Selective Licensing: Is there only ever one ‘Part 3 house’?
Tomorrow the Upper Tribunal will consider this important question in appeals brought by a landlord against the imposition of financial penalties by Thanet DC under section 249A Housing Act 2004. Thanet imposed five financial penalties on the appellant, having been satisfied that it was the person managing 5 flats in a block, each of which was required to be licensed under Part 3 of the Act, but was not. This contravened section 95(1) of the Act. The First-tier Tribunal upheld the penalties.
The appellant will argue that the entire block, containing 22 flats, was the only ‘Part 3 house’. It will argue that it was in control of all flats, which were let on non-exempt tenancies, and that Thanet was bound to proceed on the basis of one offence only, being an offence in relation to the block itself. The appellant will also argue that had a licence been applied for, the only licence that could lawfully have been granted would have been one for the entire block (and not flats within the block). It claims that there is only ever ‘one right answer’ to what is the ‘Part 3 house’, both for enforcement and also for licensing.
Ranjit Bhose QC is appearing for Thanet DC, instructed by Jennifer Phillips. It resists the appeal and these arguments.