Rogue landlords in Hackney face heavy fines after the local council gained new powers to issue penalties of up to £30,000.
Landlords can now be fined for various offences including illegal evictions and failure to meet licensing conditions, with the worst offenders facing criminal prosecution, after Hackney Council’s cabinet approved the new powers, as part of the Town Hall’s Better Renting campaign, which launched in July and includes the first voluntary letting fees ban.
Mayoral advisor for private renting, Cllr Sem Moema, said: “Renters who pay an average of nearly £2,000 a month for two-bedroom flat in Hackney deserve homes that are safe, secure and well-maintained by their landlord.
“While we’ll still prosecute the most serious offenders, these new fines will give us the powers we need to quickly punish the minority of rogue landlords out to exploit tenants where it hurts – in their pocket.
“Whether it’s bolstering our enforcement powers, campaigning for more action from the Government or simply giving advice, we’re determined to get renters in Hackney a better deal.”
Around 34,000 homes in the borough are privately rented, which represents about a third of all households.
The Town Hall is currently consulting on the introduction of landlord licensing schemes in the borough, including one specifically for HMOs.