Caroline Pidgeon - Most London councils are still failing to effectively tackle rogue landlords

  • More than a quarter of all councils in London (9 boroughs) failed to prosecute a single landlord for providing unsafe accommodation in 2016/2017.
  • A further half of London councils (16) prosecuted fewer than 10 landlords for providing unsafe accommodation in 2016/2017
  • One council alone (Newham) was responsible for 57 cent of prosecutions under the Housing Act (2004) across the whole of London
  • The number of inspections resulting in formal housing prosecutions varies significantly across the boroughs.

London private housing tenants are currently protected by just a threadbare patchwork of enforcement against London's rogue landlords, according to data obtained by Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon and published today. The survey is the second time that Caroline Pidgeon has surveyed all London boroughs.

Based on freedom of information requests that were submitted in the Summer to all 32 London Boroughs information has been obtained showing the record of action against rogue landlords being taken across London.   All London Boroughs responded to the requests for information, although some were unable to reply fully to the requests.

Commenting on the results of this extensive London-wide survey Caroline Pidgeon said:

“Last year the housing charity Shelter revealed that one in twenty renters believe they have recently rented from a rogue landlord and 60 per cent of renters had experienced either damp, mould, leaking roofs or windows, electrical hazards, animal infestation or gas leaks."

“Of course most landlords are responsible people, but without question an element are not. Firm action must be taken to tackle them.  Basic standards must be upheld for the two million people in London who now live in private rented accommodation.

"My survey demonstrates that where mandatory licensing has been introduced, the resources this provides can result in a step-change in enforcement activity.

“I find it deeply concerning that as we approach the end of the year central Government cannot even make a decision as to whether Newham’s borough wide licensing scheme should be renewed and allowed to continue from 2018.

"Within London’s private rented sector there is now a need for a proper and robust framework of regulation across the entire city. The data clearly demonstrates that only a rigorous regime of licensing will result in the enforcement needed to put an end to the problem of rogue landlords that exist across every part of London.” 

The Mayor also needs to ensure his rogue landlord database starts to operate as quickly as possible and becomes an effective tool for private tenants to undertake background checks on prospective landlords.  In time the Mayor should also ensure the database includes details of landlords who do not comply with new energy efficiency standards.”

You can access Caroline's full report by clicking on this link.

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