Landlords renting out properties in the London borough of Brent have been ordered to pay fines totalling more than £500,000 over the past 18 months, which the local council says is thanks to its ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to ‘criminal landlords’.
Brent Council started clamping down on rogue landlords and ramped up its enforcement activity at the start of last year, with an average of two to five prosecutions now taking place in Brent every month.
A total of 44 prosecutions in 2016/2017 led to 89 convictions related to landlord licensing and housing management charges.
In addition, around 600 raids are carried out by the council’s enforcement team in Brent a year.
Spencer Randolph, head of private housing services in Brent, said: “The half a million pound landmark sends a clear message to landlords in Brent: if you don't have the correct license, you will face hefty fines and a criminal record in court.
“We are especially targeting our enforcement activity on Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO), so if you're a landlord letting a property to three or more people and they are not all related you need to get the property licenced quickly before you feel the full force of the law.”
He continued: “Our aim is to improve the living standards for tenants in Brent who are renting private accommodation and this means taking a zero-tolerance approach to rogue landlords who ignore the laws.
“No renter in Brent should be forced to put up with cramped, hazardous and unhygienic conditions. Residents who report their landlords can do so anonymously.”