Newcastle City Council are seeking legal advice after a precedent set by a landmark ruling in the Britsol Council v Digs Ltd case may mean landlords are due refunds on HMO licenses for maisonettes.
The case which ruled that maisonettes cannot be classed as HMOs because they only have living accommodation across two floors rather than three, has prompted many to contact the council and dispute their need for a license.
The National Landlords Association say that Newcastle council has licensed an estimated 700 maisonette HMOs at £1,100 per property, and that the new ruling should entitle landlords to a refund. The NLA has written to Pat Ritchie, Newcastle Council’s chief executive, to ask what process is in place to allow landlords to apply for refunds.
A Newcastle Council spokesperson said: ‘Licensing of HMOs was introduced to ensure that tenants are protected by adequate health and safety standards and the proper management of properties.
‘A recent High Court case involving Bristol Council deemed that a particular three-storey property in Bristol was not a licensable HMO. We are obtaining legal advice in respect of the position of some licensed properties in Newcastle and whether they are affected by the Bristol decision.’
To read more on the original case click here.