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Cabinet agrees consultation to lock out more bad landlords

Published: Monday, 13 May 2019

Havering Council’s Cabinet has agreed to begin a consultation on looking at extending the successful Landlord Licensing Scheme, which has just marked its one year anniversary.

Plans to expand the scheme from the current 12 wards would see regulation of local housing in multiple occupancy (HMOs) rolled out to a further six wards in the borough, covering Cranham, Emerson Park, Hacton, Hylands, St Andrew’s and Upminster.

The Council’s Cabinet members have agreed to hold a consultation for this expansion together with looking at introducing a selective licensing scheme to cover single family properties.

Since the HMO Landlord Licensing Scheme was launched in March 2018, penalty notices to the tune of £387,250 have been issued to landlords operating unlicensed HMO’s where living conditions were found to be inadequate and/or dangerous.

The scheme 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.

Enforcement action in the last 12 months has included:

  • 133 Financial Penalty Notices issued to unlicensed HMOs
  • 23 Notices have been served warning landlords to improve standards
  • 27 multi-agency enforcement operations have taken place
  • 206 HMO licences have been issued.

Councillor Viddy Persaud, Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Safety, said:

“The past 12 months have seen us carry out back-to-back enforcement action. Under our landlord licensing scheme we are successfully rooting out those landlords who think they are above the law and letting them know they cannot get away with it.

“We won’t tolerate these landlords taking advantage of local families and individuals by renting out 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.

Working with landlords to help them abide by the regulations and get the support they need to do so, is also important to the Council.

The chance to share information and guidance will be available at a landlords forum on Wednesday 5 June 2019.

The Council will host this in partnership with the National Landlord Association, at Havering Town Hall, Romford, 7.30pm - 9.30pm.