15:15 PM, 8th August 2022, About 2 months ago
Fines for landlords and letting agents in London have increased by more than £1.5m in the last year to more than £8 million.
The figure comes from technology firm Kamma who are tracking the Mayor of London’s Rogue London and Agent Checker.
They also highlight that fines have increased by £238,000 in the last month alone.
Kamma chief executive, Orla Shields, said: “Local councils are sending a strong message to landlords and agents with fines increasing by £2 million in the last 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.”
A post-pandemic return to enforcement action is one explanation for the increase, with around 20% of all fines occurring in the last 12 months.
A greater number of licensing schemes, creating more opportunities 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 across the UK, in the last year.
Councils are also targeting other areas and avenues of enforcement, with Rent Repayment Orders (RRO) 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 more than £12,000 in an RRO case.
As well as increased enforcement, letting agents are also being fined larger amounts.
Last August, the average fine for letting agents was £4,380, now a year later Kamma has reported an increase of 7%, taking the average agent fine to £4,690.
Landlords, in contrast, are fined more frequently but in smaller amounts, with an average of £4,304.
Enforcement trends differed across the capital and 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 has the highest average fine of £19,800 per offence, followed by Hillingdon with an average of £13,500, and Hackney with £11,250.