100 buy to let homes raided by council hit squads

Enforcement squads and police have blitzed 100 rogue landlords in a week in a tough crackdown on an ambitious licensing scheme for 35,000 buy to lets.

Already, 20 landlords are heading to court for failing to licence their private rental homes in Newham, East London.

The borough-wide scheme came in to force on January 1, 2013 and requires all landlords to register their properties with the council.

By February 1, 27,000 landlords had filed paperwork, paying £150 for the five-year licence.

From February 1, the licence costs £500.

The council intends to give landlords who fail to register a tough time – and has threatened to send 500 to court in the next 12 months – more than are prosecuted in the rest of the UK every year.

Council enforcement teams are said to have a hit list of unlicensed buy to let and HMO homes that they are working through.

Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales said: ‘We want to ensure that private sector rented properties are well managed and meet a good standard. We also want to deal with the crime and anti-social behaviour that is associated with bad private sector rented housing.
‘There are good landlords in Newham and we want to work with them. Unfortunately there are also some unscrupulous ones – and we are going after them vigorously and robustly.

‘We will never accept private sector tenants being directly exploited by landlords who force them to live in dangerous and unacceptable conditions. One bad house can drag down a whole street.’

Meanwhile, a landlord who breached HMO licencing conditions on two Haringey, North London, and shared homes was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £1,865 costs.

Taskin Izzet admitted 13 offences at Tottenham Magistrates’ Court relating to two houses in multiple occupation that he owns in North London.

The infringements related to breaking fire and safety rules at the houses.


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