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Making our communities safer

Upholding standards in the private rented sector

   Councils  

Barking & Dagenham Council, Brent Council, Newham Council

Barking & Dagenham Council’s borough-wide private landlord licensing scheme has proved to be hugely successful in tackling rogue landlords that blight the area. Over 14,000 licences have been granted and each property is inspected by Council enforcement officers before the licence is granted. So far, nearly 700 enforcement notices have been issued to rogue landlords whose properties did not meet the required standards. Barking & Dagenham Council is committed to breaking the business model of any landlord who seeks to exploit vulnerable residents by letting out unsafe and overcrowded accommodation.

Brent Council has become the first authority in the country to use the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) against a landlord who crammed thirty-one people in a property licensed for seven. This is a landmark legal decision for our zero tolerance policy against rogue landlords. Rogue landlords can no longer hide behind previous rulings to avoid being required by the courts to pay back rent whilst their tenants lived in squalid and dangerous conditions.

 

Newham Council became the first local authority in England to introduce borough-wide selective licensing to address poor standards across the private rented sector, to protect tenants and to tackle criminal landlords. Through licensing, Newham has initiated prosecutions against 1,306 criminal landlords since it was introduced six years ago. In 2017, Newham’s prosecutions alone accounted for nearly 60% of all prosecutions against criminal landlords in London. Over 112 civil penalties have been issued to criminal landlords since this power was introduced in April 2016. Licensing has also assisted with recovering over £5.3m of unpaid Council Tax, detected and stopped £300,000 of Housing Benefit fraud and led to over 770 arrests for other crime.