Newham becomes first council in the country to issue landlord with civil penalty
Newham has become the first council in the country to use new powers to issue a direct fine to a landlord – replacing the need for a costly and lengthy court case.
On 26 April a Newham landlord, became the first to be fined directly by the council, just 20 days after new powers were adopted under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (read here).
The level of the fine is set by the council, depending on the seriousness of the breach of conditions and can go up to £30,000 for the worst cases.
The fine was imposed on the landlord of a flat in Plaistow after a fire in the block. Investigations by the London Fire Brigade revealed there were no fire alarms in the flat at the time of the blaze.
Council officers then visited the property, which was still occupied, and found there were still no fire alarms, which was a serious breach of the landlord’s property licence conditions.
A financial penalty notice of £5,000 was issued to the landlord. He has 28 days to appeal the decision to the council.
Councillor Terry Paul, mayoral advisor for housing, said:
“Newham is proud to be the first council in the country to adopt and make use of these new direct fines for criminal landlords.
“Our swift adoption and application of the new powers underlines our commitment to protect tenants from rogue landlords. In this case there was a single breach of the law, but by failing to install fire alarms, even after a blaze in the block, this landlord clearly showed his reckless lack of care for the safety of his tenant.”
Further information on housing regulation and licensing in Newham is available at,www.londonpropertylicensing.co.uk/newham.
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