By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Exposed - the council that flouted its own policies to fine landlords

A local newspaper’s investigation has revealed that a London council flouted its own policies to maximise the number of landlords it could fine.

A Freedom of Information request from the Ilford Recorder has found that Redbridge Council “secretly and informally” flouted its own policy over fining landlords.

Testimony from a senior officer in a 2019 court case reveals the council’s policy to try to resolve issues with landlords “informally” before issuing a fine was ignored “for a few weeks” that year.


Meanwhile the council increased enforcement against landlords and managing agents in 2019, issuing 100 fines in the first six months of that year.

Redbridge Council has yet to confirm how many other fines were issued without following policy, and whether they were cancelled or reviewed in light of the legal precedent.

The newspaper this week reports: “In a ruling on July 4, 2019, tribunal judge Peter Korn decided the council disobeying its own policy was enough reason to overturn a £5,000 fine issued to a managing agent in that period.

"Redbridge Council has yet to confirm how many other fines were issued without following policy, and whether they were cancelled or reviewed in light of the legal precedent.”

The new article looks in particular at a £5,000 fine issued to the property agent for an Ilford flat located inside the council’s selective licensing scheme, because it was found to be unlicensed.


It transpired that the judge was concerned that this particular fine was issued, without the proper process having been followed, when the fact was that this was actually about the agent simply helping his mother to manage a property. 

A spokesperson for Redbridge Council told Landlord Today last evening: "Redbridge's property licensing scheme requires all private landlords within designated wards to obtain a licence to privately rent their property. The scheme helps the council to protect the health and safety of private renters and improve the quality of privately rented homes in the borough. 

"Although disappointed with the outcome of the tribunal, we accept its findings. We are committed to working alongside landlords in the borough and our officers always make every effort to resolve issues of non-compliance before resorting to formal enforcement action."

Back in June 2019 the Ilford Recorder carried a story saying that Redbridge Council had recently issued 150 fines to landlords, with the authority saying it had a zero tolerance policy towards illegal activity in the private rental sector.

You can read this week’s well-researched Ilford Recorder piece in full here.

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

  • icon

    Why are we even surprised by this. The councils by getting selective licensing is aiming to raise funds from the landlords equity. Each transgression can make thousands in fines. They are wetting their beak

  • icon

    I agree Jahan the justification for licensing is not to improve the quality of rented property but an excuse to fine landlords for failing to licence and breach of licence conditions.
    Jim haliburton
    The HMO daddy


    Let’s just say Jim I’m ‘regretting’ being a licenced landlord. It’s like giving your opponent firepower that is used against you. LL pays licence fee that is used to pay people to magnify issues to benefit themselves

  • icon

    SL is just about funding their Housing Dept - nothing to do with raising standards as they already had powers equivalent to SL under existing legislation.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    The Government enacted Civil Penalties as a
    ' Local Tax ' that could be collected by Councils, who are incentivised because they keep the revenue.
    From the Govt's perspective, its cheaper for them than having to fund Local Authorities. For Councils, they want to find as many occasions to issue Penalties as its financially in their interest to do so, rather than to engage and have housing matters corrected voluntarily in dialogue with a landlord.
    In short, its a Government sponsored scam


    More eloquently put than myself - absolutely true

  • Yonnette  Roberts

    Most LA take an informal approach to enforcement before action are taken. If you don’t want to be fined or received a statutory notice, do your job and stop going on about the council making money. This is your business so run it. If you did you’re job then you would need an officer to tell you what to do. We have a lot of good landlords out there running their business and following the law.


    Yonnette have you been watching ITN news recently including tonight, council and housing assoc housing, disgraceful, far worse than anything in the private rental sector, get your own house in order dear.

  • Mohammad Kamran  Iqbal

    Waltham Forest Council should be investigated.

    Property Licenses is definitely a money making scheme.

  • icon

    Yonnette, Oh dear ! have you been taken in or are you a Council employee, We can’t ignore the facts when we have been hammered for years ever since 2 jags Deputy Premier John started off all this stuff with the 2004 housing Act introducing Licensing in 2006 and Deposit schemes in 2007, no Queenbery’s rules for him. We have always done our job but now do the Councils job as well while we pay them to do nothing only look at screens and destroy us. Currently a West London Borough is trying to bring in 3 schemes Borough wide and is reported if successful (who’s to stop them) they will Make £20’000’000. so you want us to think it’s not a money grab. £20m to be taken from private LL’s by Local Authorities to destroy us and you tell us to run our business that we have been doing for decades and paying thousands in taxes, when Councils were hardly involved or looks like they didn’t know we existed, they were too busy making a mess of public sector housing, can’t run their own.

  • icon

    These gangsters need exposing , tell your own tenants how much these criminals are costing them in extra rent, while you are maintaining your own properties go round council properties examine them closely take photographs post the evidence on social media send to local press and radio, talk to council tenants about their issues put leaflets through council tenants letterboxes informing them of their rights to complain and take the council to court


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up