Brent Council has once again vowed to clamp down on rogue landlords in the local area, after 35 men were found living in a three-bedroom house in north London.
The men had been cramped into every room, other than the bathrooms, with bedding. Even the kitchen had a sleeping area, while another mattress was found laid out under a canopy in the back garden, with no protection against the night temperatures.
Council Warns Rogue Landlords: “We’re Coming for You”
The discovery was made on Winchester Avenue, Queensbury, at around 6am on Tuesday, when Brent Council enforcement officers and police officers entered the property after neighbours complained about overcrowding, anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping.
An investigation is under way to track down the landlord of the unlicensed House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).
Councillor Harbi Farah, the Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform at Brent Council, says: “Rogue landlords make their money by exploiting people who can least afford it – it’s a shameful practice and this is an especially shocking example.
“Any landlord treating their tenants unfairly should be in notice – we’re coming for you.”
Last week, Brent Council voted in new civil penalty measures to find rogue landlords up to £30,000 for breaching housing laws, such as letting unlicensed properties.
Meanwhile, Hackney Council is planning to introduce a selective licensing scheme in an effort to crack down on rogue landlords in the local area, as well as reduce anti-social behaviour in private rental properties.
The council’s consultation on the proposed scheme in Brownswood, Cazenove and Stoke Newington wards will run until 3rd December 2017.
Hackney Council is consulting all residents, landlords and businesses living and operating in the borough on proposals to introduce two new licensing schemes for private rental housing in the borough.
The council is proposing an additional licensing scheme for all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and a selective licensing scheme for all private rental properties.
The full draft proposal can be accessed here: https://consultation.hackney.gov.uk/communications-and-consultation/private-rented-sector-licensing-consultation/user_uploads/private-sector-licensing—full-draft-proposals.pdf
This week, Councillor Sem Moema launched a consultation on new powers designed to protect the borough’s tenants from living in “appalling conditions”.
Under the plans, landlords in Stoke Newington and Clapton, where the council reports that 20% of renters face issues like dangerous boilers, exposed wiring or vermin infestations, would require a licence from the town hall to ensure that their properties are safe and well-maintained.
Councillor Moema explains: “One in three homes in Hackney is privately rented, and too many renters face a raw deal of spiralling rents and a poor service from a minority of rogue landlords.
“Our research has exposed that, in some parts of our borough, tenants face appalling conditions that put their safety at risk despite paying an average of £1,820 a month in rent for a standard two-bedroom home.”
She insists: “This is simply unacceptable. We believe that introducing these licensing measures will give us the powers we need to tackle landlords who exploit renters and make sure their homes are safe, secure and well-maintained.
“But, crucially, we want as many renters, landlords and residents who experience these issues first-hand to respond to this consultation and give their views on our proposals.”
What are your thoughts on these crack downs?