Brent councillor, Margaret McLennan, attended an early morning raid with Housing Minister Brandon Lewis on Wednesday (20 January) to help identify and take enforcement action against rogue landlords that are blighting our community.
The raid was part of the council’s increased efforts to drive out the minority of bad landlords in Brent who ruthlessly exploit innocent tenants with substandard properties that make their lives a misery.
Forming part of Brent Council’s established landlord licensing enforcement team, they raided two properties in the Wembley area. One property was severely overcrowded with 23 people including ten children in a two storey semi-detached house and in the other property there was evidence that their shed might have been previously rented out as private accommodation.
Brent Council, with its licensing scheme that ensures landlords rent out their properties to acceptable standards, is considered a best practice example in tackling rogue landlords, hence the request from the Housing Minister to join one of our raids.
Cllr Margaret McLennan, Lead Member for Housing and Development, said:
"We take a zero tolerance approach to rogue landlords and we are increasing our efforts to identify and enforce against rogue landlords and letting agents in Brent.
"We will continue to drive up standards in the private sector and drive out the minority of bad landlords with our licensing scheme that ensures landlords maintain their rented properties to an acceptable standard and deal with any antisocial behaviour associated with the properties.
"Most properties in Brent should be licensed and failure to do so can result in an unlimited fine."
In November 2015, the Department for Communities and Local Government asked councils across the country to bid for a share of £5m to tackle rogue landlords in their area. Today (22 January) it was announced that 48 councils, including Brent, have successfully secured the funding. The extra money will be used to bolster Brent’s current work.
If you suspect that someone is illegally renting out a property in Brent without a licence or are in breach of their licence, please anonymously report them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 020 8937 2384.
If you’re a landlord please visit www.brent.gov.uk/prslicensing to find out if you need a licence, otherwise you may risk prosecution and an unlimited fine for letting out a property that should be licensed.