Published 30th September 2020
September has seen a growing number of stories related to rogue landlords and property licensing enforcement. Perhaps making up for lost time caused by the Coronavirus lockdown – local authorities are amping up their enforcement and clamping down on the landlords who continue to flout the law.
At Kamma, we understand that property licensing is complex, inconsistent and ever changing. Our technology and software cuts through that complexity to keep you on top of all the changes with clear and accurate advice. We analyse and sort data to help agents, landlords and surveyors understand the impact of Property Licensing and Planning Permission on their properties and assets. By leveraging technology and data, we want to ensure that no tenant has to live in substandard or unsafe accommodation again.
After investigations carried out by Greenwich Council, five local landlords have been hit with fines of £5,000. Officers caught wind of these properties as operating unlicensed as well as posessing hazards such as damp and mould, overcrowding and missing fire alarms.
All five properties were found to be unlicensed HMOs. One of the landlord’s properties, a four-bed HMO in Greenwich, was rented to four separate tenants and was identified following a resident’s complaint about the property.
“Our HMO licensing requirement protects tenants by ensuring landlords are held legally responsible for meeting certain standards, such as fire and general safety, as well as ensuring the property is in good condition. I’m encouraging landlords to come forward and work with the Council to help protect their tenants and avoid being fined a hefty sum.”Cllr Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Enforcement
Two landlords have been served by Wellingborough Council with civil penalty notices of £6,000 and £8,250 for operating two unlicensed HMOs.
Both properties were found to be operating as unlicensed HMOs and following investigations from the Private Sector Housing team found sufficient evidence to pursue action against both landlords.
“This is an excellent result…council officers usually try to educate and work with landlords to secure compliance informally, but, this should send a strong message to landlords that should they fail to act on officers’ advice or fail to comply with statutory obligations, officers will not hesitate to use the wide range of legal tools available to them.”Spokesperson from Wellingborough Council
Three years after serving initial prohibition notices and bringing the case through the courts, Kent Fire and Rescue Service and the Health and Safety Executive have now both brought legal action against the Bromley based landlord.
Regarding their property in Swanley, Mr. Mustafa continually ignored fire service notices which prohibited the use of a first floor kitchen and residential accommodation for living or sleeping.
In addition to his two suspended sentences, Mr. Mustafa must pay £3,000 costs to KFRS and £5,000 costs to the HSE, serve 300 hours unpaid community service over 15 months, plus he has been disqualified from being a company director.
“Mr Mustafa chose to flagrantly ignore the support, guidance and warnings from HSE to assist his compliance with the law and continued placing people at serious risk of injury or even death.”HSE Inspector Joanne Williams
Last year, rogue landlords operating in Manchester were fined almost £300,000 as the council continued to mount their enforcement on the Private Rented Sector. Fines were handed out to landlord breaching housing regulations by forcing tenants to live in poor and unsafe properties.
In total, over 240 properties were inspected in 2019/20 by the city council’s rogue landlords enforcement team after almost 1,900 complaints were submitted to the town hall.
The most common offences included breaking management rules around houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), ignoring improvement notices, and operating properties without a licence.
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