Landlords and letting agents have been fined £8 million – including almost £2 million since last August, meaning the authorities are getting tougher on landlords.
A post-pandemic return to enforcement action is one explanation for the increase, with around 20% of all fines on record occurring in the last 12 months.
A greater number of licensing schemes, creating more opportunity for agents and landlords to fall foul of complex regulations, is also a driver, with 13 new schemes launching in the Greater London area, and 30 in the UK, in the last year.
Councils are also targeting other areas and other avenues of enforcement, with Rent Repayment Orders and MEES regulations both seeing increased reporting in recent months. For example, earlier this year a landlord in East London was ordered to pay her former tenants over £12,000 in a RRO case.
The data comes from Kamma’s tracking of the Mayor of London’s Rogue London and Agent Checker.
Orla Shields, chief executive of Kamma, said: “Local councils are sending a strong message to landlords and agents across the country with fines increasing by £2 million in the 12 months.
“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.”
Enforcement trends differed across the capital. Camden council tops the enforcement league table as the most active in terms of number of fines, followed closely by Newham and Southwark.
Yet, the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham is the London borough with the highest average fines of £19,800 per offense, followed by Hillingdon with an average of £13,500, and Hackney with £11,250.
Letting agents and landlords stand to face fines of up to £30,000 for non-compliance, if failing to comply with safety and licensing regulations, and additional fines of up to £5,000 per property for non-compliance with MEES regulations.