Published 30th November 2020
Despite the second national lockdown, the housing market has very much stayed open for business all throughout the past month. As too it seems, have housing enforcement teams around the country, as this month we’ve seen some astronomic fines for rogue landlords and even agents. In this article we’ve selected the biggest stories we’ve come across.
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.
Mr Ali was brought to court by Southwark Council after it was discovered he had converted the first and second floor of a building, originally designated for office or light industrial use, into five “cramped, sub-standard” flats without the required planning permission.
Southwark’s team of enforcement officers, who led the investigation, found the size of the flats to be “well below minimum residential standards”. They found they were “so poorly constructed” that they “could never be granted planning permission”.
The 51-year-old illegally charged tenants £259,475 in rent, which he must pay back along with more than £23,000 in costs and a fine. He also is faced with two and half years in prison if he doesn’t pay for the fines.
Msr Dorval, an Ilford landlord, was caught by Tendring Council and given ten penalty notices relating to poor management of two bedsits. who failed to properly look after two bedsits has been fined £70,500.
The private sector housing team had originally began engaging with the landlord over in Spring 2019, making clear the remedial works that were needed to make her sub-standard properties acceptable.
Tenants also reported they were threatened with eviction for pointing out issues, while numerous complaints about anti-social behaviour and the condition of the property were made by neighbours.
With “slow and unsatisfactory” progress on repairs to the building prior to their closure, Dorval was then issued with the penalty notices and had her licences removed as the council determined she was no longer a ‘fit and proper person’ to run the properties.
After being caught out letting undersized rooms to tenants, Palmview Estates and the company’s director Hersch Sternlicht have been fined more than £18,000.
Thurrock Council had originally set out prohibition orders on four rooms let by the agency back in September 2017. But two years later, when officers reviewed the orders, they learnt that two of the rooms had been let to new tenants.
Cllr Barry Johnson, Thurrock Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “We will continue to target exploitative landlords to ensure that those living in shared accommodation have access to a good quality home and safe place to live in. Landlords and letting agents must ensure any properties they rent out are up to code and are licensed, where appropriate. Failure to do so is an offence which can result in prosecution or a fine of up to £30,000.”
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