Havering council in London has issued £261,750 in penalty notices to what it calls ‘criminals’ operating in the private rental sector.
Between March and September of this year, the council has handed out:
- 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 notices.
The council’s licensing scheme, which started in 12 wards across the borough earlier this year, requires private landlords of HMOs to apply for a licence, while of course 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.
Councillor Viddy Persaud, the councillor on the authority responsible for public protection and safety, says: “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.”