Camden Council leading the way in tackling criminal landlords

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018 - Camden Council

Camden Council is prosecuting more criminal landlords and agents than all other London boroughs, according to latest data published by the GLA.

Camden Council leads the way in London with 59 prosecution records on the Mayor of London’s ‘Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker’ (here) which was launched in December 2017. This includes action against 35 separate landlords and agents.

The other boroughs in the top five for housing enforcement action are Southwark, Newham, Brent and Westminster, as shown below.

GLA Rouge Landlord and Agent Checker data 2018

When London Property Licensing previously analysed housing prosecution data for 2011 to 2014 (here), we found Newham Council was way in front with more housing prosecutions than all other boroughs put together.

Whilst Camden, Southwark, Newham remain in the top five, Brent has shot up the enforcement league table from 26th to 4th place and Westminster has increased from 17th to 5th place.

Camden Council’s enforcement action has seen criminal landlords and agencies in the borough cough up a total of £233,146 in penalties.

Notable prosecutions by Camden Council in the last year include:

  • Over £42,000 in fines and costs secured from the managers of an unlicensed house in multiple occupation which had come to the council’s notice after tenants complained of a rat infestation, rotting windows and the need to use saucepans to catch water dripping through the bathroom floor.
  • A £40,000 fine for a property management company who were found to be accommodating 26 people in overcrowded conditions above the former Grand Union Pub on Camden Road.
  • Clamping down on a landlord who illegally sub-divided rooms in the listed building which was the birthplace of Benjamin Disraeli.

Camden Council housing enforcement action 2018

Photo: Two people were found living in cramped and dangerous conditions in this outhouse behind a Chinese restaurant in Fortune Green. The outhouse had no windows and dangerous wiring.

Camden Council is finding that as a result of these actions more high street agents are coming forward to get Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) licensed and seek professional advice. Tenants are also receiving compensation after seeking rent repayment orders for living in unlicensed HMO’s, with £9,000 reclaimed by tenants in the last 6 months and more on the way.

Camden Council housing enforcement action 2018

Photo: A dead rat found in a dilapidated unlicensed house in multiple occupation in Kentish Town.

Councillor Meric Apak, Cabinet Member for Better Homes at Camden Council, said:

A large proportion of Camden’s residents rent privately and our role is to both protect our residents’ housing rights and make landlords aware of their responsibilities. We have no hesitation in seeking to prosecute irresponsible landlords but we are here to work with and provide advice to all landlords to ensure they are able to meet their obligations, before we take this step.

James Murray, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development at City Hall, said:

The Mayor launched the London-wide checker to help empower Londoners against the minority of rogue landlords and agents exploiting their tenants, and it’s great to see Camden playing such a big role in helping protect renters. We now need national government to play its part too, by making sure all councils have the resources and powers to go after rogue landlords in their patch, and by radically reforming the private rented sector through change that is long overdue.

For more information about property licensing in the London Borough of Camden, you can rear our free guide here.

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