'Criminal’ landlords fined £166,000 for poor housing conditions

Published: Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Havering Council has issued £166,000 in penalty notices to ‘criminal’ landlords across the borough over the last five months.

The Council has been proactively clamping down on those landlords operating inadequate houses in multiple occupancy (HMOs).

Between March and July this year, the Council’s enforcement team has dealt with:

  • 52 financial penalty notices
  • six housing related notices served to address poor housing standards
  • 131 licence applications received
  • £103, 093 licensing fees collected
  • £166,000 total penalty notice value

The Council’s Landlord Licencing Scheme, which started in 12 wards across the borough earlier this year, requires private landlords of HMOs to apply for a licence. The scheme was introduced to tackle the poor management of private rented homes, overcrowding and anti-social behaviour.

One landlord in Gidea Park, was recently served a Financial Penalty Notice totalling £14,500 for failing to license a HMO and for breaches of HMO Management Regulations.

The property had no working fire equipment, unhygienic and overcrowded conditions, including filthy bunk beds and carpets.

Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said:

“Here at Havering Council, we are targeting those irresponsible landlords who are taking advantage of local families and individuals by providing overcrowded and poorly maintained HMO properties.

“We won’t tolerate it and neither will we stand for landlords not having the correct licences. This is why we set up our Landlord Licensing Scheme earlier this year, to tackle those landlords who are continually breaching the regulations.

“We won’t let them get away with it and will continue to be proactive in our work 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.”