2 Park Street
Cardiff CF10 1ET
B e f o r e :
| JAKE EVANS
|- and -
The Respondent appeared in person
Hearing date: 8 April 2019
Crown Copyright ©
HH JUDGE JARMAN QC :
"The landlord of a dwelling subject to a domestic tenancy must not do any of the things described in subsection (2) in respect of the dwelling unless – (a) the landlord is licenced to do so under this Part for the area in which the dwelling is located…"
"A section 21 notice may not be given in relation to a dwelling subject to a domestic tenancy which is an assured shorthold tenancy if— (a) the landlord is not registered in respect of the dwelling, or (b) the landlord is not licensed under this Part for the area in which the dwelling is located and the landlord has not appointed a person who is licensed under this Part to carry out all property management work in respect of the dwelling on the landlord's behalf."
"8. That being the case, one would have thought that if one then looks at section 44 that the requirement for licencing would be very clearly set out in that part of the Act. Instead, there seems to be a conflict between what is set out at section 7 and what is set out at section 44…
9. I would have expected, instead of the word "Or" to appear in section 44, the word "And," but that is not what the section says. If one reads section 44 on its own then it appears to me that all that is necessary is for the landlord to be either registered or licenced. It is not an "And" position, it is an "Or," there is an alternative. That is unfortunate, to say the least, because there is clearly a conflict.
10. The defendant says one should look at the intention behind the Act and in particular what is set out in Part 1. That is a fair point, I think. However, equally, one could say that section 44, which is headed; "Restriction on terminating tenancies", should be read very carefully and that it would be wrong, therefore to look any further than the section which specifically deals with any restriction that is placed upon the termination of tenancies.
11. I think one can argue this in both ways, quite frankly, and I have to make a decision as to which I prefer. In my judgment, doing the best I can without any authorities before me and simply interpreting the Act, as I must, I conclude that section 44 of the Act is clear. It is an either/or situation. It is not a requirement that landlords need to be registered and licensed. Registration or licensing is sufficient…"
"37. The other word to which the judge attaches significance is "or" at the end of paragraph 9.2.1. In my view, that does not assist. Sometimes the word "or" is disjunctive in that it appears between two alternative scenarios which cannot both apply. But sometimes "or" is conjunctive, not disjunctive. It appears between two scenarios, both of which may apply. See for example the heading of Part 5 of this judgment. There are many reported cases over the years in which the courts have construed "or" conjunctively.
38. Perfectly understandably, neither counsel has cited a raft of cases in which the courts have construed the word "or" in particular contexts. I will not launch into a review of authorities which neither counsel has cited. Suffice it to say there is no juridical objection to construing the word "or" conjunctively. There is a perfectly good reason for the use of "or" to separate paragraphs 9.2.1 and 9.2.2. They are mutually exclusive in the sense that each refers to a discrete period of time, and the two periods do not overlap."
"(1) The landlord of a dwelling subject to, or marketed or offered for let under, a domestic tenancy must be registered under this Part in respect of the dwelling…
(2) A landlord who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale."
"An application for registration is to be made to the licencing authority for the area in which the application relates is located; and the authority must register the landlord within the prescribed period if the application –
(a) is made in the form required by the authority,
(b) includes such information as is prescribed,
(c) includes such other information as the authority requires, and
(d) is accompanied by the prescribed fee."
"Before granting a licence a licencing authority must be satisfied-
(a) That the applicant is a fit and proper person to be licenced (see section 20);
(b) That requirements in relation to training specified in or under regulations made by the Welsh Ministers are met or will be met (as the case may be)."
"The Bill sets out requirements with respect to the registration and licencing of landlords and agents operating within the private rented sector. This will help improved standards in the private rented sector, make more information available on landlords for local authorities and tenants and lead to raised awareness by landlords of their rights and responsibilities."
"Further to this, and in order to provide additional protection for tenants, we believe that an unlicensed landlord should be prevented from serving a 'no-fault eviction notice', as is currently the case for Houses in Multiple Occupation licencing and selective licencing.
We recommend that the Minister amends the Bill to include provisions equivalent to those in the Housing Act 2004 to prevent an unregistered landlord or agent from serving notice under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 to evict a tenant."
"Under this section, a notice issued under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 may not be issued in respect of an assured shorthold tenancy as long as the landlord is not registered, or the landlord is neither licenced nor has appointed a licenced agent to carry out all property management work. This serves to protect tenants from illegal eviction when landlords wish to remove tenants in order to not need to comply with the provisions of this Part."
"I/we declare that the information contained in this application is correct to the best of my/our knowledge. I/we understand that I/we commit an offence if I/we supply any information to the licensing authority in connection with any of its functions under Part 1 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 that is false or misleading and which I/we know is false or misleading or am/are reckless as to whether it is false or misleading."