Enforcement Policy - Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022
Step 1 - Determining the Severity
The more serious the breach, the higher the penalty will be.
The Council will assess the severity of the breach using the culpability and harm factors set out below. The listed factors are not exhaustive, and where a breach does not fall squarely into a category, individual factors may require a degree of weighting to make an overall assessment. Other discretionary factors may also be applied in order to reflect consistency and the Council may consider decisions in other UK jurisdictions where they contain some relevant and persuasive content.
Where there is higher culpability, there will be a higher financial penalty.
Where the landlord intentionally breached, or flagrantly disregarded, the law or has/had a high public profile and knew their actions were unlawful.
Actual foresight of, or willful blindness to, risk of a breach but risk nevertheless taken.
Breach committed through act or omission which a person exercising reasonable care would not commit.
Breach committed with little fault, for example, because:
* These are the terms used in the statutory guidance.
Where there is greater harm caused, there will be a higher financial penalty.
The following factors relate to both actual harm and risk of harm. Dealing with a risk of harm involves consideration of both the likelihood of harm occurring and the extent of it if it does.
(High Likelihood of Harm)
(Medium Likelihood of Harm)
(Low Likelihood of Harm)
The Council will define harm widely and the leaseholder(s) may suffer financial loss, damage to health or psychological distress (especially vulnerable cases). There are gradations of harm within all of these categories.
The nature of harm will depend on personal characteristics and circumstances of the leaseholder and the assessment of harm will be an effective and important way of taking into consideration the impact of a particular breach on the leaseholder.
In some cases, no actual harm may have resulted, and the Council will be concerned with assessing the severity of the misconduct; it will consider the likelihood of harm occurring and the gravity of the harm that could result.