Havering Council dished out more than £300,000 penalty notices

Council in Havering have dished out more than £300,000 in penalty notices to criminal landlords in 2018.

The team of council’s enforcement targeted landlords who was operating inadequate living conditions in housing of multiple occupancy (HMOs).

The council issued 108 financial penalty notices, 16 notices to address poor housing standards, and served 181 license applications over the year.

The team collected £144,854 in licensing fees and £304, 250 in penalty notices.

Cabinet member for public protection and safety, councillor Viddy Persaud, said: “We won’t tolerate these landlords taking advantage of local families and individuals by providing 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.”

Started at the beginning of 2018, the council’s Landlord Licensing Scheme, requires private landlords of HMOs to apply for a licence.

The central government regulation introduced on October 1, 2018 says, that landlords of properties that have five or more occupiers in two or more households also need to have the mandatory Houses of Multiple Occupancy licence.

Havering Council’s enforcement team checks if the  landlord is licensed correctly and if not, can serve a financial penalty notice for up to £30,000.

Those who are not licensed, could face prosecution.

In November the council discovered an unlicensed HMO in Elm Park. The HMO with four households, including babies and children, sharing kitchen and bathroom facilities in an over-crowded property in poor condition.

The property had inadequate fire safety, with no working fire alarm or fire door.

The landlord of this property is issued with financial penalties.

Cllr Persaud said: “Under our landlord scheme, we are successfully rooting out those landlords that think they are above the law. Our message to them is, is they cannot get away with it.”

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