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Tower Hamlets Council leads the way for enforcement against rogues

Monday 09 July 2018

Tower Hamlets have shown that they are a council that means business, by getting tough on the rogue landlords and letting agents who blight the reputation of the industry and make tenants' lives a misery by not adhering to laws that are in place to protect private renters.

Enforcement teams have been hard at work across the borough tackling those that fail to comply with housing law, which has resulted in 27 letting agents and managing agents being fined, with fines ranging from £1000 to £10,000, and ordered to take immediate action so that they comply with regulation requirements.  

Tower Hamlets, which was also one of the first London boroughs to contribute to the Mayor of London's rogue landlord checker, conducted checks on on a total of 401 letting agents and landlords, as well as investigating reports from the public. 

Their hard-line approach and swift action follows the introduction of the widely publicised Private Renters' Charter last year, which ARLA Propertymark contributed to significantly. We have also been an integral part of meetings, presenting to the landlord forum and sitting on the PRS working group. 

The charter, which has also been backed by many consumer groups and professional bodies including NLA, Shelter and Generation Rent, sets out in an easy to digest form, what renters can expect from their tenancy and their landlord or agent. It informs and educates, so that tenants better know their rights and can recognise if they are not being treated fairly by unscrupulous landlords or agents. Topics covered include safety, fees, CMP and tenancy agreements, and tenants are also encouraged to report landlord or agents who don't abide by the charter. 

The success of the Tower Hamlets Private Renters' Charter demonstrates that alternative approaches to Selective Licensing, which is currently being reviewed by Government, can be viable. 

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “We are committed to ensuring people wanting to live in our borough are not exploited by rogue letting agents or landlords. We will not tolerate individuals or organisations actively trying to mislead our residents.

“The majority of letting and managing agents in Tower Hamlets successfully help people to settle within our diverse and growing borough. It’s disappointing that a small number are acting dishonestly and misleading people looking for a new home.”

Cllr Sirajul Islam, Deputy Mayor for Housing (Statutory Deputy Mayor), said: “We are protecting our residents by ensuring they have all of the information needed prior to renting their property. Transparency from letting agents, managing agents and landlords is imperative to ensure the process is fair for everyone involved.”