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Council prosecutes 492 landlords in two and a half years

Newham Council has reported that in the two and a half years since its licensing scheme came into force it has made 611 prosecutions against 492 landlords.

The figures were released last week after a house in East Ham was raided and a tenant claimed he was paying £500 a month to stay in a room that was only big enough to fit a mat to sleep on and a few extra furnishings.

The raid found that the landlord, who is now under investigation, had allegedly crammed ten bed spaces into five rooms.

In May, we reported that in the three years to March 2014 Newham Council made 359 prosecutions against landlords, by far the most by any council in the capital during that period.

The council has also confirmed that 25 landlords have been banned from operating in the area and that it has collected over £500,000 in additional council tax from properties that have been illegally operation as Houses in Multiple Occupation.

Russell Moffatt, private housing operations manager, said: “Newham Council has been proactive at rooting out the worst landlords who make the lives of their tenants miserable by placing them into poor quality accommodation.”

Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, added: “It’s vital that councils like us flush out the landlords who take advantage of the current housing crisis by turning terraced houses into crammed bedsits, replacing living rooms with bedrooms and creating dodgy flats.

“We were the first council to introduce borough-wide private rented sector licensing because we saw the increasing need to reclaim the rental market from criminal landlords, protect what can often be vulnerable tenants and assist distressed neighbours living next to overflowing homes.

Last week a group of landlords in Oldham claimed they are going to present the council with a petition against its selective licensing scheme.

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