Havering's rogue landlords fined almost £400,000 in first year of licensing scheme
PUBLISHED: 17:00 13 May 2019
Havering Council is set to expand its landlord licensing scheme after the initiative saw rogue landlords fined almost £400,000 in its first year.
At a Romford Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, May 8, the borough's cabinet members voted in favour of rolling out the landlord licensing scheme currently being used in 12 Havering wards to the six remaining wards: Cranham, Emerson Park, Hacton, Hylands, St Andrew's and Upminster.
The proposed expansion will now go out for consultation, together with a plan to introduce a selective licensing scheme to cover single family properties.
Since the original houses of multiple occupancy (HMO) licensing scheme was launched in March 2018, penalty notices totalling £387,250 have been issued to landlords operating unlicensed HMO's where living conditions were found to be inadequate and/or dangerous.
The scheme requires private landlords of HMOs to apply for a licence, and was introduced to tackle the poor management of private rented homes, overcrowding and anti-social behaviour.
In the last 12 months, enforcement officers have issued 133 Financial Penalty Notices and 23 notices warning landlords to improve standards,
There have been 27 multi-agency enforcement actions and 206 HMO licences have been issued.
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The borough's cabinet member for public protection and safety, Councillor Viddy Persaud, said the scheme was "successfully rooting out those landlords who think they are above the law and letting them know they cannot get away with it".
She added: "We won't tolerate these landlords taking advantage of local families and individuals by renting out overcrowded and poorly maintained HMO properties."
"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 should be aware that we will use the strongest possible action against them every time."
The council is also keen to work with landlords to help them abide by the new regulations, and to get the support they need to do so.
To that end, the council is holding a landlords' forum on Wednesday, June 5.
Hosted in partnership with the National Landlords' Association, the event will run from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at the town hall in Main Road, Romford.
For more details or to book in advance, visit landlords.org.uk/in-my-area/london