In a recent case between HMO landlord Peter Gaskin and The London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames, the administrative court ruled that HMO licence fees charged by local authorities can only cover the cost of the licensing scheme and not the cost of enforcing the scheme.
When Gaskin come to renew his HMO license the council tried to charge him a fee covering not only the costs of processing his application but the authority’s costs of running the licensing scheme.
By refusing to pay and beginning a court battle, many other HMO landlords are realising that they may have been overcharged and are being urged to seek professional legal advice.
Ultimately the court ruled that Gaskin met EU requirements by providing a service, therefore, the fee charged by the authorities must also be compliant with EU laws.
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by Steve George