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Time's Up for Rogue Landlords

12 landlords in Waltham Forest have now been prosecuted for not signing up to the Council’s Private Rented Property Licencing (PRPL) scheme, with courts ordering fines and costs of over £60,000.



In March 2015 Waltham Forest Council launched its PRPL scheme to drive up property standards and reduce anti-social behaviour across the borough. The scheme requires all landlords operating in the borough to have a separate licence for each property they rent out in the private sector. Once in possession of a licence landlords must comply with certain conditions otherwise they could be prosecuted and fined.



There have been 19,000 licence applications made by landlords since the scheme launched. To maximise compliance with the scheme the Council is proactively seeking out private rented properties where no licence application has been made.



Court action is now being taken against landlords who ignore warnings about the need to obtain a licence. 12 landlords have already been prosecuted, and some have been ordered to pay fines and costs of over £10,000 after being found guilty.



“Landlords have now had ample time to apply for their licence, so there is simply no excuse to not have one in place by now”, said Cllr Khevyn Limbajee, Cabinet Member for Housing. “Any landlord who thinks they can avoid it needs to think again, as they could soon receive a visit from us and end up in court. We are determined to ensure that every privately rented property in the borough obtains a licence.”



Regular action days are now being carried out by the Council, using intelligence to uncover landlords who are shirking their responsibility to obtain a licence, and to also identify properties where poor living conditions are suspected.



Over 7,500 properties have been visited during action days so far. Officers have uncovered very poor living conditions in the private rented sector, including a property that was claiming to be owner occupied, but was actually being rented by 11 people living in extremely cramped conditions. In cases like this the landlords will be given notice to make the required improvements, or they could face further action from the Council including prosecution.



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