three or more storeys, and have five or more tenants who form more than one household, and share amenities such as bathrooms, toilets or kitchens.

Penalty: Noah was fined £1,760 plus costs of £1,700

Source: Derby Gov (page has been removed from website)

The landlord that just didn’t bother responding to the law

Housing officers from the council were investigating a property following a complaint of damp, mould, rats and rubbish. To get the case rolling, all the judge requested was for the landlord to prove his responsibility for the property, but several requests and legal notices demanding information went unanswered.

Penalty: the lazy git was fined £500 and victim surcharge of £15 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £480.

Source: Hounslow Gov

The landlord that didn’t bother declaring his rental income

This jammy tax dodger failed to disclose rental income which led to him evading £42,000 of tax.

Penalty: jailed for 12 months. Yikes!

Source: Cloud Works (update: since publishing this blog post, the article has been removed from their website)

The landlord that didn’t use a Tenancy Deposit Scheme

This landlord was too stupid/lazy to secure his tenant’s deposit into a tenancy deposit scheme. I say “stupid” because there is a scheme available to use which is free to use. So what’s the problemo?

Penalty: fined three times the deposit.

Source: Thomas Guise

11 Join the Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Sam 15th December, 2009 @ 13:27

I note from your examples so many of these could have been avoided, but they failed to comply with improvement notices. I also note that when the tax man is involved there's a hefty jail sentence!

Guest Avatar
Amy 15th December, 2010 @ 10:14

i noticed from one example that its the same position i am in with my landlord, i have a baby girl who is always poorly because of the damp rooms throughout my flat. i have told my landlord to fix the damp throughout my whole flat which she has failed to do. the damp has got worse now and it has ruined alot of my household things. it has ruined my baby cot and my bed. the landlord said it was my fault that the damp is coming through all the walls and she is now saying im not aloud my deposit back for when i move out in just a few weeks. what shall i do?

Guest Avatar
Jools 15th December, 2010 @ 17:27

Hey Amy,

What a load of bunny balls your LL is talking! How can it be your fault the damp is coming through the walls? I suggest you contact your local councils housing officer or the citizens advice office asap so they can advise the best way forward.


Guest Avatar
jim 16th July, 2011 @ 12:00

I am currently in a situation with my landlord where they havent provided gas safety checks for three years and failed to secure my deposit into an AST scheme. We contatcted the appropriate authorities and all that has happened is they told them to secure my deposit straight away( even though it was 3 years late) and told her to produce gas certificates, which she went to one of her friends and got back dated ones. Now I've been served with a section 21 for questioning her actions and have to find somewhere else to live. The way it looks to me is as long as a landlord acts when you shop them, they can get away with whatever they want.

Guest Avatar
Victoria 28th September, 2011 @ 14:20

I have been screwed over by many of the above so called laws - this country does nothing to help the tenant, it is all to protect the scumbag dodgey landlords. All of the above is good in theory but unhelpful in reality.

Guest Avatar
Samantha Edmunds 28th April, 2014 @ 14:00

I love the way everyone is saying the landlord is the winner on top of all this. My mother rents out a house, her tenants are constantly behind on rent, always paying late, refuse her entry to inspect the house, and refuse her entry to get the gas certified. Then when she serves them with a section 8 they refuse to leave, so they go to court 6 weeks later and the case gets adjourned for 2 months. The tenant has now gone to environmental health saying that there's mould in the house (none of which has ever been mentioned to my mother otherwise it would have been dealt with) and also saying that the gas should be certified when it's not her fault that the tenants are refusing entry and she can't gain access to get it done.
So far everything that has gone on in our situation is all on the tenants side. My mother has never been unreasonable with these people, in fact she gave them a month off so they could get new carpets, she was lenient with them redecorating the house without permission and with them having pets.
And now she can't get them out because the law is all on the tenants side. Yes there are some awful landlords out there, but in this instance there are some awful tenants. She never asked for a deposit because they couldn't afford it and she didn't ask for a month up front because they were on benefits and couldn't afford it. And look where she's ended up,

Guest Avatar
Colin 21st February, 2017 @ 23:00

Hi guys I have paid £375 for water pump,paid rent short,recently paid £265 deducted this from rent for work on boiler,landlord not serviced boiler for 4 plus years by the owner is a professional footballer oh also paid for last service 4 or five years ago rent also goes into his account each month is he paying capitol gains tax .. Any advice gratefully received

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gels 2nd July, 2018 @ 13:22

I have been a prompt paying and reliable tenant for the last nine years. We were lead to believe by the letting agent that the landlady was up to date with gsc, but no. We found out that she has never (in our tenancy had one even though she replaced the boiler a few years back.
She has never taken responsibility for the leaking roof that has now saturated the wall that adjoins where we live, the flat down stairs and the butcher shop below that. Saturated to the point of being able to run your fingers through it like blancmange. This has caused further damp to the entirety of the communal stairwell access from the top to the bottom, therefore rendering that access in and out of the building unsafe and not fit for purpose. The Freeholder is likewise completely uncaring in regard to this property and to make matters worse, broke the locks off the front door and left it open to any passersby in a very busy road. This blattant disregard for tenant safety, when complained about, fell on deaf ears of the landlady and the freeholder. To make matters worse, they charged the guy in the downstairs flat for their workment to come and break the locks on the door. I personally had to make the scene safe by actually screwing the door shut.
We now have only the rear fire escape stairs at the back of the building to go in and out of the property.
last Feb the landlady (leaseholder) finally pulled her finger out to get a GSC, then last month gave us our notice to vacate. She still continues to use our address as a postal dumping ground without prior arrangement and also has been booking builders to enter the property to estimate and/or carry out work and again, with no prior arrangement, notice or just damned polite consideration.
We've got less than a month to find something else suitable near our childrens schools that we can afford which is nye on impossible just now. We are hard working parents that are trying to teach our children about how stuff works in the world. "Listen kids, this is how NOT to be a good landlord should you ever find yourself in the position to be able own anywhere."

Guest Avatar
Phil Roberts 11th December, 2020 @ 14:17

Everything I read goes on about a Gas Safety Certificate and we must issue one to our tenant however we have no gas at the property but there does not seem to be any provision for this, what are we supposed to do.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 11th December, 2020 @ 15:52

@Phil Roberts

If your property has no gas supply or is provided with no gas appliances, then you don't need a gas safety certificate.

Guest Avatar
Andrea Mackay 7th June, 2021 @ 23:56

After my landlord served me a section 21 (4/20) I found out the central heating was fitted without a boiler compliance certificate in October 2017 the month before my tenancy began. No safety or efficiency certificates were given until August 2020 when he then served me a section 13 with a rent increase of 45%. What can I do?

















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