Rogue landlord from Ilford fined by Tower Hamlets Council
PUBLISHED: 11:03 02 April 2019
A landlord who lives in Ilford has been fined by Tower Hamlets Council ahead of tough licensing regulations which have now been extended across the whole East End.
Mohammed Ahmed failed to license his Bethnal Green property, a flat in Benson House in Ligonia Street, which he rents out for multiple occupation.
He has been hit with a £4,000 fine plus £5,000 legal costs at Thames Magistrates’ court for failing to register.
Ahmed, of Mildmay Road, Ilford, had been required to register his property by regulations piloted two years ago.
Landlords have to sign up to the register for properties with three or four occupants living as two or more households which have shared facilities, to make sure they are managed safely and with legal responsibility for tenant behaviour.
“We will enforce against landlords who fail to register their properties,” Mayor John Biggs warned. “This prosecution shows we are taking action to protect renters.”
The tougher regulations are aimed at protecting tenants often from “criminal” landlords who rent out overcrowded and unfit properties.
They now cover 9,000 homes in addition to the ‘pilot’ scheme that’s been running for two years in Whitechapel, Spitalfields and part of Bethnal Green, and in addition to current regulations on other multiple-occupied properties.
Deputy mayor Sirajul Islam, responsible for all housing issues, said: “We insist that landlords are licensed to protect both them and their tenants. Housing is such a premium that overcrowded flats used by several tenants are common. The scheme has real teeth to protect tenants’ health and safety.”
Tenants can now apply for rebates for up to 12 months in unregistered properties. The council can also recover rent paid through housing benefit.
Landlords failing to apply after today for a five-year licence, costing £520, could face unlimited fines as well as having to refund their tenants.
Tenants won their fight in 2016 for a renters’ charter after lobbying the town hall in a two-year campaign against unlawful evictions on a landlord’s whim for merely complaining about lack of repairs or maintenance, and against unscrupulous hidden “key money” registration fees.
Fines, legal costs and compensation so far have reached a total of £467,000 in just 36 months. One lettings agency in Poplar was fined a record £54,000 by Thames magistrates in September for an overcrowded flat on the Boundary Estate in Shoreditch that had no heating and inadequate fire precautions.