The High Court recently reversed a prosecution against our member, Mr Gaskin.
Mr Gaskin objected to giving a full list of information to Richmond Council, such as names of current tenants and the terms of their tenancy agreements as he considered this to be excessive.
The High Court agreed with Mr Gaskin and found that the only information that could be sought on a licence renewal application was that set out in the amended regulations, issued in 2012.
Not all Councils have amended their application forms since this ruling in 2012 and are still asking for too much information.
Mr Gaskins also appealed over the level of the fees. Richmond had set his fees at £1,799. Mr Gaskin thought this excessive and offered £850, which was refused, and thus refused to license the property.
Mr Gaskin had argued that under an EU directive he was providing the service of letting and managing housing, and accordingly, the local authority, as a regulatory body were obliged to treat him in accordance with the terms of this Directive and the UK implementation of it.
The Court agreed.
Note that it is generally agreed that Richmond will appeal the findings on fees, and will probably be backed by other Local Authorities. Additionally it will also depend on whether this directive continues after we leave the EU.