Fines for landlords and lettings agents in Greater London have soared from just £22,000 in May to a huge £139,146 in July.
Part of that may be accounted for by the increase in court hearings as a result of the pandemic easing, but PropTech firm Kamma - which has produced the figures - says it’s also down to local authorities deploying Rent Repayment Orders and other penalties with more vengeance than before.
Kamma has analysed the Mayor of London’s Rogue Landlord and Letting Agent Checker and says that since the device was introduced in 2018 some £6.5m in penalties have been applied to agents and landlords.
The largest single fines ever recorded are £100,000 for a landlord and £167,000 for a letting agent respectively.
Councils have been under pressure throughout the pandemic with budgets under strain and housing conditions under the spotlight.
Kamma chief executive Orla Shields says: “Whilst the pandemic seems to have reduced enforcement levels, it did not slow the level of regulation which is higher now than at any time before. With a complex web of regulations now governing the sector and growing levels of enforcement, it is business critical that both agents and their landlords stay on top of compliance requirements”.
Tower Hamlets council alone has issued almost 70 RROs with the total amount of reclaimed rent at £200,000.
Shields continues: “As the NRLA has recently pointed out, it’s right that councils enforce their own regulations, which otherwise would be a tax on good landlords, with rogue individuals continuing as before. The danger is that good landlords and letting agents offering high quality homes to market could still get caught out by a change in regulation. With tenants acting as enforcers, agents and landlords have to stay one step ahead.”
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