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Rent Repayment Orders and Fines used heavily by council

A Labour-controlled local authority with a reputation for clampdowns on rogue landyhas issued a statement celebrating its successes.

Tower Hamlets council in east London says it has brought 57 successful prosecutions against landlords and letting agents in the past three years.

Courts issued fines totalling over £361,662, of which £115,461 were handed to landlords and £225,500 to letting agents. 


Thirteen landlords were given a criminal caution and 12 received civil penalties totalling £76,661.

Crimes included renting out unlicensed properties, failing to carry out required improvements and charging hidden fees.

The largest single fine was £167,000, given to Sterling De Vere agency for giving false information to clients. It was also successfully prosecuted for two other offences under the Housing Act 2004 and fined £16,200.

The council also helped tenants claim back more than £360,000 from rogue landlords in 2020-21. 


The money was recovered using rent repayment orders that allow the council and tenants to get back up to 12 months’ rent from landlords who fail to license properties when they are required to do so.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, says: “With one third of properties in Tower Hamlets on the private market we’re taking steps to protect renters’ rights. We are using our enforcement powers to clamp down on landlords who are putting profits above their tenants.”

The council operates the Mandatory Licensing Scheme (for properties with five renters or more), the Additional Licensing Scheme (three or more renters) and the Selective Licensing Scheme.

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  • girish mehta

    Shortsighted laws designed to line up councils coffers. Make it unprofitable for landloards they stop investing . Less homes to rent. Housing crises for decade and higher rent. Everyone looses except the politicians causing the damage they move on to create havoc elsewhere and make more money

  • icon

    Rubbish if they had liceaned and maintained their properties they wouldnt have got fined etc, the old chesnut if you makes things harder well leave the market, same could be said for every walk of life, you need renters as much as they need you, remeber they are your customers


    Tenants are our customers David, and all businesses like good paying customers



    You are wrong. Renters need landlords far more if they can't or won't buy their own home.

    Landlords can choose to invest in other assets and so have a choice and are not dependent upon renters like renters are on landlords.

    There are more renters than available quality properties so while all landlords are needed, some renters are surplus to requirements.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    1 st, Lets look at these figures, of a Third of all properties contraventions warranting prosecution were made by Less than 20 per year, - that's an awfully HIGH level of compliance by Landlords of the plethora of regulation that exists.
    2 nd, How many complaints have there been against Tower Hamlets by Tenants, Council Tax-payers etc - Far more than 20 per year, I'd suggest !
    Not really doing that well at all, are they.

  • icon

    The Selective licensing Scheme seems to have changed again looks like they keep making it up as they go along. Before they referred to people as households now they are call them renters. That’s a big difference before you could have 2 households and not need a license which meant 2 couples (4 persons) but if you had 3 singles you had to get a License, crazy rules, now they are saying 3 persons or more just playing with words, in fact what that means its more than 2 can they not say so.
    What happened to their famous word households and will Family households become single renters too.


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