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Westminster Court of Appeal sex shop case raises questions about HMO and selective licensing fees

RLA
Written by RLA

A decision by the Court of Appeal is set to radically alter the landscape for fixing fees for HMO and selective licensing…

A decision by the Court of Appeal is set to radically alter the landscape for fixing fees for HMO and selective licensing.

A decision this week by the Court of Appeal in the Westminster Sex Shop Fees case (Hemming (t/a Simply Pleasure) Limited v Westminster City Council) found in favour of the claimant, who believed they had been overcharged for a £29,000-a-year licence to operate their business.

The court case looked at the way in which the European Services Directive (ESD) operates to curtail the ways in which domestic UK legislation provides for fees to be charged by local authorities to landlords for such licences, as well as those for selective and HMO additional licensing.

The RLA is still considering the ramifications of the court case, and will be briefing members on the implications of the ruling in due course. However, the Association believes that the ruling will significantly affect a local authority’s ability to fund such schemes with costs linked to licensing fees now being much reduced.

In March, Westminster announced it had rejected licensing as a credible means of improving the private rented sector.

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RLA

RLA

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) represents the interests of landlords in the private rented sector (PRS) across England and Wales. With over 23,000 subscribing members, and an additional 16,000 registered guests who engage regularly with the association, we are the leading voice of private landlords. Combined, they manage almost half a million properties.

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