Most London councils failing to tackle rogue landlords – Stephen Knight

March 21, 2016 6:00 AM
  • A third of councils in London (10 boroughs) failed to prosecute a single landlord for providing unsafe accommodation in 2014/2015
  • A further half of London councils (18) prosecuted fewer than 10 landlords for providing unsafe accommodation in 2014/2015
  • The one London Borough (Newham) with mandatory licensing in place for the entire year of 2014/2015 was responsible for over 70 per cent of all prosecutions in London under the Housing Act (2004)
  • There is significant variation in the level of enforcement activity by London boroughs, with some councils inspecting one in 14 private rented properties for hazards, and others only inspecting one in five hundred properties.

Government funding cuts to local councils have resulted in a threadbare patchwork of enforcement against London's rogue landlords, according to data obtained by Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Stephen Knight.

Based on freedom of information requests that were submitted to all 32 London Boroughs data has been obtained showing the record of action against rogue landlords being taken across London. In total 31 London Boroughs responded to the requests for information.

Commenting on the results of this extensive London-wide survey Stephen Knight AM said:

"According to a recent survey commissioned by Shelter 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."

"Against a background of severe budget cuts councils are clearly struggling to find the resources to tackle these issues. My survey demonstrates that where mandatory licensing has been introduced (in Newham), the resources this provides has resulted in a step-change in enforcement activity.

"With the private rented sector growing rapidly in London, it is time to introduce 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 across every part of London."

"I hope a new Mayor for London will start to take this issue seriously. We also need changes in national policy, as the government is currently blocking further licensing schemes from being introduced in London."


Shelter's report on the state of private rented accommodation: