Havering Council fines rogue landlords more than £261,000 in crackdown on those living in inadequate and dangerous conditions
PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 October 2018
"Landlords of HMOs that breach the regulations must be aware that we will use the strongest possible action against them every time."
Havering Council has fined rogue landlords £261,750 in a crackdown on those living in inadequate and dangerous conditions.
The council’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.
Landlords of properties that have five or more occupiers in two or more households now need to have the mandatory Houses of Multiple Occupancy licence, a regulation that came in at the start of this month.
Enforcement action carried out by the council will look to see those landlords are licensed and if not, can serve a financial penalty notice for up to £30,000 or prosecution.
Between March and September of this year, the council’s enforcement team has dealt with: 81 financial penalty notices, nine housing related notices served to address poor housing standards, 143 Licence applications served, £124,191 licensing fees collected, £261,750 total penalty notice value.
On a visit to a property in Hornchurch recently, an unlicensed HMO in poor condition was found being let out to multiple families.
The three-bedroomed house had no heating, inadequate fire safety escape exits, faulty electrics and a staircase in dangerous condition amongst other areas that breached regulations.
Financial penalty notices were served on the property manager Councillor Viddy Persaud, cabinet member for public protection and safety, said: “Our landlord scheme is successfully rooting out those landlords that think they are above the law.
“We won’t tolerate these landlords taking advantage of local families and individuals by providing overcrowded and poorly maintained HMO properties.
“We also won’t stand for landlords not having the correct licences.
“Our officers will continue to be proactive to make sure tenants are living safely in private rented accommodation.
“Landlords of HMOs that breach the regulations must be aware that we will use the strongest possible action against them every time.”