Three tenants have only been awarded 20% of a rent repayment order application after a tribunal went easy on their forgetful landlord.
Lawrence Hoo admitted he had not renewed an additional HMO licence for the property in St Marks Grove, Easton, Bristol, but had applied as soon as he was told.
The council renewed his licence without any additional conditions attached and didn’t take any further action against him.
The First Tier Property Tribunal was told that the licence expired just as the Covid pandemic began – in May 2020 – and wasn’t renewed until March 2022.
Hoo’s solicitor suggested that this was a case where the amount awarded should be 0% but not more than 15-20%.
In a surprising result, the tribunal agreed and decided that the tenants should only be awarded £3,000, despite claiming £15,000, as they had paid £450 a month rent from April 2020 to May 2021.
The tribunal ruled: “We are satisfied that there are no aggravating factors in respect of the offence.
“Mr Hoo had previously held a licence and upon renewal it was renewed promptly by the council without any significant new conditions attached and certainly without any works being required.
Further we note the licence did expire shortly after the country was affected by the Covid pandemic which significantly affected all of our daily lives throughout 2020.”
The tenants were also awarded £300 in costs.
Read the decision in full