LATEST: Councils hammer London landlords with fines totalling £1m in 2021

Fines for London’s errant landlords and letting agents have totalled £1 million in less than a year ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - LATEST: Councils hammer London landlords with fines totalling £1m in 2021 | LandlordZONE.

LATEST: Councils hammer London landlords with fines totalling £1m in 2021

Fines for London’s errant landlords and letting agents have totalled £1 million in less than a year as councils pick up the pace of enforcement efforts.

Geospatial technology firm Kamma reports that penalties have increased from £6,052,932 in December 2020 to £7,128,973 at the start of November, a jump of £600,000 in the last four months, and a £372,874 increase since October. This is the total levied since the company set up its database in 2017.

Earlier this year, Kamma – the only company to track the Mayor of London’s Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker – reported a 532% increase in fines between May and July as local authorities embarked on post-lockdown enforcement.

Since the start of 2021, it has seen an average increase of £89,670 in fines every month, with Camden council topping the enforcement league table as the most active in terms of number of fines, followed closely by Newham and Southwark.

Hammersmith and Fulham is now the London borough with the highest average fines of £19,800, followed by Hillingdon with an average of £13,500, and Hackney with £11,250.

With increases across the region, letting agents and landlords have to stay on top of their game, says Kamma CEO Orla Shields (pictured): “The lettings market is more regulated than ever before. Licensing schemes, fines and enforcement through Rent Repayment Orders are all increasing, so it’s vital agents act to protect themselves, their landlords and of course their tenants.”

Landlords and letting agents face fines of up to £30,000 for failing to comply with safety and licensing regulations, and additional fines of up to £5,000 per property for non-compliance with MEES regulations.

©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - LATEST: Councils hammer London landlords with fines totalling £1m in 2021 | LandlordZONE.

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ROGUE landlord convicted of illegally evicting pregnant tenant

A rogue landlord whose proeprty is also the subject of a prohibition order has been fined for ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - ROGUE landlord convicted of illegally evicting pregnant tenant | LandlordZONE.

ROGUE landlord convicted of illegally evicting pregnant tenant

A rogue landlord whose proeprty is also the subject of a prohibition order has been fined for illegally evicting a pregnant tenant and her partner from their home and throwing their belongings into the street.

Businesswoman Lidia Szopinska, from Camden, rented a room in a house she owned in Townsend Street, Cheltenham, to the couple for nine months in May 2019. After they gave notice to leave the property early, relations soured and Szopinska made allegations of breach of tenancy.

The couple had agreed to leave the property on 19th August 2019 but on 14th July, when they returned home after visiting relatives, they found the landlord standing outside with all their possessions on the street.

Magistrates ruled that she was guilty of illegally evicting the pair. Szopinska was fined £180 with £2,010 costs and ordered to pay £1,560 compensation to the couple for the distress caused, the non-return of their deposit, rent repayment and for the loss of a bag containing a laptop and other items that were stolen from outside the property.  

Prohibition order

Earlier this year, Szopinska had her appeal against a prohibition order made in December 2020 relating to the same property thrown out.

The council had prevented her from renting the basement after it identified a Category 1 fire hazard; there was no adequate and unobstructed means of escape, fire doors, automatic fire detection or alarm system.

She blamed Covid complications and the fact she had been given the wrong address as the reason for her appeal being made outside the 28-day time limit.

However, a ruled that she knew that the limit applied and was not convinced that Covid would impact on her ability to deal with the appeal process.

Cheltenham Council enforcement manager, Mark Nelson, says: “No landlord can act outside the law and we will do everything in our power to ensure tenants can live in rented properties safe in the knowledge that we are there to protect them from.”

©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - ROGUE landlord convicted of illegally evicting pregnant tenant | LandlordZONE.

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