Problems with Newham Council over HMO

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I am being hounded by a Newham Council official to license my property as HMO. I am unclear about a few things but first here is the background:

1) The property is a 2-storey terraced townhouse i.e. two floors above the ground floor (the Council Official says this is a 3-Storey building!).
2) The property is let to an Eastern European couple i.e. the tenancy is in their joint names ONLY and they stated that it is intended solely for their family use (they were expecting their son &daughter).

Since this particular Council official got on my case, I have investigated the allegations with the tenants who insisted they only have their family members. I have informed them of HMO law and that no more than 4 persons (family members as they claimed) were allowed.

I have now had another threat of legal action from this Official claiming he had investigated and found more than five occupants in the property. I don't know who's telling the truth and I cannot, in practice verify as I live over an hour away in Essex and cannot watch over the tenants at all times. This official simply is on a war path and will not provide me with the source of his information/ investigation.

I do not want an HMO licence since the property is not intended for that purpose. I need advice(preferably legal) on how to protect myself. I feel like I'm being bullied here. What do I do - both with the Council and the tenants? Thanks.

18/03/2007 00:00

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Martin Co
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