At the start of 2016 Brent Council introduced a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to criminal landlords. The aim was to improve standards in the private sector by clamping down on rogues and ensuring the penalties were sufficiently harsh to be a big deterrent.
It was revealed at the start of June 2017 that in the last eighteen months the Council had received fines exceeding £500,000. The new tougher rules led to a string of prosecutions, including 44 in 2016/2017. In total 89 convictions were made, including for breach of licensing and failing to deliver the correct standards.
The initial focus of the clampdown has been on Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). These properties need to be correctly licensed if they are home to three or more people who are not related. A property can only be granted a license if it meets the required standards so the pressure is on the landlord to ensure they do. This is designed to put an end to tenants having to deal with cramped, hazardous, or unhygienic accommodation.
As part of the ‘zero tolerance’ the local authority has been conducting more and more inspections of properties in the Borough. In fact in 2016/2017 around 600 raids were conducted to catch landlords out.
At Finefair we work closely with private landlords and help them to meet their obligations. We have a lot of experience with HMOs and understand what it takes to convert and manage properties effectively. As a result clients can rely on us to help them.
One option that is available is to put properties under the control of the local council rather than letting them privately. This can offer some great assurances and security. We are one of the leading names for council leasing Brent has and can assist property owners with taking advantage of this kind of scheme.
If you have any questions for us please get in touch. We are here to help and always focus on delivering the best results for our clients.