Financial penalties for Haringey landlords who ignored HMO licensing requirements

Monday, December 18th, 2023 - Haringey Council

A private landlord in Tottenham has been ordered to refund 12 months’ rent to tenants after failing to license their House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).  

The landlord had ignored an initial warning to get their property licensed. They were ordered to pay a rent repayment order of £20,000 plus a £2,500 fine for the licensing breach. To avoid further penalties, the landlord must also get their property licensed and pay the application fee. 

Two private landlords with properties in Wood Green have also received civil financial penalties after failing to license their properties. Having ignored their responsibilities to comply, their appeal to the First-tier Tribunal was rejected. One landlord was ordered to pay £5,000 and the other £2,000.  

With around 40% of Haringey’s population living in the private rented sector, the council have taken strong measures to ensure residents live in safe and well-maintained homes. Enforcement action has been taken against landlords who do not fulfil their legal responsibilities to protect residents through licencing.  

A property is classed as an HMO if at least three unrelated tenants are living in the property, and they share bathroom or toilet facilities and/or kitchen. The licensing scheme, which requires landlords to obtain a license to let a property which meets the definition of an HMO, has been in operation since May 2019. 

To date, a total of 46 fines amounting to over £250,000 have been issued to landlords who have failed to license their houses in multiple occupation (HMO). 

Cllr Sarah Williams, Cabinet Member for Housing Services, Private Renters and Planning, Haringey Council said: 

Thanks to the hard work of council officers, legal action has been taken against landlords that have failed to license their properties.    

Haringey Council has a zero-tolerance policy to rogue landlords; in one case the landlord has been made to repay £20,000 in rent to their tenants. Our licencing scheme is in place for a reason: to protect Haringey’s private renters by ensuring their homes are safe and well maintained.  

A tightly regulated and professionalised landlord industry helps protect and promote our good landlords, and creates a safer, healthier and more accountable rented sector for tenants. Our existing HMO licensing scheme needs to be renewed next year so I’d encourage all residents, particularly those living in the private rented sector, to take part in the consultation that will help shape our new scheme.”  

With Haringey’s current additional HMO licensing scheme ending in May 2024, residents are invited to give their thoughts on a new proposed additional HMO licensing scheme. More information can be found on the council’s website

Landlords needing help to get their property licensed can use London Property Licensing’s fixed price licence application handling service (more information).

Our free guide containing more information about property licensing and HMO planning restrictions in the London Borough of Haringey is available here.

For all the latest news and events, you can sign up for the free London Property Licensing newsletter here.