Thanks to Tessa at landlordlaw for pointing me to this news snippet from Liverpool, in which the HMO licensing scheme is not only enforced, but the Local Authority aids the tenants,
Following conviction of the landlords, Raymond Whalley, and Ray Whalley Ltd, in the Liverpool Magistrates Court for operating an HMO without a licence, with a £3000 fine plus costs, the LA wrote to the tenants to inform them of their right to seek a rent repayment order in the Residential Property Tribunal. The six tenants did just that, resulting in an order for repayment of rent of £650 each, or three months rent (from the 12 months rent maximum award).
Good to see an LA taking enforcement action and aiding the tenants, but, given that the RPT found that the landlord:
Had chosen to flout the law by knowingly letting an unlicensed property thereby undermining the licensing scheme which had been put in place by parliament in the public interest
one wonders what they would have had to have done, or not done, for a 12 month rent award to have been made.