In an unusual case which is likely to be the first of its kind made public in the UK, a Coventry landlord has said he cannot afford the licensing fees for the city’s recently-expanded HMO scheme and intends to evict his tenants via a Section 21.

A landlord in Coventry has warned his tenants that they will soon face eviction proceedings even though they have done nothing wrong.

The tenants involved have blamed the threatened eviction on the city’s decision to proceed with its expanded HMO licensing scheme due to go live on May 1st and said the landlord cannot afford the fees.

“It’s just a normal family house but under the new regulations our landlords will have to install a fire escape, complete a full electrical survey among other things, all of which will cost him a lot of money,” says lead tenant Meghan Whitehouse.

“Hopefully, [the council] will realise the real life and immediate consequences of their legislation and reconsider. Show some humanity, I beg you on behalf of everyone I this situation.”

As LandlordZONE reported yesterday, the NRLA has heavily criticised the city’s council for not pausing the introduction of the scheme despite the Coronavirus outbreak.

In reply, councillor Tariq Khan told us that the scheme was designed to protect tenants and included safeguards to prevent tenants being evicted during the pandemic.

This has backfired for the three 20-somethings involved – Meghan Whitehouse, partner Edward Woodrough and friend Bradley Baker (pictured above).

They have been told by their property’s letting agency, Red Bricks, that because their landlord faced fees and other costs of £1,000 or more to licence the property and bring it up to HMO standard, he had been decided to serve them with a Section 21 6A notice on May 1st, the day the new scheme started in order to withdraw the property from the market.

This will give them three months’ to find a new home under the amended eviction regulations currently in force during the crisis.

The tenants seem unaware that, because of the legal backlog likely when the UK’s magistrate courts start hearing property cases again, it could take several more months for a possession hearing to be granted.

Red Bricks told local media that it is to apply for a temporary exemption notice to help the tenants to stay in the property in the meantime until a solution can be found.

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