If a local authority believes a landlord has failed to fulfil their obligations under the MEES Regulations, they can serve the landlord with a compliance notice. If a breach is confirmed, the landlord may receive a financial penalty.
Non-compliance with the Regulations
Your local authority may check for different forms of non-compliance, including one or more of the following:
If a local authority believes a landlord may be in breach, they may serve a compliance notice requesting information to help them decide whether a breach has occurred. They may serve a compliance notice up to 12 months after a suspected breach occurred.
A compliance notice may request information on:
If a local authority confirms that a property is (or has been) let in breach of the Regulations, they may serve a financial penalty up to 18 months after the breach and/or publish details of the breach for at least 12 months. Local authorities can decide on the level of the penalty, up to maximum limits set by the Regulations.
The maximum penalties amounts apply per property and per breach of the Regulations. They are:
up to £2,000 and/or publication penalty for renting out a non-compliant property for less than 3 months
up to £4,000 and/or publication penalty for renting out a non-compliant property for 3 months or more
up to £1,000 and/or publication for providing false or misleading information on the PRS Exemptions Register
up to £2,000 and/or publication for failure to comply with a compliance notice
The maximum amount you can be fined per property is £5,000 in total.
Right of review and right of appeal
If you do not agree with a penalty notice, you may ask your local authority to review its decision. They can withdraw the penalty notice if:
If a local authority decides to uphold a penalty notice, a landlord may appeal to the First-tier Tribunal if they think that:
Full compliance and enforcement process
The Local Authority (LA) checks if a property is in breach of Regulations where:
a. from 1 April 2018 it as been privately let to new or existing tenant; or
b. from 1 April 2020 it is privately let; or
c. the landlord registered an exemption and provided false or misleading information
If the property appears to be in breach of the Regulations, the LA may serve compliance notice on the landlord requesting further information.
If the property is in compliance, no further action will be taken.
If satisfied that the landlord is in breach of the Regulations, the Local Authority may serve a penalty notice on the landlord and publish details of the breach:
a. either the landlord accepts the penalty notice and pays the penalty
b. or if the landlord disagrees with the notice, they can request a review of the penalty notice decision.
The LA reviews the decision:
a. either they find in the landlord's favour and the penalty is quashed
b. or they uphold the penalty notice
If the penalty notice is upheld, the landlord can appeal the decision to the First-tier Tribunal which will review the decision:
a. either the Tribunal finds in the landlord's favour and the penalty is quashed
b. or the Tribunal rejects the landlord's appeal, and the penalty is affirmed
The landlord then:
a. either pays the penalty
b. or does not pay the penalty, in which case the enforcement authority may take debt recovery action