It was revealed that more than £300,000 worth of penalty notices have been handed out to criminal landlords over the last 11 months.
Havering Council, during 2018, took enforcement against landlords operating inadequate and dangerous living conditions in housing of multiple (HMOs)
Action from the local authority included:
- handing 108 financial penalty notices,
- 16 housing related notices served to address poor housing standards,
- 181 licence applications served
- £144,854 licensing fees collected.
£304,250 is the total penalty notice value for the last 11 months.
Started earlier this year the council’s Landlord Licencing Scheme requires private landlords of HMOs to apply for a licence.
Aims of the scheme include tackling the poor management of private rented homes, overcrowding and anti-social behaviour.
From now, landlords of properties with five or more occupiers in two or more households need to have a mandatory HMO licence.
The council will be checking if the landlord is licensed correctly, and if not – can serve a financial penalty notice for up to £30,000 and those not licensed could face prosecution.
In November, council staff found an unlicensed HMO with four households in Elm Park, including babies and children, sharing a kitchen and bathroom in an overcrowded property in poor conditions.
Fire safety was also inadequate, without working fire alarm or fire door.
This property landlord will be issued with financial penalties for failing to licence the property and for breaching HMO management regulations.
“The past 11 months have seen us carry out back-to-back enforcement action.
“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.
“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.” – said cabinet member for public protection and safety, Councillor Viddy Persaud.