Havering Council Clamps Down on Rogue Buy to Let Behaviour

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Havering Council has distributed £55,000 in penalty charges to rogue buy to let investors in the borough over the last two months.

Havering Council has initiated a clamp down on rogue landlords operating inadequate houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). Council officers and enforcement teams have been fulfilling this.

Since March, £55,000 has been issued in fines from eight financial penalty notices served to landlords. These came through the borough’s Landlord Licencing Scheme, which started in 12 wards across the borough earlier this year. The scheme requires private landlords of HMOs to apply for a licence. The programme was introduced to improve the poor management of private rented homes and hopes to curb anti-social behavior problems in the area.

One landlord was served two fixed penalty notices by Havering Council which totaled £20,000. The notices were issued as the landlord had been operating an unlicensed HMO in serious disrepair in Rainham. The property had no heating, exposed electrical wiring, and a dangerous outdoor staircase, which lead to the roof. This acted as an entrance to the HMO and put tenants at serious danger through the landlord’s irresponsible management of the property.

Cabinet member for environment, Councillor Osman Dervish, spoke out about the scheme’s success in clearing up the buy to let sector: ‘In Havering, we are targeting irresponsible landlords as we are seeing the rise of inadequate HMOs and we will not tolerate it. These rogue landlords are taking advantage of local families in the community with overcrowded and poorly maintained properties.’

The Councillor continued: ‘We’re being proactive in our efforts to crack down on this issue now, before it increases. We are one of the few boroughs who have this scheme in place and I’m pleased with what we have achieved so far, but there is more to do! Landlords of HMOs should take note and licence now to avoid such financial penalties.’