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Havering Council hands out £55k in fines to rogue landlords in less than two months

PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 May 2018 | UPDATED: 08:23 25 May 2018

Just some of the health and safety breaches found by Havering Council at one HMO in the borough in the last two months. Photos: Havering Council

Just some of the health and safety breaches found by Havering Council at one HMO in the borough in the last two months. Photos: Havering Council

Archant

Havering Council has issued £55,000 in penalty notices to rogue landlords across the borough over the last two months.

Council officers and enforcement teams have been proactively clamping down on rogue landlords operating inadequate, and often dangerous, houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs).

Since March, Havering has issued £55,000 of fines from eight financial penalty notices served on landlords.

The borough’s Landlord Licencing Scheme, which started in 12 wards across the borough earlier this year, requires private landlords of HMOs to apply for a licence.

The scheme was introduced to tackle the poor management of private rented homes, overcrowding and anti-social behaviour.

One landlord was served two fixed penalty notices totalling £20,000 for operating an unlicensed HMO in serious disrepair in Rainham.

The property had no heating, exposed electrical wiring, and a dangerous outdoor staircase, which lead to the roof and acted as an entrance to the HMO.

Councillor Osman Dervish, cabinet member for environment, said: “In Havering, we are targeting irresponsible landlords as we are seeing the rise of inadequate HMOs and we will not tolerate it.

“These rogue landlords are taking advantage of local families in the community with overcrowded and poorly maintained properties. We’re being proactive in our efforts to crack down on this issue now, before it increases.

“We are one of the few boroughs who have this scheme in place and I’m pleased with what we have achieved so far, but there is more to do!

“Landlords of HMOs should take note and licence now to avoid such financial penalties.”

The news comes in the same week that London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced he was launching a public database online that would allow London councils to “name and shame” repeat offender landlords of poorly maintained properties.

Mr Khan believes the database, published on the City Hall website, will ac as a clear deterrent to the minority of landlords and letting agents who behave dishonestly.

Currently, 18 boroughs have provided data for this project – Havering has not yet done so.

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