An analysis of the Mayor of London’s Rogue Landlord and Letting Agent Checker shows that since it was introduced in 2018 some £6.5m in penalties have been applied to agents and landlords.
The largest single fines ever recorded are £167,000 for a letting agent and £100,000 for a landlord and respectively.
Now the PropTech firm undertaking the analysis - Kamma - says there’s a renewed clampdown because fines levied in May this year totalled just £22,000 but in July the total of fines had soared to a huge £139,146.
Part of that may be accounted for by the increase in court hearings as a result of the pandemic easing, but Kamma says it’s also down to local authorities deploying Rent Repayment Orders and other penalties with more vengeance than before.
Councils have been under pressure throughout the pandemic with budgets under strain and housing conditions under the spotlight.
Kamma chief executive Orla Shields says: “Whilst the pandemic seems to have reduced enforcement levels, it did not slow the level of regulation which is higher now than at any time before. With a complex web of regulations now governing the sector and growing levels of enforcement, it is business critical that both agents and their landlords stay on top of compliance requirements”.
Tower Hamlets council alone has issued almost 70 RROs with the total amount of reclaimed rent at £200,000.
Shields continues: “As the NRLA has recently pointed out, it’s right that councils enforce their own regulations, which otherwise would be a tax on good landlords, with rogue individuals continuing as before. The danger is that good landlords and letting agents offering high quality homes to market could still get caught out by a change in regulation. With tenants acting as enforcers, agents and landlords have to stay one step ahead.”