London council brings in new licensing
The Labour-led local authority in Hackney has issued a statement pledging fines or even bans if landlords fail to get appropriate licenses by the start of a new licensing regime in December.
The statement says landlords of all private rented homes in Brownswood, Cazenove and Stoke Newington wards will need to hold new licensing “committing them to keeping properties safe and treating tenants fairly.”
More generally, the council also says that landlords of the 4,000 HMOs across the borough will also need new licensing requiring them to meet acceptable standards.
Those who don’t get new licensing or fail to comply with the conditions will face fixed penalties of up to £30,000, a criminal prosecution with unlimited fine, or be forced to pay tenants back up to a year’s rent.
“Serious offenders can be banned from letting homes completely, and placed on a rogue landlords database” the statement warns.
The council is doubling the size of its private housing enforcement team “to uncover perpetrators and tackle issues such as inadequate heating, damp and mould, dangerous boilers, exposed wiring and vermin infestations.”
It claims that around one in five homes covered under the new measures suffer from what it calls serious hazards, disrepair or poor management.