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High Court of Justice rules that licence application fees charged to HMO applicant were lawful

News | Wed 13th Dec, 2017

The High Court of Justice in R (on the application of Peter Gaskin) v Richmond Upon Thames London Borough Council [2017] EWHC 3234 (Admin) (Bean LJ and Carr J) today ruled that fees charged by Richmond Upon Thames Borough Council to an applicant for a licence to operate a House in Multiple Occupation were lawful.

Bean LJ held that the fees set by the Council were not disproportionate. He held that section 63(7) of the Housing Act 2004 expressly permits the Council in fixing fees under section 63 to take account into account all costs incurred in carrying out their functions under the relevant part of the 2004 Act.

Bean LJ held that it is not unlawful to charge the same for a renewal as for a first application.

The Court granted the Claimant permission to pursue a challenge to the lawfulness of the Council’s actions by reference to EU Directive 2006/123/EC, transposed into domestic law by the Provision of Services Regulations 2009, if he wished to challenge the lawfulness under European law.

The Court ordered the Claimant to give notice to the Crown, so that a minister or Law Officer may seek to be joined as a party to the litigation, due to the very wide ramifications of a decision on the issue.

Simon Butler was instructed by South London Legal Partnership.

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