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Fines for rogue landlords and letting agents up £1.5mn

Fines for rogue landlords and letting agents up £1.5mn
 

Fines for letting agents and landlords in the greater London area have increased by more than £1.5mn pounds in the last year as regulation of the private rented sector increases. 

Total fines for the greater London area have now hit the £8mn mark, with a sharp increase of £238mn in the last month alone, according to geospatial technology firm Kamma.

Rent repayment orders, an increase in the number of licensing schemes and a stronger approach to minimum energy efficiency standard (Mees) regulations have all contributed to this stricter market place.

Kamma undertook the tracking of the Mayor of London’s rogue landlord and agent checker.

It found that around 20 per cent of all fines on record have been recorded in the last month, suggesting a post-pandemic return to enforcement. 

A greater number of licensing schemes is also driving the increase, with more opportunity created for landlords and agents to “fall foul” of complex legislation. 

Kamma’s chief executive Orla Shields said local councils are sending a strong message to landlords and agents across the country. 

“Agents need to see this as an opportunity to take control of their compliance and take action to protect their clients, and themselves against further enforcement efforts and fines," she said. 

Larger fines

As well as increased enforcement, agents are also being fined larger amounts. 

Last August, the average fine for letting agents was £4,380, however this year, Kamma reported an increase of 7 per cent, bringing the average fine to £4,690. 

In contrast, landlords are finned more frequently but smaller amounts, with an average of £4,304.

Postcodes

Camden council tops the enforcement league table as the most active in the greater London area in terms of number of fines, followed closely by Newham and Southwark. 

The highest average fines are found in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham with an average fine of £19,800 per offence. 

This is followed by Hillingdon with an average of £13,500, and Hackney with £11,250.

Letting agents and landlords can face fines of up to £30,000 for non-compliance with safety and licensing regulations, and additional fines of up to £5,000 per property for non-compliance with Mees regulations. 

jane.mattews@ft.com