A non-profit organisation called Justice For Tenants has spearheaded a campaign which has ultimately led to a Rent Repayment Order being served on a rogue landlord.
A group of tenants in south London claimed that their landlord had rented them an unlicensed property which did not confirm with the licensing scheme imposed by Southwark council.
The renters were supported by the local council and an organisation called Justice For Tenants - its website says it has provided training on new enforcement powers relating to the rental sector to government and council staff, and it has been involved in forums to advise landlords on regulation and the consequences of breaking the law.
A tribunal judge instructed the landlord to pay £18,660 in rent repayments to the four former tenants - this was the amount gathered by the landlord in rent while the property was wrongly let while unlicensed.
Al Mcclenahan, an outreach and training spokesperson for Justice for Tenants, says: “This application succeeded thanks to the joined-up hard work of the tenants, Southwark council's housing enforcement team and Justice for Tenants' Rent Repayment Order Team.
“It's vital that landlords do not believe they can make more money operating outside of the law, and this Rent Repayment Order helps break that business model.
“An HMO licence helps ensure that tenants have the bare minimum safety standards in their property. Southwark's willingness to work together with tenants and Justice for Tenants makes a huge difference to the quality of life of its residents in the private rented sector.”
And a spokesperson for Southwark council adds: “We are proud that our property licensing scheme enabled these tenants to raise their complaint at the tribunal. With valuable support from Justice for Tenants they secured a rent repayment, because their landlord had failed to register with our scheme.
“We know that the majority of reputable Southwark landlords who let good quality properties, are already compliant. However, we hope that any who are not, take note of this result and hasten to license their property with us.”
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