An absentee landlord has been fined £2,500 for failing to licence a property that she had been renting out for several years.

Warning letters were sent to the landlord’s last known addresses, however, the property in Axon Place, Ilford, remained occupied and unlicensed after an inspection by a housing enforcement officer from Redbridge Council.

The landlady involved, who cannot be named, could not claim ignorance – there are ten apartments within the two towers on Axon Place already registered with the Redbridge selective licensing scheme.

A first-tier tribunal has now ruled that she should have paid a £616 fee under the scheme for private landlords renting to single families.

A spokesman from Redbridge Council tells LandlordZONE that it’s not unusual for it to fine landlords in this way.

He says: “We engage with landlords using the ‘four Es’ principal of engagement, education, and encouragement to enable them to licence their properties as required by the legislation and the council’s landlord licensing scheme.

“Where landlords fail to respond, the fourth strand is unfortunately enforcement. The council manages the scheme to ensure all necessary safety and housing standards measures are in place to improve residents’ quality of living in the private rented sector.”

Quality housing

Council leader Jas Athwal (pictured) says: “The selective licencing scheme has been in place in many parts of our borough for several years now to make sure local people have access to decent quality housing.

“I hope this sends a clear message to property agents, companies, and landlords that if they don’t work with us to licence their properties properly, then they could face prosecution and a hefty fine.”

This isn’t the first time that a London borough has come down hard on a landlord for not licensing their properties.

“Earlier this year, Brent Council prosecuted Stephen Ige for renting out three properties – a ground floor flat in Chaplin Road, Willesden Green, and ground and first floor flats in Douglas Road, Kilburn – to tenants without a licence. He was fined £90,000 by magistrates.”

Read more about selective licensing.

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