Two Clapton landlords were fined over £22k in February for letting out a property with poor bathroom facilities and smoke alarms that didn’t work. Photographs: courtesy Hackney Council

The Town Hall is working to “bring on side” landlords who are yet to join its licensing scheme, designed to drive up standards for the borough’s private renters. 

Around 45 per cent of eligible properties are still not signed up as the project enters its third year.

To make it easier for landlords, the Town Hall has now put all of its work on licensing and enforcement into an online hub.

Introducing the move, Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville and his adviser on private renting, Cllr Sem Moema, said: “It is essential that landlords and managing agents have access to clear, accurate information on how the schemes operate, how to apply for licences and the penalties for non-compliance. 

“By making this information accessible […] we can facilitate higher levels of compliance and ensure landlords provide good quality, well managed homes to our residents.”

Hackney runs two separate licensing schemes that go a step further than the national one.

The first lowers the threshold for a property to be considered a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) from five to three people.

The second requires landlords to licence properties in Brownswood, Cazenove and Stoke Newington, where around 15 per cent of rented homes have mould, damp, vermin, dangerous boilers or exposed wiring.

According to council research, 11 per cent of privately rented homes suffer from serious hazards or disrepair, which rises to almost 20 per cent in the worst affected areas and in HMOs.

Landlords Ella Louise Hill and Tyrone Bhahari Jnr were prosecuted by the council for illegally letting out a property in Clapton and subjecting their tenants to “dangerous living conditions”. They were issued with a fine of more than £22,000 at Thames Magistrates Court in February.

If landlords fail to sign up to the licensing scheme following enforcement action, the Town Hall can make management orders whereby control of a property is passed to the borough.

You can find out more about property licensing here.

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