Posts with tag: hammersmith and fulham council housing

Landlord Prosecuted for Illegal Eviction

Hammersmith & Fulham Council has successfully prosecuted a landlord, after she illegally evicted tenants when they complained about a foul smell and fire hazard at their flat.

Kathryn Dow, 56, of Novello Street in Fulham was given a suspended prison term at the City of London Magistrates’ Court, on 13th February 2015.

In January 2013, Dow rented out the top floor of her home to two tenants who paid a high deposit for a 19-month tenancy, the court heard.

Dow then refused to investigate when the tenants went to her complaining of a horrible smell in the hallway and one bedroom in April. The tenants suspected a dead animal under the floorboards, the court was told.

Additionally, Dow refused to move a large cabinet that was blocking the hallway entrance when the tenants believed it to be a fire hazard.

Landlord Prosecuted for Illegal Eviction

Landlord Prosecuted for Illegal Eviction

Officers from the Council were called to the three-storey property, where they could smell the odour. They sent Dow a letter giving her seven days to take action, however, by August, she had cancelled two other meetings with officers.

The court heard that in September, the tenants returned home one day to find that Dow had taken away their belongings and changed the locks. She said that there had been a carbon monoxide leak and that she had booked the tenants into a hotel. No leak was found and it emerged later that the tenants’ belongings were booked into a self-storage facility, before the date of the supposed leak.

The tenants went to the Council, where housing officers investigated the claim of an unfair eviction, which led to prosecution.

Only two days after the locks were changed, new tenants moved in. However, within two weeks they had moved out again, claiming there was a strong smell of mould and unsanitary conditions in the property.

The tenants were advised by the Council on how they could get their deposits back.

Dow denied illegally evicting the tenants, but was found guilty at the court hearing, where she was given a six-month prison sentence and two-year suspension. Furthermore, she was ordered to pay £10,794 in costs and compensation.

In another civil claim against Dow, at West London County Court, one of the original tenants was awarded £13,970 in damages towards their lost deposit, interest, and court costs.

The Council’s cabinet member for housing, Lisa Homan, says: “Rogue landlords cannot mistreat residents in this manner, and this prosecution shows the Council’s determination to ensure that private tenants in the borough are treated fairly.”1



London Council Shake Up Social Housing

Published On: October 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,

Hammersmith and Fulham Council has announced a drastic change to legislation in their borough in an attempt to solve social housing tenancy term problems.

New measures

From 2013, the Council plans to bring in fixed-term tenancies for those wishing to live in social housing. As part of their proposals, Hammersmith and Fulham Council plan to cut tenancy periods to five years, dropping to just two years for 18-25 year olds.

Also included in the proposals are plans to introduce a household income cap of £40,200. This is designed to deter more people from registering for social housing, with the waiting list already standing at 10,300 people.[1]

London Council Shake Up Social Housing

London Council Shake Up Social Housing


The new measures are due to be considered at a council meeting later this month. Hammersmith and Fulham Council has put forward the plans on the back of the Localism Act 2011, which gave local councils more authority to give flexible tenancy guidelines.

This led Barnet Council to introduce fixed-term tenancies with a household cap of £36,200 for families with children, decreasing to £30,800 for those without.[1]

Trim waiting lists

Hammersmith and Fulham have moved quickly to say that the new changes will not affect existing tenants. In addition, vulnerable tenants will still have the option of a more secure tenancy, with local workers and the armed forces also receiving priority.

The Council believes that the income cap on social properties will cut the waiting list, which currently amounts to around a 36-year wait. Councillor Andrew Johnson, cabinet member for housing, said: “We believe that the notion of a tenancy for life is outdated and that it’s wrong to expect to inherit a welfare benefit in the form of a subsided house irrespective of housing need.”[1]


However, housing charity Shelter is strongly opposed to the introduction of income caps, stating that many families will end up “locked out of a decent place to live.”[1]

Kay Boycott, Director of Communications at the organisation, said that their research this year, “found that renting a two-bedroom home in Hammersmith and Fulham is unaffordable for families earning less than £74,100.”

She continued: “An income cap for social housing around the £40,000 mark could therefore see a huge swathe of the population locked out of a decent place to live, too well off to access social housing but not affluent enough to find an affordable place to rent privately.”[1]


In a different move, Sutton Council has recently released its Tenancy Strategy, which pledges its support to open-ended tenancies. Council leader Ruth Dombey, believes: “It is very dangerous to create transient neighbourhoods where few people have any real stake in the community.”

She went on to say: “I’m not embarrassed to say that we looked to the past for inspiration.”[1]