Unscrupulous landlords in the London Borough of Hackney face more stringent regulation after Hackney Council agreed to new property licensing powers this week, designed to clampdown on rogue operators in the local PRS.
Private landlords of more than 4,000 privately rented homes in Brownswood, Cazenove and Stoke Newington wards need to obtain a licence, as part of efforts to improve housing conditions in the local area.
The council reports that around one in five renters in these areas suffer from issues such as cold, disrepair or damp.
The council’s licensing team can now take tough measures against those who do not comply, including penalty charges of up to £30,000, prosecution which could lead to an unlimited fine, or a total ban on letting homes.
A similar clampdown on local HMOs was introduced earlier this year.
Cllr Sem Moema, mayoral adviser for private renting, commented: “For too long rogue landlords have been able to get away with exploiting a lack of regulation to profit from letting out homes in unacceptable condition.
“Our property licensing measures are addressing this imbalance, giving protection to thousands of renters who, by paying exorbitant rents just for somewhere to live, are already on the frontline of Hackney’s housing crisis.
“Landlords have long known that these changes are coming and – with plans to inspect every single property affected – those breaking the law can have no excuses when we issue tough penalties for not having the licence they need or bringing their properties up to scratch.”